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The International Writers Magazine: Searching Tips

Google Search Tips
• Antonio Martel
In these years working as an IT professional a tool has helped me to meet the deadlines and deliver tasks in time as no any other tool could have done. It was not one of those code generation tools, any magic IDE or a Rapid Development Application platform. It was Google and its Google Search Engine.

Whenever I faced a weird behaviour in compiled code, did not know why that new library was messing around or ever I wondered how was the right syntax for that tricky sentence, I just typed a couple of words in that tiny Google search box. Answer and full explanation was a few clicks away.
I have seen colleagues losing their nerve for hours trying to sort a problem out when a simple search at Google would have worked as a spell. You only need a few tips for a better search. Let me show you a couple of them:

I didn’t mean that
From time to time Google keep bugging us offering results that have nothing to do with what we have been looking for. As an example, if we search for Scrum, that project management framework, we could get lots of rugby related pages as an outcome. Just type a minus sign before the word you want to exclude and all those pages will not distract you from your goal anymore.
scrum  -rugby

If you get a stack trace containing something like this:

11:49:53,796 ERROR [STDERR] at :1029)

You may want to search for:

ERROR [STDERR] at * .java : * )
This will allow you to query for any error like this no matter which java file or line number it was.

Full sentence search

Using double quotes you will search for full sentences in the exact order your write them. Not using them will provide you with pages containing each one of the typed words anywhere in document.

In case you were looking for XML datasources for your Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus you could get closer results using:

obiee “import XML datasources”

rather than

obiee import xml datasources

Site searching

Wondering how to get results from a specific web site and not from the whole Internet?
This is how:

pmp certification

Extra tips: Scientific calculation

Need to calculate a complex formula and you only have at hand your old school calculator?
Try these examples at the Google search box:
  • 456 * ( 1 + 0,20) to calculate the VAT of your brand new computer.

  • 4 * PI * (3^2) for a sphere surface calculation (radius = 3)

  • y = x^2 to draw this function (in this case a parabola)
No success?

Have you found what you were looking for? Do you think it is not out there? That bug in that popular tool has not happened to anybody else on Earth? Chances are you should refine your search. Try once more using different words or one of these tips (Kaizen I would call it). A way out could be just around the corner.

 © Antonio Martel, March 2012
Checkout Antonio profile at

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