6 min. read

My typing skills

One aspect of programming is typing - we type code, emails, documents, etc…
The mouse is widley used as a pointer to press and navigate through screen.
The keyboard is built for speed and it takes much less time to complete the tasks with shortcuts and agile typing.

This time I want to bring to attention how fast you type using the keyboard.
Few pointers:

Please do understand it doesn’t affect how good you are as a problem solver.

This does affect how fast you complete small tasks - Faster typing can accelerate your productivity.

Please do not take any of this as “Medical” advice for example how to align your hands.
If you are worried about your hand placement consult your Orthopedist.

There are 2 metrics we can gather to understand how fast you’re typing:

  1. WPM - Words per minute.
  2. Error margin - The amount of errors you make while typing (Thus need to delete and retype).

Slowpoke (20 WPM and less)

This typer types using only 2 fingers and usually can’t find the letters on the keyboard.
It usually happens because the person doesn’t remember the keyboard layout well enough.
So the first step is to work on memorizing the keyboard layout in your favorite language.

Grade B (20-50 WPM)

These writers achieved the skill of pressing the correct letter without looking (hooray).
However their hand movement isn’t well coordinated resulting in errors and generally slower typing.
Especially when it comes to difficult paragraphs which also include symbols and unknown words.

Grade A (50-80 WPM)

These are the regular kids and adults who use a keyboard in their daily lives.
They know where are the correct keys and will usually break their “WPM” Count even higher - But they have few lessons to practice:

Writing the keyboard with your eyes closed

Knowing absoultly where you are in typing will allow oneself to express his thoughts and intention clearly without even thinking about which key to press.

Alignment of hands

Do you know the feeling that your hand is off by 1 key and all of the sudden your ejolr yu[omg ;ppld ;olr yjod [whole typing looks like this].
Well it’s time to train your alignment and readjust the position of your hands.

Known tasks for each finger

I remember having this behavior where few fingers “Raced’ to press the same key and I found myself pressing the same key, usually ‘T’ or ‘6’ or ‘7’ with the right index finger or the left index finger.
This suggests 2 things:

  1. You need to work on your alignment - maybe your right hand moved into the left zone.
  2. You need to properly train and re-adjust your fingers memory - which finger presses in which zone.

Using the auxiliary buttons - Control, Shift, Alt, Tab…

I remember using the CAPS LOCK to write uppercase letters - this became a bad habit which made me type slower.
Once I readjusted and began to use the SHIFT button to write uppercase letters I’ve seen my WPM grow rapidly.
This also affect how fast you type special symbols Which are more effective for faster programming.
Because in programming we use symbols ALL THE TIME!

Proper equipment

Writing on an uncomfortable keyboard is a pain and will directly slow you down.
If you feel like your keyboard is slowing you - time to invest in a better equipment!

Octopus (80 - 130 WPM)

These typers are already familiar with the keyboard, can write in their sleep and don’t even need their eyes on the keyboard.
Most of the time they don’t even feel they have a keyboard because it’s so deep-rooted into their brain it’s like the brain thinks and the letters are typed into the screen.

This kind of writing all programmers need to strive for - being agile with the fingers will help you focus more on thinking on your problem rather than focusing on the keyboard.

Type racers (130+ WPM)

From 130 WPM and above all it takes is to correct mistakes - this won’t be affected only by remembring which keys are where - but also to learn the dictionary - how to correctly write the words so mistakes won’t happen.

This is also affected by how you actually measure your WPM, and there are usually different kinds of tests:

  • Simple words - Words that grow in their length, 3 letters, 4 letters, 5, 6, etc…
  • Paragraphs - Text that also includes symbols - colons, dots, quotes, etc…
  • Hardcore texts - This includes symbols, Unpopular words that nobody has learned how to write them and various shifting such as spaces, tabs, quotes , etc…

If you want to prove your ability and get a higher WPM you can start by smoking out your results with the Simple Words tests.

Simple words test

This one is a good start:


If you want to practice writing difficult texts and paragraphs I recommend you this one:

You can also:

  • Practice on your own
  • Compete against others
  • Compete against your friends!


I want to conclude this article by saying - The Typing skill is overlooked by many developers and I don’t think many people focus on their ability directly by practicing typing but they get better at it with time.
Even if you are an octopus or Grade A writer I recommend some practice before jumping into writing -
It warms up your fingers and make you less prone to mistakes during writing.

Happy typing :)

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