Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by ArtOfWarfare, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Just curious - has anyone gone through the effort of learning Dvorak and have they found that it's beneficial to them at all in programming (IE, it's more comfortable, they're more productive, faster, etc...)

    How long did it take to learn? How easy have you found it to swap back and forth? I spent about 15 minutes trying it out and while I found some English words were definitely easier to type, I was a bit skeptical that it would really speed me up when programming. I feel like the bottleneck in programming is how quickly you can come up with a solution, not how quickly you can type it out.

    I'll keep it in my quick keyboard swapper but I don't know if I'll be using it unless I hear people tell me it's worth it...
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    For C-derived languages, a significant fraction of typing is punctuation marks. These aren't substantially different for Dvorak vs. Qwerty keyboards. I mean, the key layouts are different, but I see no notable provision for punctuational efficiency.

    And for Objective-C with its prevalence of colons, take a look where Dvorak puts that key.

    If you really want to try something that's an exercise in futility, try dictating C code to a voice-recognition system. It'll really give you a sense of how much punctuation there is.
  3. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I don't use Dvorak but I know a couple of programmers who have been using it for at least 10 years. IMO, it's not worth it. Yes, they are very fast typers but only when they are using Dvorak. They've admitted that it is not exactly easy to switch back to qwerty and it's quite noticeable when I watch them type when they are not at their desk. Plus, as you said, most of our time is spent thinking of the answer and not actually typing it out. Also as mentioned, writing code is not like writing regular sentences. It's a lot of odd characters and whatnot and Dvorak doesn't really help with that.

    If you are looking for ways to make you more productive and/or make typing more comfortable then I suggest a good, ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches. Personally, I use a Kinesis Advantage. It's a split keyboard with concave "bowls" that has the modifier keys on the thumbs, instead of the pinkies. It takes a few weeks to really get used to it but it's very ergonomic and has definitely increased my productivity. It's also very expensive.
  4. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I've actually tried this before - the biggest issue I had was that they insert spaces automatically whereas code in just about any language will be severely messed up by spaces within variable, function, and method names.

    (I tend to get up and pace while coding - and if I'm alone I'll also think aloud in code. I tried having dictation take down those thoughts - it didn't work out very well.)
  5. Duncan C macrumors 6502a

    Duncan C

    Jan 21, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    For me, this boils down to standards. The QWERTY keyboard is a near universal standard for Roman alphabets.

    QWERTY may be designed to be inefficient (true!) but we're stuck with it. I am not about to invest time learning a layout that only works on MY keyboard, and then still have to go back to QWERTY everywhere else. Switching would drive me bananas. C syntax is arcane enough without adding multiple keyboard layouts to the mix.
  6. ArtOfWarfare, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

    ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    But how often do you use other people's keyboards? How often do other people use yours?

    Despite all of the suggestions not to do so, I've spent about an hour between yesterday and today practicing Dvorak. I'm about 25% as fast with it (12 WPM) as I am with QWERTY (50 WPM) so far.

    I'm also ignoring the suggestions to abandon QWERTY while I learn Dvorak - it may be impeding my progress with learning Dvorak but it ensures that I can go back to QWERTY in the likely event that I decide I don't like Dvorak. (Although I've really noticed the strains caused by typing in QWERTY now that I've tried Dvorak... it's just so much more effortless to type with Dvorak versus QWERTY.)
  7. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    What method have you been using to go to DVORAK? Do you have a keyboard cover, tutorials, etc?
  8. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007

    I've been running through it nightly with both QWERTY and DVORAK so I can keep track of my progress as well as notice if it's having any negative side effects on my ability to use QWERTY. Worst case scenario, I can put it down as an interesting skill on my resume.

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