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Discussion on: Do you copy and paste code from Stack Overflow?

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Ben Halpern

I still find a big part of my workflow around utilities like combining and operating on data structures etc. in different languages, and other go-to commands I haven't memorized, I still search/find/copy/paste.

Basically, some of my knowledge is stored in Stack Overflow and I just remember how to access it. It's still better to actually know things so you don't have your workflow interrupted, but this is what it is for me.

BUT when I was newer in programming, I definitely copied and pasted from Stack Overflow a lot and really relied on it. The big one was jQuery. I really didn't understand how a lot of concepts in front-end web development and the jQuery library. It was a while before I was doing much more than copying a big chunk of code and changing things until it worked.

I can't picture myself doing that today, but this was my life a few years ago.

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Brett Stevenson

It feels like Jquery is still the big one for me whenever I'm able to go long enough without using it. I usually won't find myself directly copy-pasting code, but I'll definitely spend a lot of time on Stack Overflow.

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Ahmed Musallam • Edited on

I definitely share this exact experience. I often times code does not "just flow" out of my head. Even though I know, at a high level, what I need to do. I just need a memory boost. Other times I need something very specific and for various reasons, notably time and effort, I do not want to figure it out from scratch. So I turn to SO because sometimes modifying existing code snippet is a lot easier than writing it from scratch.

Now, this is specific to small code snippets I can ready and understand. Not hundreds of lines of code.