Saturday, January 3, 2009

Teach Your Kids to Touch Type

As a computer programmer, I have a lot of tools. Compilers, debuggers, drawing tools, etc. But my primary tool is the keyboard. I spend upwards of eight hours each day in front of a keyboard. I continue to be amazed at other people who choose this profession, yet can't type to save their lives.

For the foreseeable future, everyone will be spending lots of time in front of the keyboard. So teach your kids to do it without hunting and pecking! I learned on my own and could type 20 WPM by the time I was 11 years old. In junior high school I learned to touch type and got up to 40 WPM. By high school I was typing at 75 WPM. I wonder how much time I've saved over the years by not pecking out all my time on the computer.


Andrew said...

Touch typing is amazingly overlooked as an important skill these days. I think I do 70-something WPM. It matters. It means I can communicate in text in actual English and can express my thoughts quickly.

My friends who haven't learned it don't enjoy the same ease of expression, and I encourage them to pick it up.

Anything you learn and practice you can do well.

Big Jay said...

Also... teach your kids the Dvorak keyboard. It's an easy menu change in microsoft word, or on a computer. And everyone who has learned it says it increases their typing speed by at least 50%. That would put me up in the 120 wpm range.

Mark said...

Actually, Dvorak is dead. It locks you in to a physical device that's non-standard, and my understanding is that the increase in speed actually can lead to RSI. Turns out the same design that prevented locking of the typing mechanism prevents RSI as well.