Early in my career, I stumbled upon this regular expressions cheat sheet by Dave Child in one of those “10 cheat sheets every developer should have”-type round-up articles.
I had been using regular expressions for several years before I first noticed that other developers were struggling. Patterns that seemed natural to me were complex ciphers to my peers, and an audible groan would echo through the office whenever a solution that leveraged regular expressions was proposed.
Here’s the rub: regular expressions don’t have to be that hard. They certainly require a bit of getting used to and some practice, but regex patterns are tremendously useful when validating data, searching files, or even filtering tweets.