I once explained my job as an overpaid typist.
There is some truth in that, as much of my day is spent typing. Writing code, taking notes for meetings, email, documentation, writing blogs posts.
It would make sense to become very good at typing.
The basics are often overlooked. You can get a lot of benefit from paying attention to them.
For typing, it comes down to three main areas:
- Touch typing
Touch typing is perhaps the most important aspect of this. You need to be able to type without looking at the keyboard. If you get really good, you shouldn’t need to even look at the screen to confirm what you’re typing.
Accuracy and speed can be built together. Focus on accuracy to start with, and then stretch for speed. There is no point going faster if you can’t maintain a high accuracy.
I found two websites to be helpful in my quest for improved typing skills:
- Keyzen — a site focused on improving typing for programmers.
- 10 fast fingers — general typing improvement with natural language exercises.
Of course, the other thing to do to improve typing is to do lots of typing. If you are writing lots of code, email or documents, then focus on your typing while you are doing it.
It helps to have a good environment for typing, such as a comfortable keyboard, good posture, but you know this already. Add it to the list of things to focus on.
Also, make sure that you are using a program that can keep up with you as you type. I find MS Word to lag when in full WYSIWG mode, whereas emacs and vi always manage to keep up!
Update: You may also want to check out Typespeed.