I consider that one of the most important skills a programmer needs to have is to efficiently use Google or more specifically the art of researching. When I just started learning to program I didn’t know it. At this moment, this skill helps me not only when searching for quick StackOverflow answers but also when finding a book to read on some subject or just researching some topic.
The correct and effective use of Google can save you time, money and nerves. This skill while being one of the most important ones is one of the most underrated ones. Why is that?
I believe one of the reasons for this epidemic is sites like SoloLearn. This sites only give a false sense of confidence, letting people do exactly what they want: call themselves programmers without much work. Their exercises are awful. Instead of letting the person learn to learn, solve problems by seeking solutions, they test their memorization skills. Of course, the main thing those sites miss is that: Syntax is different than programming.
So what do I mean when I say efficiently use Google?
- Know that information needs to be Googled, may be Googled, and to what information you won’t find answers to
- Know when to open just one link and when to search more
- Know what sites look promising and what sites are a waste of time
- Use Google Directives
The first three will usually come with experience. So again what’s the problem with sites like SoloLearn? You won’t need to use Google, so there will be no way you’ll gain experience. The solution? Work on real-world projects. Confront problems, then tackle them in the right way.