ack is a convenient alternative to searching with grep. It feels faster and has the stuff you use most often, searching recursively as a default, for example. And leaving out .svn-folders. For example:
grep -Ri "my_function" . | grep -v \.svn
ack -i "my_function"
Of course, after you install it, you'd want to add
in your ~/.bash_aliases, to write even less.