Should I learn 10 finger keyboard?

The keyboard in my language has extra letters so I’m having a hard time typing with 10 fingers. I am more comfortable and faster when typing normally. Does a programmer have to type 10 fingers?

Sorry, I’m confused. Are you typing with more or fewer than 10 fingers? You say you have more characters - why would fewer fingers be better?

I think most computer programmers would benefit from learning to type better. On “our” keyboard, using the standard QWERTY layout (although other layouts apply too), the 10 finger approach is ideal.

If the keyboards in your country have a completely different setup with more keys, then presumably there is a method of typing that is considered ideal for that setup. Another option would be to get a western keyboard for coding.

You’ve got to figure out what works best for your situation, but maximizing your typing speed and accuracy would be a helpful thing.

Yes, I can’t reach some letters because I have extra letters in my tongue and I’m slowing down, my fingers aren’t very long either. Getting an English keyboard is fine for coding, but I can’t type text in my native language. Since I’ve been typing normally since I was a kid, I’ve been coding faster than 10 fingers and with fewer errors. Do companies expect developers to type 10 fingers?

In my experience, they don’t test you on your typing skills. They also don’t care what keyboard you use - I know plenty of developers that use non-standard keyboards and non-standard layouts, like Dvorak. That being said, being able to type on a “standard” keyboard would be good in you need to hop over and work with another developer.

But they don’t test you on it. Presumably if you have a coding interview (assuming it is online) they will just note if you coding at a reasonable pace. Of course it might be a little awkward if you have an in person interview and you show up with your own keyboard - you might look like a prima donna.

As to using an “English keyboard”, yeah, I was imagining you switching between them, maybe with a cheap KVM or maybe OSes can handle it now if they are both USB/bluetooth. I don’t know.

I would say, work with what works best for you. Put a little bit of effort into learning how to type, trying to maximize speed and accuracy. You are going to spend A LOT of time typing so it is good to get good at it. Some programmers spend A LOT of effort getting the right setup. I know people with $300 keyboards. My current keyboard was $175 and I’m currently seriously considering one that is $340, mainly for the ergonomics - I am a jazz guitarist and I like to take care of my hands.

I’m not saying that you need to run out and do that right now. You may not be at the point where you want to start investing like that. I’m just trying to emphasize how important it can be to some people. And I know coders that don’t care, and just use the cheap $25 combo keyboard/mouse combo that they absent-mindedly grabbed at Walmart while shopping for socks.

Figure out what works for you. Figure out what is important for you. Get good at it - invest a little time in learning to type well. If your setup is not a standard QWERY, then it might also be good to at least be comfortable on that.


Learning to type quickly, accurately, and without looking at the keyboard is an extremely useful skill. If your typing is slow and labored, it’s harder to think and type at the same time. There is not, however, a typing speed test or anything when you are applying for work as a programmer. It’s just that keyboards are one of the tools that we use.


Nobody cares, it is as the other replies say, a useful skill. Most programmers IME cannot touch type, but as much of dev time is spent thinking rather than typing, that isn’t a huge handicap. It’s just very useful to be able to do so. I can’t do it very accurately, for example, and I should practice properly but…got work to do. (I have worked in one place where my manager told me to my face that was the skill that separated programmers from non-programmers, but he was a dickhead & the worst manager I’ve ever worked for so take of that what you will :man_shrugging:t3:).

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One of the best classes I took in high school was typing. Still paying off after all of these years :slight_smile:

Yep, as I say I really should practice :upside_down_face:. I wish we’d had classes in school, would be much easier to just have had the skill pushed then

The only computer class my school had was a typing class. There are some pretty good free tools online to help build muscle memory. I’ve used them to learn new layouts during long, boring Zoom meetings.

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This might be an unpopular opinion but I think typing speed when coding is overrated. Well, I should say overemphasized, as in speed over precision. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen videos of devs typing much faster than they should be and just end up with a bunch of typos. Or they need to stop every two seconds and delete what they wrote because they messed up. It can get really annoying to look at. Just slow down and get it right the first time.

Some keyboard-fu is definitely useful and I do wish my typing was faster than it is. I’m also on a keyboard with extra letters æ, ø, å (Danish) which makes typing some symbols more tedious. I’m also slightly dyslexic, but it only affects my typing/spelling oddly enough. I can tell when a word is misspelled but I still can’t spell it. It’s super annoying.

Yeah, speed without accuracy is counter productive, for sure.

Only thing we had was “IT” classes, which at that point in time in the UK basically meant opening and closing files + the basics of Excel and Microsoft Word :frowning:

Completely agree. I think being able to type without having to look at the keyboard is much more convenient when coding though. I’m not the world’s fastest typer (I would guess around 50 wpm) but I like being able to look at my monitor while I’m typing.

Yeah, I wasn’t saying you need to type 150wpm. But being able to touch type, reasonably well, with a reasonable speed, and good accuracy, and with an ergonomic hand position - that’s what I mean. I’ve seen a few devs that were hunt and peck, watching their hands, and/or making a lot of mistakes.

I think you can develop decent speed and accuracy with just general use, but having a foundation in some basic principles can be very helpful, imho.


Yeah I’m where you’re describing: I’m reasonably fast and accurate, but not through any determined effort, just from repetitive use and I have to glance pretty often (whereas it would be nice to be able to eg work accurately in the dark while sitting waiting for my kid to go to sleep, but that needs deliberate practice and unlearning of a load of bad habits)

I agree muscle memory is a good thing. Just like when playing an instrument you should know where things are without having to look all the time. But people make the same mistakes on instruments as well. Playing too fast without consistency. But with music, you do have a rhythm or meter as well to keep in sync with. Hmm, I wonder if anyone has tried coding with a metronome?

In my high school typing class we did exactly that at the beginning of the class. Start out slow and the teacher would gradually increase the speed. Sort of a warm up for your fingers (and brain).

You don’t have to and nobody cares about it, but it’s useful if you can look at the screen while you’re typing. I see errors immediately → less time debugging later and searching for that pesky typo.

If you want to learn 10-finger-system, make sure you choose a good layout. In my language, the square brackets [] and curly braces {} are ridiculously hard to reach, it’s slowing me down tremendously. I was thinking about learning a UK/US layout for coding, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to overwrite decades of muscle memory. I once spent 6 months in France and they have an AZERTY keyboard layout. Q and A are swapped, seriously(?!). I was a walking typo the whole time and only sort of managed to get used to it shortly before I left. Came back and had to unlearn it again.

I don’t really get your question though, the alphabet has more than 10 letters in all languages, how does it make a difference if you have 26, 28 or 30 letters?

I would assume they are referring to the same issue we have. Mainly [] and {} seems to be an issue on most layouts with extra letters. Apparently Turkish also has two completely different keyboard layouts, F and Q (I believe OP is Turkish).


Yes, as you said, the programmer has to type 10 fingers. But you can type using WPM Test tool best and 10 fingers through this tool.

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