Many times I get this thought in my mind where I ask myself that am I really a developer or just a good googler. I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit lately – that I use stackoverflow way more and that I’m not a very good developer. Everything I learned & developed was a product of internet searches. And I think many of you would also think the same way. So I would like to Answer my own question & write something about this topic that I use to calm my mind. I hope you will find it helpful.
Ok some folks would say that before Internety there were developer too & they don’t have to look on internet & copy someone else’s code. I would say People were actually reading books, with some of those books called cookbooks that give you recipes for a technology or a language. Google has replaced those books. Google has just accelerated the pace on which we can find information. I am a good Googler and very proud of it; I have used this tool to absorb the wisdom and knowledge that others have so graciously left for me on the world wide web. I would consider myself a proud graduate of ‘Google University’.
Whether you copy code from books or the Google, the same principles should apply: do not ever copy code blindly. Instead, examine the code and understand it; break it apart into its elements. Then combine the elements and build towards the solution, following your own coding patterns. Code samples are often poorly designed on purpose in order to emphasize the elements of the solution; by deconstructing and reconstructing, you end up with a solution that has the correct elements, that fits the design of your existing code base, and that you understand inside and out.
So I have set a couple rules for myself that I follow when I use Google:
- You should fully understand the code that You are copying. Not only bits and pieces but Everything.
- The code snippet that You are copying should be well written according to Clean Code or some other guidelines.
- Pay respect for the original coder and the copyrights. Name Your source. That might also come handy when six months later going back to the code and doing some rework.
I also found this quote on internet:
Nothing is original. What a good artist (developer) understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.
Lastly, Here are the Secrets behind every Smart Developer.