How to learn typing without looking at keyboard?

If you ever decide to get into it, here are your three best communities:

  1. Geekhack
  2. Deskthority
  3. /r/mechanicalkeyboards

@thinkpadder1 @dgamidov

Add onto mechanical keyboards the endless keycap options and cord sleeves and suddenly the rabbit hole goes really deep (as your wallet thickness diminishes)

+1 for /r/mechanicalkeyboards

and Zealios are awesome!


@thinkpadder1, thank you, I will bookmark your post :wink:

1 Like

Just type a lot. I can do it reasonably well on a qwerty layout, and I think that it is just one of those things where you have to wire your brain to know where the characters that you want to type resides on your keyboard.

I had to switch to an American layout because some nincompoop in California decided that my stuff was worth taking while I was there in March1, and I had to unlearn a lifetime of typing on a danish keyboard layout. I am about to be as efficient as I once was, and it is just a matter of a couple of months to reprogram my mussel memory, including a ton of Emacs keybindings—coming to think of it, go with the American keyboard layout; default keybindings in Vim and Emacs makes more sense.

So I guess there is no trick to it. You just have to do it enough so that you stop thinking about it.

1. If anyone sees a 15" MacBook Pro with an Elixir -, an Erlang, and a Sam and Max (freelance police) sticker in Oakland, it is mine. It is a brilliant machine and I do miss it a ton.


I’m not sure if that works for everyone. And to be fair, we, programmers, do not type that much.

How much code can you write? I was actually surprised how many fairly good programmers can’t type fast or type without looking at keyboard. It’s not a skill that people generally acquire without intentional training, in my opinion.

In my case I have learned to touch type in high school. We were actually taught to do so. Of course 99% of people did not retain the knowledge, but for those of us who continued typing it clicked.

You’ve got to know which key to press with which finger, how to do shift/control/special characters without looking at the keyboard. One of the touch typing learning programs of today will defo help. I can’t remember what we used in high school, but I am pretty sure it’d be classified in the field of IT archeology. I remember some games with letters flying from top to bottom etc.


Well, I have my editor expand a ton of code, so no; I don’t write a ton of code. May I suggest people pratice their keyboard skills by typing documentation? :slight_smile:

If they are strict enough about playing the word picking games then good, but otherwise just do what you want; throw away your mouse away, and learn how to navigate everything using the keyboard—or don’t…as you stated not every programmer knows how to touchtype, some might do most of their work using a pen and some paper and then transfer their programs into to computer using the ACME text editor. I wish I was better at planning on paper first; that might be quicker and more precise :slight_smile:


try - its a typing game
dont know if it will really help to improve coding speed but playing a game is fun.