7 Places to Find the Code You Need

Josh Catone
Josh Catone

A recent thread on SitePoint’s forums discussed how best to learn from other people’s code. For many people learning by example is the optimal way to pick up a new programming language, idea, or technique. But finding that ideal piece of code to look at and learn from isn’t always easy. That’s where code search engines and snippet libraries come into play. The seven listed below are the top places we could find that will help you locate the piece of code you’ve been looking for. But as always, if we’re missed any, please let us know in the comments below. Popular open source code repository and version control web service GitHub launched a new Code Search feature today. Even though it’s the new kid on the block, GitHub has become super popular in a very short space of time and hosts a ton of public repositories. In a blog post, GitHub’s Scott Chacon classifies the amount of code searched as “a lot.” Krugle claims to search over 2.5 billion lines of open source code, making them one of the largest source code search engines on the web. They claim to reach over a third of all developers world wide, and their enterprise search product powers code search for Amazon Web Services, IBM developerWorks, Collab.net, SourceForge.net, and Yahoo! Developer Network. Koders, which claims to search over a billion lines of code, seems to be a favorite among Ruby programmers. In a press release announcing the company’s acquisition by Black Duck Software last month, the site revealed the Ruby searches were up 20-fold over the past four years and have passed PHP, Perl, and Python. Ruby is now the fourth most searched for language on the site behind only Java, C/C+ and C#. Codase is the little guy on the block, weighing in at just 250 million lines of code searched, according to the site. That might be because development on the search engines appears to have stalled a couple of years ago. Codase focuses mainly on Linux C/C++ open source projects and appears out of date, so unless that’s what you’re looking for, there are better options out there. With over 13,000 users contributing to over 5,000 code snippets, the DZone Snippets library is a great place to find good code examples. It’s certainly not the easiest site to browse, but there is some gold hidden for those who look. Exercise patience and you may find exactly what you need at DZone’s site. Snipplr is a nicely designed code snippet library that has less users than DZone (just under 10,000), but more code snippets to crawl through — almost 8,000. And it seems to be gaining steam — more than half of the site’s snippets were added in the past year, even though the site is over 2 years old. Oh, and they have handy plugins for Textmate, Gedit, and WordPress, and bookmarklets for Firefox and Safari. Very nicely executed. Last, but certainly not least, is Google Code Search, the grand daddy of all code search engines. While the people at Krugle and Koders may argue the point, and Google doesn’t say how many lines of code they’re searching, when you’re talking search, Google is always the team to beat. Their code search engine searches a ton of public source code repositories — including GitHub, Sourceforge, and their own Google Code site. And Google supports a ton of languages. BONUS: O’Reilly Code Search: Book publisher O’Reilly lets you search over 123,000 examples covering over 2.6 million lines of code taken from their books. Almost 700 of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Finding the Code You Need

What are the best websites to find professional sample code?

There are several websites where you can find professional sample code. Some of the top ones include GitHub, Stack Overflow, CodePen, and SourceForge. These platforms have a vast collection of code snippets and projects shared by developers worldwide. You can search for the code you need based on the programming language or the functionality you’re looking for.

How can I use Google’s code search to find the code I need?

Google’s code search is a powerful tool for developers. It allows you to search public source code. You can use regular expressions to find specific code snippets, and the tool also supports exact matching. To use it, simply enter your search query in the search bar and hit enter. The results will show you the code snippets that match your query.

Are there any websites where I can find free pre-written code snippets?

Yes, there are several websites where you can find free pre-written code snippets. Some of the popular ones include CodePen, GitHub, and Stack Overflow. These platforms have a large community of developers who share their code snippets and projects, which you can use for free. However, it’s important to understand the code you’re using and to give credit to the original author when necessary.

How can I find the code I need on SitePoint?

SitePoint is a great resource for developers. It has a vast library of articles, tutorials, and code snippets. To find the code you need, you can use the search bar at the top of the page. Simply enter your query and hit enter. The results will show you articles and tutorials that contain the code you’re looking for.

What is FindACode and how can I use it to find the code I need?

FindACode is a website that provides information about medical codes. It’s not a resource for finding programming code. If you’re looking for medical coding information, you can use the search bar on the FindACode website to find the codes you need.

How can I ensure the code I find online is safe to use?

It’s important to only use code from reputable sources. Websites like GitHub, Stack Overflow, and CodePen have a community of developers who review and comment on the code, which can help ensure its safety. Additionally, you should always review and understand the code before using it in your projects.

Can I use the code I find online in my commercial projects?

It depends on the license of the code. Some code snippets are released under licenses that allow for commercial use, while others are not. Always check the license before using the code in your projects. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask the original author or a legal professional.

How can I contribute my own code to these platforms?

Most of these platforms allow users to contribute their own code. For example, on GitHub, you can create a repository and upload your code. On Stack Overflow, you can answer questions and share your code snippets. Contributing your code not only helps others but also allows you to showcase your skills to potential employers.

Can I find code for any programming language on these platforms?

Yes, these platforms support a wide range of programming languages. Whether you’re looking for code in Python, JavaScript, C++, or any other language, you’re likely to find it on these platforms.

How can I improve my coding skills using these platforms?

These platforms are not just for finding code; they’re also great for learning and improving your coding skills. You can read the code shared by others to understand different coding techniques and best practices. You can also participate in discussions, ask questions, and get feedback on your code.