Life as a Dvorak Typist

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Ah Qwerty. Thou but a pain in the butt.

For as long as I can remember, I have never really been one to learn touch typing. I utilized my own form of the “hunt-and-peck” method that evolved into a unique variation allowing me to type without looking at the keyboard.

In 2019, I decided that I wanted to learn actual touch typing.

Why Dvorak?

When I was researching touch typing, I discovered a vast number of keyboard layouts to choose from. There is the standard Qwerty layout, as well as other layouts such as Dvorak, Colemak, Worksman, etc.

As I researched each layout, I learned that Qwerty was not the most efficient, leading me to decide to learn a different layout.

That layout ended up being Dvorak.

Out of all the available layouts I could choose from, Dvorak looked the most interesting. Not necessarily because it was more efficient than Qwerty, but because it was supported by pretty much every operating system and the layout was vastly different from Qwerty.

Being that I learned my own method of typing with Qwerty, I figured this would be the best way to reset my brain and learn to touch type.

How long did it take to learn?

During the learning process, I used various tools. and were tools I used to learn touch typing with Dvorak. Monkeytype was my go to typing website to put what I learned into reality and work on my typing speed.

The process to learn Dvorak took around 2 weeks. After the 2 week mark, I was able to type between 20-30 words-per-minute without looking at the keyboard.

Continuous practice helped me achieve 60 words-per-minute by the end of the first month of being a Dvorak typist.

From the end of my first month to now, I average a little over 100 words-per-minute.

Would I switch to Qwerty?

Honestly, no.

I tried switching back to Qwerty at the beginning of 2022. It took me about a week to learn to touch type, and a few weeks after that to achieve 70-80 words-per-minute. However, my hands did not like Qwerty.

With Dvorak, I could type continuously without pain. With Qwerty, that was not the case, and I had to regularly stretch and move my hands every few minutes.

In the end, I switched back to Dvorak and I have been here since.

Any issues with every day computing?

Dvorak can cause some issues here and there.

Using someone else’s computer can be a pain.

Playing games can be troublesome, most keyboard keybinds are designed with Qwerty in mind. Luckily, a lot of games allow you to modify your keybinds. For those games that do not offer this ability, I leave the Qwerty keyboard enabled on my computer, and switch between Qwerty and Dvorak when necessary while gaming.

Outside of that, Dvorak works perfectly fine. Even when programming and scripting, I prefer Dvorak over Qwerty. Although some of the shortcuts do feel a little wonky.