Scott Hanselman posted recently about the idea that we as developers should exercise our knowledge, and that searching the internet may not be so bad (go read it it’s short, then come back). I find this to be interesting. There has been a number of research articles out there, specifically about how we (meaning humans) have subtly shifted over the years from having a cognitive style where we remember things to an approach where we remember where to look things up at.
Scott’s post is interesting because it displays the metacognition of all developers who share in the shame of not being able to remember exactly how to syntactically do what it is that they need to do. Or the embarrassment that we do not know the full language as well as we would like to. This it turns out is a symptom of being a developer as (IMHO) most developers are logical learners. The process of “googeling” for the answer is a form of Accommodation (in the spirit of Piaget) and the rush of embarrassment is the ego acknowledging that we have failed at our craft (in the Platonic sense). This is different in the case of someone who has been living in one language for the last 10 years and forgets how to create a simple block of code, they should be ashamed of themselves. Specifically those people who have gone for a coding interview and not been able to pass the basic developer interview questions (a,b,c,d (from a simple Binging.. ).
However If I may pose a point. Developers are people who create ways of doing things in ever changing environments, with ever changing requirements and limitations. Therefore we are always learning, therefore to not Bing or Google it (or figure it out for yourself) would be the only failure…
.. Do you feel yourself learning?