Elizabeth writes about the need for typing speed while pairing, providing some good hints. I'd add:
  • If you practice on IM or MUDs, type properly. "do u no hwen the doors oprn tonight?" is doing little for your typing skill, even if you type it quickly without looking down.
  • Use different keyboards. Work on an ergonomic keyboard. Work on a klunky old IBM keyboard. Work on a Mac. Work on a PC. Work on a laptop. Work on a desktop. You'll have to sooner or later, so you might as well get comfortable in every context you can.
  • If you write Python, Ruby, or any other smushy soft comfy language, consider Dvorak. Two weeks of home row happiness and right-hand pinkie underscores, and you'll love me forever. *
  • My brother always recommends 3D Pong for mouse coordination.
  • As handy as mice are, keyboard shortcuts are handier. Pairing with Eric Liu will make you a believer.
The tightpinkproduct will not have labels on keys.

* If most of the code you produce contains squiggles and half-wink-smilies, stick with QWERTY. (Or learn QWERTY if you're already one of the few C-style Dvorakists.) Carpel Tunnel loves a caffeinated Dvorak.


jason said...

The problem with Dvorak is that [(control x)] and [(control c)] become two-handed key sequences, rendering emacs a clumsy, labour-intensive nightmare. I can only guess what happens to the motion keys in vi.

Steven Deobald said...

True. Though for CTRL-[X|C|V] these are easily remapped in most editors. vi and emacs probably take much more patience (or relearning).