I have become an accomplished typist

Over the years, many hours in front of a computer have afforded me the gift of keyboarding skills. I’ve put in the Gladwellian ten thousand hours of work and it’s really paid off. I type fairly quickly, somewhat precisely, and often loudly.

Pursuant to this great talent, I’ve optimized my computer to have everything at-hand when I’m typing. I don’t religiously avoid the mouse. I do seek more ways to use the keyboard to get stuff done quickly and with ease. Thanks to tools like Alfred and Hammerspoon, I’ve acheived that.

With the greatest apologies to Bruce Springsteen:

Well I got this keyboard and I learned how to make it talk

Like every good documentary on accomplished performers, there’s a dark side to this keyboard computering talent I posess. There are downsides to my keyboard-centric lifestyle:

  • I sometimes find it difficult to step back and think. Rather than take my hands off the keyboard, I could more easily switch to some other app. I feel like this means I'm still making progress, in the moment, but really I'm distracting myself.
  • Even when I don't need to step back and think, it's easy for me to switch over to another app and distract myself with social media, team chat, etc.
  • Being really, really good at keyboarding is almost contrary to Bret Victor's notion of using computers as tools for thinking rather than self-contained all-doing virtual workspaces.
  • Thus I often find I need to push the keyboard away from me, roll my chair back, and think, read, or write to do the deep thinking.

All that said, when I am in the zone, my fingers dance over this keyboard, I think with my fingers, and it’s great.

Adam Keys @therealadam