I’m Not Really A Good Web Developer, I’m Just Good At Googling Things
15 June 2019
There is a ridiculous amount of information out there about web development and it is easy to drown in all the various websites and tutorials. Being able to navigate and know which article is best for your particular need is a very difficult task. Being a good web developer means you know how to search exactly for what you’re looking for and being able to differentiate between different resources that Google claims have the answer to your question. Having the baseline knowledge to write an efficient query into Stackoverflow takes years of knowledge and training, let alone being able to parse what the top answer is telling you and implement that. So, don’t get me wrong here, being able to research well is one thing, but you need a base skillset in web development to be able to interpret what you’ve found and put it to action. Part of being a good web development is being able to assimilate lots of information, combine it and put it towards your problem to solve it in an elegant and understandable way for your future self and other web developers on the project.
What Can Be Learned From My Most Recent Google Web Development Searches
Let’s take a look at all my most recent Google Searches. Welllll, not all my most recent Google searches because…that is totally out of the scope of this article. Let’s focus on just my most recent web development queries:
These are very specific queries about git flow where I was in a discussion with someone and trying to explain why I’m not always a fan of Git Flow. It took me to quite a few articles that helped me formulate my argument that I was previously having trouble putting into words. What can we take away from this query? It’s very specific and uses a very specific term “GitFlow” that will help focus my search results instead of showing general results about git itself.
I was doing this google search for this dev diaries post about viewport heights and compiling information. Again, this query is very specific and I’m filtering through some noise by including “css” in the query and using very specific language to find what I’m looking for. If I didn’t firstly have that vocabulary to even know what I’m looking for, my search results would be much more varied and noise filled, because I wouldn’t be able to accurately tell Google what I’m looking for.
Ok, that was a fun little exercise – enough spying on my previous self and his Google searches…
A web developer has a wealth of information at her or his fingertips. The trick is being able to access that information quickly and efficiently. A good web developer is organized, structured, analytical, and knows when he/she can cut corners. Knowing where and how to find something instead of stuffing your head is one of the best shortcuts you can take to make your life as a web developer easier. The other is documenting what you find and taking good notes once you do find that answer that you were looking for. One of the best and most valuable things I do is basically write doing everything. I use Boostnote and know of many other developers who use Evernote. The medium isn’t as important as the simple fact that notes are taken systematically and regularly. Having a place where you can write little snippets, notes, todos, and reminders is one of the most valuable things you can do as a web developer. Hell, that’s one of the reasons I started this website - not only to help others, but also myself. A developer has to juggle lots of different things on a day to day basis and it’s nearly impossible to remember everything.
The things I have found that have helped me develop most as a web developer over the years is being able to know how to find what I’m looking for, being able to parse what I’m reading, and make conclusions off of the information I’m taking in. Then after, noting my solution for future reference. After many years of doing this, I have a wealth of proven knowledge, resources and most importantly a process for assimilating information. So yes, I’m less so a good developer, but more so good at googling information and compiling that information for future reference.