But where should you start looking? If your answer is “Google” then you should really keep reading, as we’re about to save you a lot of precious hours of scrolling through search results.
The Haystack Overflow
Trying to find the code snippet you need with Google, or even searching GitHub gists, shared GitLab snippets, and (of course) StackOverflow is literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Even if you have advanced Google-Fu skills, the snippets you will find in these vast haystacks of code will not necessarily come with proper commenting or documentation. In fact, it might not run at all and just cost more in terms of time and energy invested.
Our list includes curated libraries that started out as personal collections, ones meant as learning tools for new programmers, and smart searchable databases of code snippets in community maintained open source projects.
30 Second of Code is a fantastic project aimed at both new and seasoned developers. This library is based on a very simple concept: snippets you can understand in thirty seconds or less. Which makes sense because if it’s more complex it’s not really a snippet, is it?
With hundreds of useful snippets neatly organized by category and properly tagged, frequent updates and an engaged community, this library is a great resource to have. It even includes a special section for beginners and an archive of niche snippets.
Don’t let the name and URL fool you – this library of snippers offers quite a few useful ones. All curated by Chris Coyier, this list may not offer a large selection, but it’s probably one of the most visually pleasing websites linked in this post.
As the creators of a smart AI coding assistant, Codota’s library excels in both selection and intelligent search capabilities. With a vast database of thousands of lines of codes, finding the snippet you need is surprisingly easy.
Though it is not manually curated, this library makes up for it with a pleasant UI, IDE integration and the sheer volume of useful code snippets.
Aimed mostly at beginners, Code to go provides a limited number of very basic code snippets. However, it but brings added value to those looking to learn and not just copy and paste.
Another personal collection that had become a public library is Snippetlib. It holds a fairly extensive searchable collection of snippets in various programming languages and is curated by Jessie Frazelle.
Another library aimed at new devs is Useful Angle, with a frequently updated list of well documented and thoroughly explained code snippets. Built more like a blog than a proper library for code snippets, it’s nearly impossible to find anything useful without the Google angle.
Somewhat similar to Snipplr, Codepen offers a more polished UI, some brilliant copywriting (check out the topic descriptions), and quite a lot of code snippets to make your app work and look pretty. In addition to the library, Codepen features, among others, a radio show and job listings.
This collection of micro-frameworks and snippets is organized in one single page, which can take forever to scroll. Fortunately, the helpful search function on the top of the page can guide you toward the right file to download.
If you can’t find the code snippet you seek in any of these repositories, it’s time to default back to Google and hope someone somewhere was kind enough to write the snippet you need. Then, if your search is taking too long, you have no choice but to be the hero for others. Write it, test it, and be sure to share it on one or more of the repositories above to do the next dev to need it a huge time-saving favor.