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How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking ?

  1. Jul 5, 2009 #1
    How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking @ the keyboard?

    Im a newbie to programming world and now doing a B.Sc in Computer science and Engineering .And also im currently self studying for SCJP examination . The only thing i want to know is how important that a programmer should type his programme without looking a@ the keyboard . because still i have been unsuccessful in doing so . I know that i may be able to improve it through practice.but i want to know How important that is . expecting answers from people who are currently working in It industry as Software Engineers .
     
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  3. Jul 5, 2009 #2

    D H

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    What is important is what you type, not how you do it. You do not need to take a crash course in touch typing. Based on the quality of the original post, you do need to take some courses that improve your writing skills. Even software engineers need reasonably good writing skills.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2009 #3
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    I read a report based on a survey of many projects over many years which found that on average a programmer is expected to contribute a net amount of 10 bugfree lines of code per day.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2009 #4
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    The key word there is "bugfree" :-)

    Touch typing can definitely help... but the main thing is being able to type quickly. I've known some amazingly fast two-fingered "hunt and peck" typists who have done just fine as software engineers.

    After all, no one penalizes you if you look at the keyboard...
     
  6. Jul 5, 2009 #5
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    thanks all for your kind replies !!!!! And i just want to know that will it hurt my professionalism if i keep on typing by looking at the keyboard .Are there any Good senior software engineers who still doing the same ???? Yr , of course "bug free" is the main thing.
    And im good on that and speed is also good when im typing with my two fingers.but i can type about 15WPM when im trying to do that without looking at the keyboard . (it becomes too slow).And also it really disturbs my mind which should be concentrating on the programme .

    Tell me is it worth for learning touch typing ???Do u know good professional bodies in the industry who are still doing the same as me ???????? because im expecting a long carrier in IT industry and i know i have the ability to do that .And i know if i dont keep on practicing touch typing it wont come automatically .So your kind support is expected.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2009 #6

    symbolipoint

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Learn to type, either through self-directed study using a good instructional book, or through attending formally a typing class. This will make you more fluent with typing for communication and also typing for writing computer code for a software program. You may then still sometimes LOOK AT THE KEYBOARD - this will do no harm. You would not need to look at the keyboard as often after learning to type.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2009 #7
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Yes but i just want to know is that is it important me to follow the conventional way of typing where you need to use all your fingers and the concept of Home keys .But i find it very easy to type using only my index fingers where it seems bit unprofessional .So what are your suggestions ?? should i practice hard for good 2 or 3 months and become good on touch typing or continue in my style where i feel so comfortable my self .
     
  9. Jul 6, 2009 #8

    D H

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    I am going to be very blunt. Forget about learning how to type. As Civilized noted, a programmer is expected to produce a paltry 10 bugfree lines of code per day. You could type this amount of code with your nose.

    What you need to do is to learn how to write. The writing skills that you have demonstrated in this thread and in several threads are of incredibly poor quality.

    You need to take at least two writing courses. I suggest you take a non-technical writing course that will require you to learn the mechanics of argumentation and a technical writing course that will teach you how to write technically.
     
  10. Jul 6, 2009 #9
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    The important thing is *what* you type, not *how* you type.

    But seriously, you need to work on the *what* a bit... it's OK to "hunt and peck" if what you type is accurate and legible.
     
  11. Jul 7, 2009 #10
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Surely it's only secretaries who need to touch type. How much code are you going to be knocking out in a 8 hour day? 5000 lines?...
     
  12. Jul 7, 2009 #11
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    With modern IDE's you don't even need to look. Of course you'll get lots of compile time errors which you can correct thereafter. Seriously, you don't need to type fast. You only need to be accurate with what your code does. You'll definitely get the hang of if after a while. Imagine having to type reserved words like SELECT, if, begin, etc. thousands of times a year!
     
  13. Jul 7, 2009 #12
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    To offer a slightly different perspective.

    I've been coding professionally for 12+ years, and I'd say learning to touch type is critical. Why? Ergonomics. You're using your hands 8/9+ hours daily, and if you have bad typing technique, you can end up injuring yourself.
     
  14. Jul 7, 2009 #13

    turbo

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Good point. Also, if you learn how to touch-type properly, you end up with "muscle memory" such that your fingers just zip through commonly-used words. This can be a real help.
     
  15. Jul 7, 2009 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Certainly typing is a help, but it is not essential.

    I've been programming for 20 years and haven't thrown a tendon once. And I still need to see the keyboard to type.

    What will make you a good programmer is your problem-solving skills and your mental-organization.
     
  16. Jul 9, 2009 #15
    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Do they still draw flowcharts? That's what we did at computer studies at school. I used to have one of those plastic flowchart templates, this was back in the 80's when we used to use the BBC micro and program in Basic. I got a grade 1 C.S.E.!!
     
  17. Jul 9, 2009 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    Yea and no.

    1] They use software flowcharting these days.

    2] Flowcharting was critical in the days of process-oriented programming, when control was passed down through a program line-to-line. Today, this has largely been replaced with object-oriented programming, which is a very different model. Flowcharting is more a matter of defining objects, their relationships and how they talk to each other.
     
  18. Jul 9, 2009 #17

    Bill_B

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    For what it's worth, I work in the industry (programming, as well as some system admin), and while I don't touch-type per se, I do have enough muscle memory to get me about 50 words (error corrected) per minute. So, I'm not a touch typist by the strict definition (I do look at the keyboard sometimes, and I don't use the "home position"), but I don't "hunt and peck" either.

    While I agree with the other posters who say that typing skill doesn't make you a good programmer, I think that if you're already a good programmer (problem solving, etc.), typing skill can make you better (i.e., more efficient).

    You may want to read this - http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/09/programmings-dirtiest-little-secret.html" [Broken]. I don't agree with everything that he says, but he did get me thinking about whether or not I should push for more typing skill.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Jul 10, 2009 #18

    turbo

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    Re: How important that a software engineer should type his programme without looking

    When I was self-employed writing custom applications for businesses in the area, I often found myself typing for 12-15 hours a day, writing code, commenting the code, and documenting it for the end-user. Luckily, I had learned touch-typing in HS, and had learned the importance of posture, keyboard position, etc. Back then, the typewriters were manual, and repetitive-stress injuries were more likely due to the force involved in depressing the keys. Computer keyboards are more forgiving, but I find that if I let my posture slip and don't arch my fingers comfortably with my forearms about level, my speed goes way down, and errors go up. Not too bad when typing notes and emails, since humans can parse spelling errors, punctuation, etc, but computers aren't that fault-tolerant, and it can be a bear to track down errors in your code.

    Edit: Perhaps the best computer keyboards ever (for comfort and tactile feedback) were made in the mid-80's by IBM.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
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