How Facebook uses code search

Facebook uses TBGS (“The Big Grep Search”, a.k.a. BigGrep) for code search. Since ~2013, it has been used daily by almost every Facebook employee who interacts with code.

In 2017, Facebook engineer Jeroen Vaelen gave a talk Searching through code at scale about how TBGS/BigGrep works and how devs use it. Here’s how Jeroen summarizes the use cases:

  1. Changing code
  2. Exploring code
  3. Refactoring code
  4. Understanding code
  5. Debugging code

Facebook code search use cases: changing code, exploring code, refactoring code, understanding code, debugging code

A Facebook engineer also tweeted about TBGS: