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Compared to my immediate peers, my typing

Displaying poll results.
Is faster overall, despite need to correct more errors
  3327 votes / 18%
Is both faster overall and freer of errors
  6326 votes / 35%
Seems to be similar in speed and error rate
  3046 votes / 17%
Is freer of errors but slower
  836 votes / 4%
Is slower and has more errors
  1483 votes / 8%
I don't type
  254 votes / 1%
I have no immediate peers!
  2544 votes / 14%
17816 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Compared to my immediate peers, my typing

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:19AM (#42963097)

    I can't say I've ever compared my typing speed against that of my IT compadres, nor does it seem like typing speed would be particularly relevant to most IT folks - hopefully there's at least a little thought going on during the coding process.

    • Yeah, secretaries do type, but that's hardly their main job this century, and it really wasn't their job during the 90s either except for a few who had old-fogey bosses (of whatever age.) Secretaries keep track of stuff for bosses, keep and negotiate schedules better than MS Outlook, and that kind of thing.

      On typing speed, I don't spend a lot of time typing unless I'm doing documentation. I'd say that my typing is somewhat faster than one of my officemates and slower than the other, and a lot more accurat

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >>Yeah, secretaries do type, but that's hardly their main job this century, and it really wasn't their job during the 90s either except for a few who had old-fogey bosses (of whatever age.)

        Funny you should mention old-fogey bosses. I find, as a attorney, that a vast number of older lawyers* still have their secretaries print out their email so they can read it, and then they dictate a response. It's both amusing and creepy at the same time.

        *"older" can mean anywhere from 50s to 90s in this context. On

      • Very few mentions of RSI. That is the proof that you really type fast -- bouts of RSI. That is my limiter, anyway.
    • by hihihihi (940800)

      i have to agree with you (mostly perl & shell coding for me). true if it is something small (checking if a module works in so far untested way), then coding is mostly faster, but anything more than, more time is taken in thinking what to do in next few lines then typing. as for me, quite sometime is also wasted on thinking what to call a variable! so comparing is mostly useless unless LoC is really a metric!
      but as far as simple commands on bash goes, well, it quick (followed by a jerkish enter) unless i

    • Actually my peers noticed it before I did. I work in Graphics and have had a long technical background where a lot of them come from art backgrounds. They were peering (no pun intended(...Ok, maybe partially)) over my shoulder and were amazed with how fast I was typing. That's when I started noticing how slow they were. Of course they're faster than me at certain other tasks.

      Different backgrounds different skill-set.

    • "Is there a significant secretarial presence here?"

      Wow-- you mean that there are still some places left where they have secretaries who do your typing for you?
      I thought that went out with the "Mad Men" era.

    • by rgmoore (133276)

      hopefully there's at least a little thought going on during the coding process.

      For almost any creative process, the limiting factor will usually be your ability to come up with something worth typing rather than the speed you can type it- at least over the long haul. I can type at something like 50 wpm, which is OK but nothing special, but it's still 120,000 words for a 40 hour week if I could keep it up. That's enough for a decent-sized novel every week or two, and somebody faster than me could do someth

    • by dwye (1127395)

      In answer to the question in the subject, no , but I DID take an Adult School typing class (probably similar to the high school course that was aimed at future secretaries) that upgraded me from a two finger typist, constantly looking for the next key then at the screen to make sure that I hit the right key, to a nine fingered (left pinky still more likely to hit the caps lock than the "a" key) typist who only looks once in a while. Just being able to type at 12 wpm properly, or 24 wpm shifting gaze as nee

  • strong and safe
  • I don't have any peers because I'm retired. Still, back when I was working, I probably typed faster than most of them, and was fairly accurate as well. Now, who cares? Fast typing only matters when your time is worth money, and mine hasn't been for years.
  • Mine is loud. People, especially my co(lleagues/workers) say I type fast and loud like a machine gun on clicky keyboards (not even Model M!). Some of the gals complained about it. [] for the details. :(

    • by edibobb (113989)
      I'm a lot faster and more accurate on a keyboard with mechanical keys. Noise is fun.
    • by deniea (257313)

      Some people here at the office are fond of noise too.

      I don't like noise, and (as beeing the owner of the company) suggested a couple keyboard changes.

      Doesn't help.

      Some guys that probably have never worked on, or maybe even seen a mechanical typewriter still seem to think that if they hit the keys harder (and max only use 4 fingers and 2 thumbs) the computers understands it better.

      Don't think that is the way it works, but hey, I use other methods to irritate my minions.

  • can anyone in here actually touch type, or is that reserved for secretaries with long fingernails and cigarettes? I can't touch type but I'm pretty fast notwithstanding.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      I've never been able to correctly touchtype. As far as I can see it's never been a disadvantage.

      I don't see many programmers or admins in the UNIX or Windows worlds touch typing correctly either.

