Google is trying out a new search service designed to make it easier for computer programmers to find bits of code online.

Google Code Search will make it easier for software developers to find programming code directly, without having to trawl through groups, forums, and discussions to find it.

The idea of releasing this specialised search engine came from Google engineers themselves, who use similar code searching tools internally when developing Google software.

The search engine is aimed at both professional programmers and students or IT enthusiasts who want to improve their coding and software development. “Most of the code is open source so you can reuse it. But I don’t think that’s the primary use – it’s more about how to learn about things and, when you’re building open-source packages, to make sure you’re doing it the right way”, said Tom Stocky, a Google product manager.

The search also allows programmers to look for specific coding terms, restrict the search to certain computer languages, or look for bits of code that fall under a specified licensing agreement.