Web search your way to success (programming)

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written by owen on 2020-Feb-11.

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As programming languages get more complicated the element of "searching the internet for answers" is being added to the mix of complications.  There is little push back on the complication + tool explosion of modern languages - noobs love it.  As modern programmers tend to see more language features as === more ways to make their code more "advanced".  Web programmers seem to be the most abused set of programmers because of the "liquid" state of front-end/web software, churn, new trends spring up and deprecate at rapid pace.  Javascript is eating the web world and defecating on the streets of the internet with millions of dead repos and apis no one cares about.

Web search has been long used as a way to solve difficult problems or  random road blocks in progress.  Check stack-over-flow, search github, look at other people's code.  There is only so much you can search for on the internet when it comes to solving problems but usually there is a half solution * 0.5.  The rise of stackoverflow came from this need to find the answers to questions that were already asked.  Now search has become a way to excuse convoluted complications.  You can make your wheel as big as you want as long as it is searchable.  You can find it with a simple web search but only if you know what to look for.

Searching on the internet is itself a skill that has to be learned and developed over time.  Internet search is not foolproof, there is no certainty that your first search query will result in the correct answer or any answer at all.  More times than not constantly searching for solutions on the internet will lead to a weaker mental model and you begin to lean on its existence.  Depending on the size of the problem and your ability to decode the answer, a search may add hundreds or thousands of code lines to your project.  The programmer may even spend days or weeks searching + reading unrelated solutions or slightly similar code then rise up with nothing in hand.

The growing complexity of programming languages, editors, APIs and frameworks have led to a whole slew videos tutorials aimed at new people who want to jump in on the bleeding edge of programming (sometimes with a fee).  The internet is a tutorial machine and the machine is feeding itself.  The more complicated the more questions there will be resulting in more searches until everything is measured by search.

The growing dependance on search as a "problem solving tool" might have side effects that we are yet to fully uncover.  Blindly following trends design to waste your time and enslave your cognitive growth.  I am not yet sure.

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