I remember when I first started learning to code in June 2012 with Codecademy I could not print the numbers 0 to 10. It was completely incomprehensible, the idea of using a loop to obtain and display numbers. I had no idea what a loop was, much less how to code one.
Furthermore I had the great fear that programming requires memorizing every single brace, comma, and semi-colon. I had even wasted time trying to memorize how to print numbers by writing out the code by hand, then attempting to read, recall, and rewrite the exact syntax many times.
I felt bad about having to Google every single time how to print the numbers 0 to 10. I felt like I was learning too slowly, that I should have retained the information already.
But a funny thing eventually happened. After using Google like 50 times, 100 times, I don’t remember the number, after having to Google the same information and explanations for a few weeks, I realized that my fingertips remembered how to print the numbers 0 to 10. Then later I realized that I could say how to print the numbers, then later still I realized that I intuitively understood how the loop works to print numbers.
I had learned by repetition and by using the information. The understanding came from my subconscious spotting the patterns after so many Google searches and explanations.
Furthermore, the Google searches often pointed me towards documentation, blogs, articles, Stack Overflow posts, YouTube videos, tutorials, etc. that deepened my ability to understand and apply concepts.
The take home message is I am going to keep using Google to learn and retain information, but also to introduce me to a deeper and wider range of concepts.
Here is a video that summarizes my experiences and thoughts: