“Do experienced programmers use Google frequently?”
The resounding answer is YES, experienced (and good) programmers use Google… a lot. In fact, one might argue they use it more than the beginners. Using Google doesn’t make them bad programmers or imply that they cannot code without Google. In fact, truth is quite the opposite: Google is an essential part of their software development toolkit and they know when and how to use it.
A big reason to use Google is that it is hard to remember all those minor details and nuances especially when you are programming in multiple languages and using dozens of frameworks. As Einstein said:
“Never memorize something that you can look up.” - Albert Einstein
Aside from that, good programmers also know that they cannot be the first one to have encountered a problem. They use Google to research possible solutions, carefully evaluating the results and consciously separating the wheat from the chaff; they don’t blindly follow or copy-paste any solution they come across. Expert programmers are also paranoid, living in self-doubt and questioning their competence. Whenever their spidey senses start tingling, they know they may be going the wrong hole; they rely on Google on validate their logic.
Going by the definition, I would be considered an experienced programmer. Recently, I had to write web server using Netty in Java to handle persistent sockets from mobile games. I had never used Netty before. Here are my Google searches I did:
I wrote 255 lines of code that included a working server and a client. I queried google 23 times mostly landing on StackOverflow, Netty 4 website, GitHub, and JavaDocs. If you do the math, that averages out to 1 query every 10 lines of code! I had no idea. Let me know in the comments what your average is.
So sit back, relax and remember that Google is software developer’s best friend.
How often do you use Google when programming? Do you have any Google power tips that you want to share with others? Just leave a comment below.