DEV Community

Discussion on: When is learning what to Google good enough?

healeycodes profile image
Andrew Healey • Edited on

In a previous job, there was a regex wizard. Things were good. He was wise. We could go to him, present him with a problem, and he would write a solution on some yarn (Slack).

A short while after he left, I found myself with a problem that regex could solve. I was left with Google. So I hacked. I copied and pasted and used the regex-helper websites as I ran around the china shop that is string parsing, smashing everything as I went.

I didn't know it at the time but when I searched and hacked a solution together, I was learning bits and bobs. Stray phrases of advice stuck me with. Occasionally and without knowing it I would find myself on a tech blog explaining the intricacies of search patterns.

Then one day someone who had seen some of my diffs approached me and requested a regex solution. Without knowing it I had become the wizard. An expert who knew almost nothing.

It would have been quicker just to learn the theory from the start! 😊

jacobherrington profile image
Jacob Herrington (he/him)

This is how I feel a huge amount of engineering seniority develops. It comes in small spurts and builds up over years, frequently we don't even realize how much we know.

kip13 profile image
kip • Edited on

Take the problem as an oportunity to learn, to explore and prove to yourself that isn't "magic" and you can be the "wizard" too...