Programming, Tips

How Important Googling is for Programmers

I 100% admit that I don’t know any programming language 100%. I have to look at a cheat sheet every single time I program.

Especially for students in high school like me, I don’t really see the point in memorizing all the functions and syntax structures for all the languages you learn.

Every programming language looks pretty much the same anyway. For examble, between Python and Ruby, the function name to call in order to substitute a character in the string is “replace” and “gsub” in the other. Unless you program Python and Ruby a lot, trying to guess the correct function name is really annoying. All it takes is a simple google search “replace character string ruby” and an answer pop ups.

Now of course, that example above is just a small task that Google helps solve. The 2 BIG time savers are open-sourced projects (and the errors that come with it). There simply is no need to reinvent the wheel, and a lot of tasks can easily be encompassed with a open-sourced extension. Although it might be hard to get them working if there is poor documentation, once you find the perfect project, it makes developing things a lot easier. I’ve found reverse zip-code finders, a cool table style sheet, and pop up boxes source code. Creating those features myself would’ve taken a lot of time, and the result would’ve definitely less than perfect. By just copying and pasting those files from the Internet, I was able to make professional looking websites without spending all that time actually coding it.

To be honest, there needs to be a test in Computer Science where the goal is to use resources online to make a program that solves a specific task. This way, students will learn how important the online community is for learning and speeding up development in coding. Especially in my school, where many people in Computer Science Independent Study (a project based class) in our school still lack the basic ability to search online for solutions to their problems, and rather spend their time working on small simple projects.

Unleashing the Internet makes the possibility of making something awesome… Within the grasp of all of us… Even for us high schoolers.

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