I’ve replaced Google with ChatGPT (for programming, at least).
Google no longer cuts it when it comes to getting precise answers to extremely niche, nuanced, technical questions.
As a software engineer, if you’ve used Google long enough, you can likely find answers to most “advanced” programming questions, but you sometimes get to a point where your questions had never been asked before (or they were, but they never bothered posting a solution).
That’s where ChatGPT blows it out of the water.
Sure, I could read the reference or the code, but I can also write a prompt, wait 10 seconds, and get my results right most of the time.
That doesn’t mean I don’t validate the answer. That’s not my point.
I’m not copy-pasting ChatGPT code, I’m just asking for directions.
Exactly the same I did with Google.
That’s not to say I stopped using Google completely. When looking up a website or a restaurant, Google is still the tool of choice, for now.
Even for programming, keyword-based search is still good enough if both: the question is simple, and the answer well-known.
But if any of those two are not true, ChatGPT is the way.
And let’s be real, Google was already getting worse before ChatGPT. I used to be very proud of my Googling skills, but a few years ago, they did something, and it’s never been as good since.
Also, ChatGPT has no ads, no SEO cheaters and no clickbait articles.
Granted, I’m paying $20/month for it, whereas Google is paid by ads, but I still wouldn’t pay a cent for ad-less Google, as it is today.
It’s not the ads, it’s the results.
If your question is simple, so is the answer. If it’s deeply nuanced, the answer is extremely detailed. Google can’t do that!
And when your first prompt’s answer is wrong, it’s very easy to correct course and get it to where you want to go. Whereas with Google, if a given topic has been hijacked by some SEO clown, it’s over.
If you’re a software engineer and you’re not using ChatGPT when programming, I strongly suggest you do. It makes that much of a difference. Really.
GPT-4 is definitely better, but I’m still hesitant to say it’s worth the $20 for everyone. It surely is for me. Give it a try and decide yourself.
I don’t like to speculate in public, but we all know what happened to software engineers who couldn’t Google information back in the day. We might as well add it to the toolbox, at the very least.