Why I try to improve my typing speed as a programmer?

Why I try to improve my typing speed as a programmer?

The general benefits of being able to type fast are:

  • save time which might seem trivial but over long stretch of time, this becomes significant
  • become more productive which then enables you to have time to do things you are more interested in doing
  • improve your focus as you don't need to constantly correct words
  • enable you to become more comfortable in communication
  • reduce the risk of getting carpal tunnel as you strain your nerves less

Why is this important as a programmer?

  • we usually type a lot whenever coding and working on user stories or tickers
  • sometimes especially when in the zone, typing fast enables us to put into codes our ideas

As software developers, we communicate a lot - usually through emails, user stories and chats.

We need to be precise especially when working remote in order to communicate effectively. If we're working in the same physical location, it's easy to just book an in-person one to one meeting or just turn around and talk to our colleague.

Even verbally communicating on a subject is not enough though. It should ideally be in written form - even as a summary - so that it's available for further references and can be tracked.

In this modern age, we therefore need to type a lot.

Autocomplete & Auto-correct

One thing I enjoy in Mac OS, is it has both autocomplete and auto-correct in most applications you work on. You can just type your sentences and most typos will be corrected as you move along. In case the words are long, you have a non intrusive menu to select them.

I find this helps me write much faster and more effectively. I've yet to find this outstanding feature on Windows or Linux - albeit, there is a degree of autocomplete in Microsoft Word and some Office 365 Apps.

This feature alone for me is worth using a Mac OS as a developer. I can only imagine how much more productive professional writers are with it.

Visual Studio

For the moment I am writing this blog post on a Windows laptop using Visual Studio Code. It's useful but does not have a text auto-correct feature - particularly in English.

What is Touch Typing and why I don't always use it?

Touch typing is typing without looking at the keyboard. Indeed, it helps in being efficient. I touch type almost of the time when writing text such as emails, blog post and on chat.

However, when programming, I tend to sometimes look below because often as I'm already thinking about the current problem in mind, my typing accuracy dramatically decreases.

How I improve my typing speed and accuracy?

There are websites such as TypeRacer that provides training and competition against other people, which makes it even more interesting. You can even race against your friends.

Last time I use TypeRacer, I finished first but my typing speed was way less I usually do as I am using my laptop keyboard.

Laptop keyboards are not bad, but pale into comparison with high quality dedicated keyboards.

Gaming Keyboards

Last but not the least, as developers, the use of snippets or live templates will drastically increase our typing speed, accuracy and overall productivity. You don't need to retype the same words especially if they contain symbols over and over again. Using snippets does it for you.