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Practice How You Want to Play

02 Jan 2013

Are you getting the results that you want from your practice?

I have been practicing my typing skills for a while now and I thought I was seeing improvement...except for every time that I was programming. I started out at 9WPM according to a typing test. Yes, 9. At the beginning, I thought getting to 11 was awesome and as I write this, I am sitting at about 40WPM. I am still working for more but you can see that is is a big improvement. Several times while working through the exercises using the typing program, I would keep waiting for the program to throw me the special characters. It never did but that got me thinking.

Back in the old days when my pom team and I would be drilling a dance routine, we would practice the routine that we were going to be performing or competing with. We were not just practicing dance in general. Our practice was extremely directed and we would run drills on the routine over and over again. That is surely part of the reason that we were undefeated when we went out to compete. Now, back to typing. Ah ha! I needed to be typing code! I needed to be practicing hitting those keys in the way that someone that I want to be like does it. I decided that I would write a typing program like this. Then I thought, "maybe I can just find a typing program like this". If I had unlimited time, I would probably try to make everything because everything seems interesting to me and I like making things. I decided since I do not have unlimited time and there are other things I would prefer to make, if this existed, and it was what I was looking for, I would use it. I hit the web searching.

TADA!!! Typing.io

This is great. You can choose from several different programming languages and an open source project sample is used for the practice. This is really cool to practice a language that you are familiar with and to explore new ones as well. This site is also eye opening. My WPM in the context of programming in my first go was 16WPM. That is less than half of my regular typing speed. Thus, explaining the reason that I felt like I still sucked at typing while I was programming. I started with ruby. In only 3 days so far for 15 min a day I am up to 20 WPM (at my highest score). There are also really cool stats that show you how many total characters you typed vs how many actual characters that there were(to include backspacing when you mess up and then need to retype). It really shows how important accuracy is. I am happy to have found this program and I am already seeing results, even if they are slight. :)

Watch out because pretty soon I will be able to crank out code like nobody's business!

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