Posture

To avoid repetitive strain injury, you should always be aware of your posture.

  • Back straight.
  • Feet flat on floor.
  • Elbows bent at 90 degree angle.
  • Monitor slightly below eye level so neck is not bent.
  • Fingers lightly pressing key. Don’t hit them harder than necessary.
  • Relax shoulders and arms - don’t hold tension.

Look at this image at this link

Keyboard

Make sure you know the names and purpose of every key on the keyboard.

Shortcuts

Every program has different keyboard shortcuts, but some are commonly used everywhere. Make sure you know:

  • Ctrl-X
  • Ctrl-V
  • Ctrl-C
  • Ctrl-S

Touch typing

You should be able to type at a speed of 40 words per minute, or higher. You should not need to look at the keyboard while typing. The only way to learn this is to practise.

Mario Teaches Typing can help by teaching you which finger to use for which key.

Type Racer is a quick way to practise and check your speed.

Nitro Type is a fun way to compete with your friends. Click here to join the Coderdojo Loughton classroom

There are many other programs you can find. You could even make one yourself!

Coding

Typing code needs to more precise than when typing English. You need to get the spaces, tabs, brackets, speech marks, etc. all exactly correct. The best way to practise this is to type some programs from a book.

This is why I try to get to get you to type programs at CoderDojo, but unfortunately for longer programs we don’t have enough time and so we have to copy and paste. But you have more time at home!

Vim

Vim is a very popular text editor used by programmers. It is very different from most text editors you have used in the past such as Notepad, Mu, Godot, etc. because it is modal. It has one mode for entering text and another mode for entering commands to do things to the text. This means it takes a while to learn, but once you have learnt you can edit text very quickly.

On Linux, Vim is usually pre-installed. (Or at least the simpler version called vi). On Windows, you can install it from here.

To learn the basic keys in a fun way, first play levels 1-3 of Vim Adventures. (The first levels are free, the higher levels cost money.)

There are two tutorials that will teach you Vim.

  • Vim comes with a tutorial program. It is called vimtutor and on Windows it should be on the start menu.

  • Open Vim is good but it goes quite fast so you don’t have much time to memorise the commands. You can give it a try but you will need to do lots of practise in addition.

To practise, you could also try:

There are multiple ‘forks’ (versions) of Vim. The most popular one you could try is Neovim. Using it should be the same as using Vim. Only difference I have found is that to get the tutorial you have to run nvim and then type :Tutor rather than running vimtutor.