I’ve been using this term for quite a while now and most developers can relate. The internet is an amazing thing. I don’t know where I would be without it. Google, specifically Stack Overflow via Google, is the quickest way to answering any question, and technical questions are no exception. Your code to Google ratio, or C:G, is the time you spend writing code vs. the time you spend on Google looking for the answer to your technical question. I don’t know what a good C:G ratio is but I know that when learning a new language/framework you can expect to be below 1 for a while.
Of course, searching for answers to even simple questions isn’t a terrible thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched for things like “php substring” or “php search array“. There are simple things that you just don’t need to remember to be efficient. When I’m interviewing developers I’d much rather they use Google to see what a function is doing than struggle on their own trying to figure it out. Things like that don’t have a huge impact on your C:G. Architecture and design questions are the things that can quickly lower your ratio. Searching for “how to test patch requests with rspec“, now that’s going to start affecting your C:G – believe me, I know first hand.
Find your C:G: Take the hours you spent writing code/testing/etc. divided by the time you spent searching for answers somewhere. The results can be telling, especially when you’re working with multiple technologies at the same time.