Saturday, February 07, 2009


[from wikipedia]

Recently, I read too many good articles on this topic and I thought I should write on it too due to its importance. :D

The keyboard is the most used input interface with the computer (even more than the mouse). So typing speed does matter.

Touch typing is typing without the sight of the keys. Above is the layout of the zones for each finger (QWERTY). Some people can correctly touch-type fast without sticking to these zones. They have invented their own typing technique and would not want to change zones now. However, if they do, it would certainly boost their speed in the long run.

I always recommend touch typing to others. And sticking to the zones.

There should be enough sites to learn touch-typing and speed testing. And there is Typing of the Dead :D. For programmers, 70 rpm (as per Steve Yegge) should be achievable.

Recently, I found that I was using the wrong fingers for two keys and I am trying hard to switch - and it is turning out to be hard. The more you are used to, the harder it is to correct. So correct early. Use both hands for combination keys (ex: Shift key for caps). I think Typing 101 is a really good investment.

A difference of keys throws me off and for that reason I always dread the keyboard design in laptops (not to mention the difference from vendor to vendor).

I read about ergonomic keyboards which increase typing to some extent (and reduce muscle strain). I might look into one. But I would need to carry it around then. :D

I read about Dvorak Simplified Keyboard and I think it would have been a great experience to have used it. I would have been able to compare my speeds on both layouts. However, the inability to use the Ctrl X, C, V keys is a con. Which leads me to speculate that Dvorak keyboard is more for typists than programmers.

Again to reiterate. We are typists first, programmers second.

[Hat tip to Jeff Atwood, Steve Yegge]

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