They always say ex-smokers are the worst people at badgering smokers. Fortunately, I’ve avoided that path.
However, one I am going to have a little rant about is typing. And yes, I’m a reformed two/four finger typist.
I’d been in the industry since the 70’s but only learned to type around 1990. I so wish someone had convinced me to do it earlier.
If you work in this industry and you can’t use a keyboard effectively, now’s the time to change that.
I used TypeQuick and loved it. I have no idea how good their current versions are/aren’t but back then, it worked a treat for me. It was a frustrating program in that no matter how good you got, it just kept timing your keystrokes and pushing you that little bit harder.
The biggest problem I see with learning to type was that the programs assume you can spend an hour a day for about two weeks doing it. But they also assume you aren’t going to do the wrong thing in the meantime. I knew there was no way I could stop typing while I learned to type so I started early one Sunday morning and did the whole course. By nightfall, I could barely move.
But the worst part was the next few weeks where I had work to do with tight deadlines, knew I could do it faster the “wrong” way and had to force myself to do it the “right” way. Once a few weeks had passed, I was back up to my “old” typing speed and then over time, just left the old speed for dead. The other big difference was the improvement in accuracy and complete concentration on the screen, never the keyboard. Now I don’t even know how I type. I just think words and they appear on the screen.
The funny part is how much faster I can type code than something like a letter. Somehow, all the keywords, etc. of a language get burned into your brain; you think them and your brain somehow associates some finger movements with them and they appear. I suppose it’s a bit like autopilot when you are driving to work.
So, anyway, my Easter message is that I hope you have a great Easter but if you haven’t learned to type yet and you’re serious about working in this industry, this could be the right moment for you 🙂
When I worked at a university, I suggested that was an ideal thing for students to learn to do in the first two weeks or so, when they haven’t learned enough of anything else to do any serious practical work yet.
The university staff seem to think somehow it’s “below” the organisation to have people learning to type. But then they spend the next 3 to 6 years trying to work out how to provide more computing labs, etc. for people pecking away at a keyboard 🙁