Searches tips 💡

August 29, 2020

I want to find the answers I'm looking for ! 😥

You're a beginner dev and you're lost when you need to search something ? Don't know what to write or which website to click on ? Or you just need a cheatsheet which gathers tips and resources together ? Here we go !!
I've been struggling about how to do an efficient search, not finding what I want and spending time and energy on how to formulate my problem. But we can always improve ourselves ! Today I decided to share the advices I've been told and the good websites and references I found.

Improve your searching skills 💪

  • Before searching a solution, don't hesitate to try out things and most of all to use your browser inspector. This one is your best friend, especially when you embed your page's elements using HTML and CSS.
  • Try to find the right keyword(s) that describes the solution you're looking for or the problem you run into. For example, if your search is about a problem in JavaScript, you'll need to use the correct vocabulary, like "javascript convert sentence to value" should be "javascript convert string to integer/number".
  • Show your code ! You can't just say "My code isn't working, this div won't align with the other one", because nobody will be able to help you without further informations. It's important to describe your problem and to show your code at the same time.
  • Check the date on the results. Tech is fast, and some solutions from a few years ago are out-of-date.

Good references ⭐️

MDN my love

Of course, I can't talk about the ways to make a search without mentioning the good resources you'll find and how to use it. That's why I'll tell you more about MDN. This web documentation by Mozilla is a treasure to all developers. But nothing's perfect, right ? So I recommend to not type directly into the MDN website search field. The documentation is so abundant that you'll find different results for a same word. For example, if you're looking for the background CSS property page by typing "background" or even "background css", you'll get a LOT of different articles, and most of the time not the one you're looking for on top.
Instead of that, go directly on your search engine (Google or whatever) and type, to continue our example, "background css mdn". This will target instantly the article you're looking for. A simple trick to avoid too much scrolling.


If you search for a solution to your code problem using several keywords, you'll probably see the Stackoverflow Question section on top result. And that's nice because it's a good reference ! But don't forget to always check the date and to read the solution but also the question, to make sure the solution is valid.

Some useful URLs 📃

Now it's time to share some good resources.

Inspiring people to follow ✨

Go check them out on Twitter !

  • Wes Bos
  • Emma Bostian
  • Sara Vieira
  • Sarah Drasner
  • Grafikart

That's all folks ! 😉