Hi folks. I work in tech, and everybody around me (including myself) has to type. A lot! All day long! Heck, you're in front of a computer all the time. There's a lot of typing. Maybe not old-school dictation-secretary typing, but still, it's a lot.


I have observed that we all have varying abilities in the realm of typing. I type about 90-100 wpm. A few people are faster. A lot of people are *really* slow. I find it odd, since you would think that sitting in front of a computer all day would lead to improved typing skills.


But maybing wpm doesn't matter. What do you guys think?

mjpeterson's picture

I work in an engineering environment and some of the staff, who do CAD are working on the computer all the time during their day.  However, much of the work is done with a mouse and a minimum of key strokes.  Many other programs have a similar biasis towards using the mouse as the primary interface.  In these cases, typing speed, beccome much less of an issue.  However, if in your role you are writing lots of email or any other text driven work, then typing speed because more important. 



mmann's picture

This reminds me of that dialogue between Judge Smalls and Ty Webb in Caddyshack,

Judge Smails: Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?

Ty Webb: By height

For some jobs it matters, for others it doesn't.  There's a simple way to tell if it matters for you and your peers... does everyone get their work done?

Most people spend way more time thinking than typing, so typing speed doesn't impact overall work capacity.


scm2423's picture

Does typing speed relate to their results?  Even if they are slow at typing are they able to produce good results?  I don't care if my developers are slow at typing, if they meet their deadlines and produce quality work, I am happy.  I have one developer who is first language is not English, her notes in meetings are not in English, I am good with that as long as the documentation is in English.  I'd worry more about the results they produce than how, or how fast.

mrstevegross's picture

In a way, I agree with all the respondants. Typing speed does NOT affect programmers' work.


However, it drives me nuts to see people type so slow, because it indicates that despite years (or decades!) in front of keyboard, they have not bothered to improve a skill that could obviously be improved. So it's more a question of character and self-improvement. Or maybe its the Dunning Kruger effect?

jib88's picture

I agree that when I see someone sharing their screen in a meeting and they are typing notes terribly slow I question their drive for self-improvement. That said, typing speed is only really important in my part of the organization if you are facilitating a brainstorming or similar session online. In those cases, I would expect someone that can't type fast to simply ask someone else to help out by doing the typing. So maybe the people that can't type fast are really smarter than me because they've previously recognized that it has a low impact on results and they've focused development efforts on something else.

Still, I don't see how you can work where I work and not end up typing fast. We have way too much email and electronic communication to imagine someone not getting better at it, if only through repetition.