How to type better and work more efficiently as a (front-end) developer?

Hi! I have maybe a strange question: I am working as a front-enddeveloper and learning at Codecademy. Because I was not good at typing, I started a typingcouse at Typingclub. I can’t use my right arm ( I have Cerebral Palsy) , so I am taking the lefthand typingcourse. All went well at first, but it’s pretty boring just typing the whole time, so I switch things up between Codecademy and Typingclub. Now I am learning to type for a few months.

I have already reached 39 words per minute, but the last few days I am around 31 words per minute and I make more mistakes. I find it boring and frustrating. And then I haven’t learned the symbols yet.

Do you have tips to learn to type better, stay motivated and to work more efficiently as a (front-end) developer?

You’ll find a few responses if you search around but at the end of the day fast typing isn’t a particularly important skill for most devs. Chances are you’ll spend significantly more time reading, thinking and planning and all that’s when you’re not sitting in meetings.

Tried to cover a few useful points below and ended up writing a short novel, sorry :laughing:. Hopefully at least part of it is helpful.

If you do want to practice typing…

Basic touch-typing e.g. type without looking at the keyboard can be a useful skill but pushing an extra few words per minute probably won’t change your workflow at all. If you definitely want to stick with it then perhaps mix up the practice you’re doing. For example there are other online typing services that try to make the learning process more fun (e.g. type racer makes it into a competitive game) and various similar options also exist. If you’re a gamer then there are also various games that emphasise typing as their main input method too from fast-paced side scrollers to artsy things like Epistory. I’m not sure they could fully replace typing practice but it could definitely mix things up a bit.

Keyboards…

There’s a fair chance you’ve looked into it before but if not perhaps see if there are any devoted single-hand keyboard designs that might make certain key-presses or combinations easier, the re-programmable ones can be nice too if you’re into customisation.

Specialised code edtiors…

On the development side again a good code editor or IDE is worth it’s weight in gold and well worth customising to your preference. There are many options for saving excess typing e.g. starting from templates, using auto-complete for brackets, variables, HTML tags and much much more to enhance productivity in general. Have a look for a popular code editor and try a few out.

Editors like vim and emacs are designed to minimise if not eliminate mouse usage instead relying keybinds for text manipulation which takes practice but has the potential to be quicker. If you don’t like the terminal based editors themselves most code editors now have options to use some or all of their (emacs/vim) keybindings in addition to their own :heart_eyes:. Either way keyboard shortcuts are great and many editors will let you define your own.

Motivation…

If learning to type is denting your motivation to actually front-end skills then maybe get back to the real stuff for now. I think projects even short projects are great for reminding yourself why you’re learning in the first place. They don’t have to be perfect but if you can find a project that interests you then it’s much easier to get fully involved with. Even if you get stuck then you have a reason to go back to the basic lessons again. Find a project you want to do and make a start. I find the whole I did this feeling really good for motivation and getting stuck actually gives me the motivation to recap the basics.

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