Back End

Bet you that someone have told you "Google it" when in doubt about a library method, an error message in command line or bug when you are developing software. I'm pretty sure that you probably found the solution after quite a few clicks and that this solution was definitely on StackOverflow. This seems to be a common task of Software Engineers and even more of apprentices like me.

You found yourself spending a significant amount of time looking for the Angular filter you need to get the desired data, not to say fit that HTML element in the right place using CSS or find alternatives methods that you used once and now are no longer supported by your Node/Rails/React application.

Since I am just starting in developing software I do spent quite a few time doing this task, so I needed a way to find the right answers ASAP to be able to improve my development workflow and for a long time I thought that Googling my questions was in fact the fastest way of doing so.

Fortunately a beautiful morning (so to say) I discovered DuckDuckGo and everything changed.

DuckDuckGo is a powerful search engine focused on privacy, they don't store your personal information or track you for advertising purposes which is specially useful when you do not want Google to know that time when you searched for a very strange "Despacito" remix or also when you do not want to be overwhelmed with ads about cooking recipes just because your mom asks you once to find her something interesting to eat.

An amazing privacy first tool, but I thought that we were talking about software development workflow improvement?

Quite true! But since DuckDuckGo do not use advertising (with your personal information) for funding I feel like it is our responsibility as users to spread the word and let others know about this amazing tool.

But enough marketing for a moment. Let's get to the point: I used DuckDuckGo because when writing specific (and sometimes not so specific) questions like how to create a post request in express I get the answer right immediately on DuckDuckGo's results' page. Like this:

DuckDuckGo search result

When I Google the same question this is what I get:
Google search result

Both answers are from StackOverflow, in fact it is the same question their pointing to, but there's a huge difference between how they are displayed, in Google you have to click the link and it will redirect you to StackOverflow site you have to wait the site to load and then scroll to the question while in DuckDuckGo you just have to read the answer there and if necessary copy and paste the code without clicking on any link.

So I read all this post just for saving me a click and a scroll?

Yes! You did it. It might seem stupid if you look at it barely but if you think about the time you spent waiting for the entire StackOverflow page to load and scrolling to the answer which might be from 4-5 seconds depending on your internet connection and then you multiply that for the number of times you Google some question about software development, then it probably doesn't seem that bad.

Also, sometimes you need to know more about the StackOverflow answer that is being provided so you have to click the link to go to the question like you always do in Google, well when you click in the DuckDuckGo result it automatically takes you to the accepted answer without need to scroll. Do you rememeber at the begining of this article that I told you that your "... solution was definitely on StackOverflow" well, DuckDuckGo prioritizes StackOverflow solutions for you.

Like this features that I just describe you, there are many others that fits quite well in your development workflow, but it is hard for me to explain all of the here so... Give it a try! You may find even more when using it for a few time, remember that if you see them individually they may seem not productive enough, but when you start putting them together they begin to represent a serious option for improving your workflow time specially when you do questions as much as I do.

Do you know any other feature? Share it in the comments!

So lets start DuckDucking it!

Guest Blogger

Special thanks to our guest blogger Jaime LR, a Software Engineer for his contribution to the Ronald James Blog this week.

Visit the original link for this blog here.


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