Learn to Type – Day 3

Wow, my 5-minute baseline test this morning was much better than the previous two days: 91 words per minute, hands covered. I got to the end of the story of the Foolish Frogs, and had to start again at the beginning!

Corey has encouraged us to set a goal for the end of the week. I will make it my goal to get to 100wpm on the 5-minute test. I feel that this should easily be possible by going at the speed that i am currently doing, but removing all the mistakes. This morning i managed the first minute without a single mistake, but the mistakes started to creep in after that. On my typeracer games i have noticed that a mistake costs a significant amount of time. It’s more effective to go a bit slower and think more, rather than rush ahead and make a mistake.

In my practice time I am continuing to learn to touch type numbers and symbols. I’ve found it very satisfying, just a single run through a lesson on PowerTyping.com is enough to set it into my head where a few more symbol characters are. The real test comes when i’m programming: can i find the parentheses when i need them? Curly braces? Where is that hash key? Do i need the shift key or the alt key, and can i find it without looking?

I didn’t do many rounds of typeracer yesterday, so i want to do a few more today. My fastest yet has been 109wpm but i’d like to push that up to 120wpm. Two words a second, consistently … that would be so awesome!

There have been some interesting conversations just lately about whether or not you have to touch type to be an effective programmer. Of course, you don’t, and i think we would be unwise to apply the sort of value judgements that imply any sort of eliteness or inferiority between those who touch type and those who don’t. The key word here is effectiveness. I recognise that many people are able to program very effectively without touch typing.

However, i believe there is always opportunity to get better at what we do. The questions to ask yourself are whether you feel you could be more effective at typing, and do you want to learn? With the tools we currently have, i believe the keyboard is the best interface between our brain and the computer, so it makes sense to use it to the best of our ability.

Oh my gosh, Frances has just made the most amazing double espresso EVER!! <3