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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

How to Get Better at Software Development? Use a Search Engine.

Let’s talk about another vital skill that you need to know to become a programmer; using a search engine.

Learning to use a search engine can make you a much more productive and self-reliant programmer and ultimately make you a better programmer. It really is one of the most important skills you can learn. Now, there’s lots of reasons for that. And to give you an example, when you first start out programming, maybe you’ve read a book or you’ve taken a course. If you’ve taken a course on Udemy or any other website, chances are that there’s some sort of a form or is a question and answer section where you can leave questions, and there, you get them answered.

So it’s really easy to fall into the habit of anytime you’ve got a question, to just ask it, ask it of the person, the instructor who put the course on and get an answer. But the thing to realise is, once you’ve basically got your first programming job, often, you haven’t got someone to rely on like that. You need to rely on yourself. In other words, you need to become self-reliant.

The great thing about a search engine, particularly Google as of the time of shooting the video above, is that really a lot of the answers to your questions are on Google. So you becoming or building those skills to be able to find answers to your questions is going to make you a better programmer.

Now this is not just for you programmers. If you’re an intermediate or even an advanced programmer, you still need to use Google. Chances are there’s gonna be something that you’ll need clarification on, a documentation issue. If you’re using an API, what are the arguments to use a particular method within that API? So on, and so forth.

There’s almost always a reason to use a search engine if you’re a programmer. So become familiar with that process, and get used to doing it. Get used to searching. Now one of the great things you can do, a tip here is if you’ve got a program, and you’ve got a particular error, and you can’t figure out what’s going on, copy and paste that entire error message that you’re getting, paste it into Google. Chances are you’ll find a thread, or you’ll find some information related to that program, which can either outright solve the problem for you and show you how to do it, or at least give you some pointers and some new ideas on how to go about solving that problem.

So try and become as self-reliant as possible, because that’s going to make you a better programmer, a more functional member of the team, and someone that an employer will see as more valuable in the long term. So learn to use Google.

I hoped that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

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