The Greater Fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. Future is made by greater fools.
5. Learn a new skill. Slowly but Consistently.
5. Learn a new skill. Slowly but Consistently.

5. Learn a new skill. Slowly but Consistently.

What do you imagine when you hear a computer hacker? 

As a child, I used to think “a really cool guy looking at a black & green screen, typing very fast using both hands without even looking at the keyboard

April 2009

Back in college when I was doing my graduation in Computer Science, one of my friends, Vivek, asked me if I could code using all 10 fingers. Little surprised, I said no. He felt disappointed. I realized that’s what people expect Software Engineers to do. And I questioned myself, why not? Why shouldn’t I be able to code like that?

So I decided, Yes! But I found it too difficult to type using all fingers and not look at the keyboard. So I gave up.

Nov 2014

Fast forward 5 years. By now I was working and had seen only a few Engineers who could type using all 10 fingers. But damn it looked cool. Plus you could actually type faster as scientifically it is a more optimized way of typing.

I decided to do it again. I researched for “typing with 10 fingers without looking” and found a website that allowed you to practice and I started with it.

Initially, you learn the placement of the fingers, and then you start practicing the middle line, then the top line, then the bottom line, and then the symbols & operators.

I would practice whenever I got time, but it became challenging to un-learn the old way. In order to learn quicker, I would force myself to use the new way at work. I started typing slowly but it became very frustrating. You won’t remember which key to press, your fingers suddenly felt short, and the entire typing process became 10X slower. I gave up.

April 2019

I again started fantasizing about that cool programmer typing using 10 fingers! Again I found that website and started practicing it, this time with more resilience (after reading Atomic habits). 

You might find it funny, but the first time I tried again, it was one of the most memorable moments in my life. I can still remember it.

I placed my index fingers on the correct keys (F & J). And to my surprise, I started typing without looking at the keyboard with decent speed (14 WPM)! My brain never forgot what I learned a few years back. I guess this is what is called Muscle Memory

But this time, instead of completely replacing my usual way, I would practice only for 10 mins every morning from 10:00 am to 10:10 am, before I would start my office work.

It was such an amazing experience for me for 3 reasons:

  • I finally understood the value of practicing slowly but consistently.
  • I learned a skill (even though very small). 
  • I could see myself like that cool programmer that I always imagined. :laugh

I continued practicing for 10 mins every morning. I would aim for fewer errors every day. Slowly but consistently I was improving. 

And seeing yourself improve is the best feeling in life!

As always, If you liked this article, show me appreciation in the comments below. If you didn’t, I owe you a good article (hopefully next one).


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