Learning to Type

Apr 11, 2011

I’m a shitty typer, which is remarkable considering how much time I spend doing it. I think I learned how to type with my index and middle fingers when I was a little kid and got good enough at it that I never had a reason to improve. That is ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE.

I watched this awesome Vim for Rails Developers screencast over the weekend, and while it was full of useful Vim tips, the thing that stuck with me the most was the authors encouragement to learn to touch type. He set a bar of 80 words per minute as the speed at which your brain isn’t slowing down to match your fingers. I’m not sure how scientific that is, but it seems like nice round number and a reasonable goal.

I spent some time with Typeracer and a few other online tools and I’m pretty close, hitting something like 75 words per minute with regular consistency. I feel like I backtrack a whole lot, though, and I almost never use my pinky fingers. I looked around for some good touch typing software, but the only thing that looks any good is Mavis Beacon for $40. Probably worth it, but a little pricey for an impulse buy.