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Are you too reliant on Google?

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by Dave Westbrook,


We recently had a thought-provoking question from a client:

Is there anything you wouldn’t quote for?

Well, we’re not going to be installing a boiler any time soon but let’s assume they meant in the IT field.

This question is worthy of some thought. Though a full discussion of the topic would take up more than just a short comment, it’s certainly worthy of a full post. It’s triggered a thought (ok, existential crisis) we come across all too frequently, particularly with new hires…

Are we just fooling people into thinking we can develop something when a lot of the time we rely on Stack Overflow and Google?

Stack Overflow Homepage

So that's what the Stack Overflow homepage looks like!

It’s particularly noticeable with open source, where community is king and the answer is (usually) only some Google-fu away. To put it in another context—it might be difficult to reach a new level on a video game, but we persevere, and each time we reach a new level we would doubt whether we would be able to keep improving.

In other words… you're never 100% sure every client request is possible, but you're sure you want to try and get there.

It’s not even just about the potential commercial opportunity. It’s scratching that curiosity itch—the chance to learn something new, or even to develop the holy grail… New IP 😮

Firstly, some words of wisdom and caution… if you’ve ever had a similar feeling of imposter syndrome you aren't alone. After all, we only grow outside of our comfort-zone. However, beware of the rabbit-hole, it could break you down instead of being a .

Secondly, anything worth getting good at is worth practice. Build for fun. Build without profit motive. Go the extra mile beyond the original scope. Add value. The more you get out of your comfort zone, the easier (and quicker) this becomes.

Of course you could always try building something without Googling. See how it feels. Use your existing code snippets (you are using snippets right?) Remember, people used to do this without the support of all the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. These legends got people into space after all (and broke down social barriers in the process).

Lastly, get involved. Getting a job in tech might seem daunting, but everyone uses a little Google-fu.

The more you practice, the better you get.

If you'd like to test the Datamango team's ability to Google, get in touch.

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