I Cant Code Without Google (Am I a Bad Programmer)

I can’t write code without Google, am I a bad Programmer?

Whenever I am working on any programming project, whether developing a mobile app, a website, or sharpening my programming skills, I always have chrome open with hundreds of tabs for reference.

Sometimes I even forget the exact syntax of a FOR LOOP, I keep switching chrome tabs to find what I am looking for. I have even added pages upon pages to my chrome reading list and I have written down some of the websites I visit the most for easy access.

When I was first introduced to programming, I did a lot of googling, I thought I will stop googling stuff with time. But the more I learned about programming, the more I googled.

At some point, I began to wonder, am I just a bad programmer who is not learning or I still have a long way before I learn? I wanted to write lines upon lines of code without consulting google, I was failing each time.

Google, Stack Overflow, Tutorialspoint, W3schools, freakyjolly, Stack Exchange, GitHub, Sitepoint, freecodecamp, etc. were much easy to remember than a DATE() function 😂😂.

I admired YouTubers like Shaun Pellings (The Net Ninja), Brad Traversy (Traversy Media) who wrote code in different programming languages and frameworks effortlessly. I wanted to be like them, the more I tried, the more I failed.

Mine was to google stuff, copy and paste, as long as it was working. I still ended up making working apps and websites, but I was not satisfied, I could not confidently tell people that I am a programmer. I just googled and copied code from the internet, anyone can do that right? NO

Programming is more than googling stuff, it’s about understanding the fundamentals and implementing the logic of how a project will work ultimately. I learned this quite late. It’s about solving real-world problems with code, not memorizing syntax, copying, and pasting.

It so happened one day that I was watching a youtube tutorial by Traversy, he had forgotten something and he made reference to the documentation, for a moment I didn’t believe it that he would make reference to the docs, I thought he had it all in his head. That was like a light bulb 💡 moment for me, I realized that even professional developers do not memorize code.

This is when my approach changed, I began to focus on understanding programming than memorizing the syntax, whenever I google s solution on stack overflow, I would look at it to understand why is it working and what I was missing.

I began to feel better about myself as a programmer and used google without a feeling of guilt, I was not just googling things, I understand what I was looking for and how to make the best out of the googled stuff.

Ultimately, using google when programming does not make you a bad programmer, you will actually learn more from the code you google and, in the end, become a better developer, you can learn more in our article DO PROGRAMMERS COPY CODE.

DO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPERS USE GOOGLE?

YES, professional developers use google unapologetically, google is an efficient tool for every developer. By using Google, developers are able to concentrate on the logic and not the syntax.

I had missed one thing when I was learning programming, it’s not about memorizing the syntax of programming languages that makes you a better developer, it’s about understanding the fundamentals and principles of programming.

I love the quote attributed to Albert Einstein “Never memorize something that you can look up.” This applies to programming. Don’t memorize code, understand it, you can learn more in our article DO PROGRAMMERS MEMORIZE CODE.

Professional developers use google a lot and this does not make them bad or lazy programmers, on the contrary, it makes them efficient developers by improving their speed. It is hard to remember all the details and syntax of programming languages and frameworks, that’s where Google comes in.

It’s not that professional developers cannot do without Google, they know when to use and how to use it. You must know as well. They also understand that other developers may have had the same problem they are facing and the solution is available online.

Here is an example, the code below is a C++ program that prints “Hello World” to the screen, the first one is written from memory and the last one is copied from Tutorialspoint.

From Memory

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
   cout << "Hello World" << endl;
   return 0;
}

From Tutorialspoint

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
   cout << "Hello, World!" << endl; // This prints Hello, World!
   return 0;
}

You can see that there is not much of a difference between the two, however, I took long to write the first one than to copy and paste the second one. I understand what I needed to do but I had forgotten the syntax, (I have been using javascript a lot recently 😂😂).

In such a case, there is no harm in using Google, copying, and pasting the resulting solution, whatever I do, however long I take, this code will always be the same, why bother to memorize it.

CAN YOU CODE WITHOUT GOOGLE?

Absolutely, Google is mostly used to find quick solutions and look up the syntax for different programming languages and frameworks, you can code without google without problems. Google just makes it easy to write code.

There are many programs that have been written before google came into the picture. As long as you understand the fundamentals and principles of programming you will be good.

However, do not shy away from Google as a developer, let me re-emphasize this, “using google to write code does not make you a bad developer.” It is one way to work fast and efficiently.

Use Google as much as you can, just don’t copy and paste code blindly, make sure you know what you are doing when googling solutions.

CONCLUSION

It’s not a problem if you are having difficulties writing code without google, there are many others who use google for programming. However, you should be worried if you are copying and pasting code that you have no idea how it is working and why it is working.

DO NOT COPY AND PASTE CODE BLINDLY, just because it works. You must understand the implications of what you are adding to your codebase. Security, efficiency, performance, and reliability should be your top priority when you are building software. You can also check out our article TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER DEVELOPER. Thank you so much. Happy coding