As a programmer I spend a lot of time on a keyboard, but I never learned to type properly (by touch) so it is always a fumbling mess of three finger pecking which is done fast enough that to the average observer it looks almost coherent.
Well, a few weeks ago I decided that was going to change and that starting immediately I would begin to learn how to type properly.
For a programmer typing is much more complex because we need to use much more keys than just the ones you would use for the english language. We need to use all the numbers and symbols along with the characters.
So once I started looking around for something to help me learn and track my progress it became immediately apparent that there are very few typing tools for programmers, in fact I could only find one of them, http://typing.io.
With typing.io you can choose the language to use (I chose Ruby) and it will pull down some code from a popular library for that language.
The first thing I did was a single lesson using my old typing style to establish a baseline, which was a disappointing 40wpm. Following that I did my best using the onscreen keyboard and finger placement helpers to do it the right way, which yielded roughly 7wpm. A good start but a long way to go.
I did a few practice rounds each day and it only took a few weeks before passing my baseline. After putting in a total of 4 hours practice over about three weeks this is what my progress looked like:
My accuracy had also improved quite a bit which resulted in much fewer unproductive keystrokes.
On a whole this has been an immensely liberating experience which I encourage everyone who can’t touch type to do, especially programmers.
Typing.io is $10 per month to get all the features, but it is really worth the money, absolutely no regrets.