Alexander Beletsky's development blog

My profession is engineering

The Limit of Keystrokes

Some time ago I’ve posted an article called How to be better developer or 3 accounts rule where I shared my vision on importance of having some accounts if you care about professionalism and mastery. The basic idea there is you have to produce a lot, you have to write a lot. You have to write code, write blog posts and help people on forums.

If you have seen one of the latest Scott Hanselman’s Productivity Tips video, you probably heard nice metaphor about the “Limit of Keystrokes”. It sounds really funny, Scott saying - “everybody is having limited count of keystokes, if you reach you count - you dead”. That means, we have to think on each keystroke we do with much care.

And the most efficient usage of keystrokes is for learning. Reading is very important, but nowadays there are so many information that you just not able to consume everything. That’s why recently I’ve unsubscribed a lot of RSS channels in my Google Reader, I think I will filter the Twitter as well. Instead, I try to read as few things as possible. Not only read, but try them on practice. Just write some small code to try the idea, pattern, approach of framework. Turning the theory in practice is something that gives me much fun and satisfaction.

Yesterday, we were doing Coding Dojo with good friend of mine @skalinets on Agile Base Camp conference. Instead of going my default language (which is C# for now) I paired the PHP guy. We were doing String Calculator kata in PHP. It was so great! First of all, I amazed how much PHP improved since the last time I looked on it (about 10 years ago), second is that I used my keystrokes to learn something new.

Writing the code for fun and learning has a huge value. This is definitely good investment of the keystrokes.