It is possible to get the code snippets from Google and complete a complex program. I don't have any doubt in this. However I too agree that a novice can't do that. It requires some experience in programming.
For instance, if a task is given to read the records of employees from a file, sort the records based on the Employee salary field and store the sorted records into a different file. Let us assume I have to write it in some language say PERL which I don't know.
There are two approaches now in front of you.
In the first approach, One is learning the important language constructs which is PERL in our case(I am not asking one to be an expert. Just learn). It will take say 3-5 days and then implement the solution. Let us say implementing it will take another 2 days. So we have the solution in hand say in 7 working days.
The benefit of this approach is you have the solution at the same time you learnt some new language. The negative side is you have a solution in 7 days which is bit longer.
The second approach is, google it for the PERL code snippets. For example,
to achieve the task, 1) we want to know how to read the records from file, 2) how to parse each records with delimiter, 3) how to store it in an array, 4) how to sort an array, 5) how to write the records in the sorted array into a file. So once we get the code snippets for these subtasks from google all we can do is just assemble the code and run it.
All you require is some analytical skills.
The benefit with the second approach is that you have some solution for a given problem in 1 hour and you get a good appreciation from your Manager.
The negative is that you don't know the langauge. In other words, you don't feel like you accomplished some task. In other words, a mental satisfaction.
Thanks & Regards,