    • by Talennor (612270)

      I can, and it's a pretty useful skill for someone who lives in a cubicle all workweek. I've been surprised at people who've spent 20+ years in front of computers and never learned to type without staring at the keyboard and pecking with one or two fingers. Like my father who learned drafting in college where I learned CAD, and the always in front of your own computer thing showed up during his career. It doesn't take long to learn, but apparently you do have to try to learn.

    • Yes. From what I've seen, most programmers can.
    • by realsilly (186931)

      Due to forced typing class in high school, I can touch type, but I'm still a slow typist. I've done programming and technical writing, and I understand why some programmers don't touch type, syntax is a bitch. ;) And technical writing which includes coding syntax on occasion make my typing even slower, trying to ensure syntax accuracy.

      Touch typing is very helpful as a skill, an especially, when you learn how to incorporate short cut keys in your touch typing for faster editing.

      As for a comparison with my

    • Re:touch-typing? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:21PM (#42972237)
      I'm confused. Where they hell are all the geeks? Correctly or otherwise touch typing (not looking at the damn keyboard) seems like a skill inseparable from effective usage of a PC in a professional IT setting. I'd find it quite impossible to take anyone that constantly bounces their eyes back and forth from keyboard to screen seriously.
      • Among the software developers I work with about a third (including myself) touch type. I have not noticed that the touch typists produce code faster, or better. It seems to be an entirely independent variable. I think I may have noticed a slight correlation between those who hunt and peck and their fondness for graphical software creation (UML etc.). Using the mouse to make that parameter const instead of typing it drives me insane, but if you can't touch type, perhaps it takes the same amount of time.

      • by arkhan_jg (618674)

        I've been trying to learn to touch type for years. Problem is, having never learned to do it early on, after 20 odd years of doing it 'wrong', I'd developed a 'psychic hover' 4 finger method (though roughly 80% of the keyboard was covered by my dominant hand) where I only needed to look down to reset my hand position when I made an error, maybe once every three sentences or so - I just had muscle memory of where the keys were. Even so, I typed faster than pretty much everyone I know, bar professional typist

    • I touch-type. I learned it with QWERTY back in high school, although to improve my accuracy and achieve my highest speeds I "cheated" by doing things like looking down (hey, at high speeds my hands are flying around all over the place, it's the most efficient way to re-align my hands; the bumps on F and J are worthless...) and simplified things by using the left shift key exclusively (the right was just too hard to reach and use fast and accurately...).

      I have switched to Dvorak last December and have been

    • I learned to touch-type in junior high school, on a MANUAL typewriter, around the same time that Liquid Paper was invented. And yes, I'm male.

      Speed matters. I've never been afraid of using meaningful variable names or typing longer comments. :-)

      Billy Joel can play piano while singing directly to the audience; at the very least any proficient keyboard jockey should be able to do the same.
  • It would seem, from the poll results thus far, that a significant portion of the respondents are natives of the mythical Lake Woebegone. It probably has something to do with the general fragility of the human psyche. Possibly it could be conditioning from overt praise for mediocre accomplishment intended to bolster self esteem in order to pre-emptively mitigate the former which ironically has made them more defensive as a ....
    Ohhhhhh where's my bottle of fuckitol as if I could really give a rats a

    • Disagree - I think it's because all of these polls are self-selecting. People who can type are curious; people who know they can't type probably ignored this.
  • by (245670) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:58AM (#42965265)

    Thanks to Infocom and their early parsers that required typing out full words. Open gate. Through gate. Close gate.

  • As of writing this comment 53% of voters think they're faster than their peers....
    • by jamesh (87723) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:17AM (#42965393)

      As of writing this comment 53% of voters think they're faster than their peers....

      Just wait a bit. The slower typists will cast their vote when they can.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @09:34AM (#42965903) Homepage

      That's because of the Dunning-Kreuger Effect. In a similar vein, approximately 93% of Americans think they're above-average drivers.

      • The hell they are. 93% of Americans are bloody retarded drivers.
        • by Macgrrl (762836)

          The local broadsheet has a daily section called "Odd Spot" which contains some trivia item or funny news. Today's item was about a man in the UK who had failed his drivers licence test 107 times. From the UK press [].

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Considering that at my office, only 2 members of the team regularly read slashdot, 53% isn't all that bad.


    • As of writing this comment 53% of voters think they're faster than their peers....

      Clearly, only the fast typists have enough free time to check out Slashdot at work.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      More than half are faster... ??

      Without drawing too many conclusions I'd assume that the demographic frequenting slashdot is above average computer interested even among their peers, double that if your set of immediate peers are a mixed bunch of people not so heavily into IT. For example at the education I took I would say 100% of the students were better than the average student, try wrapping your head around that one.

  • Age or Keyboard? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nishi-no-wan (146508) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @09:32AM (#42965887) Homepage Journal

    I've found that I do have more errors that I used to as I type. And my speed is not nearly what it used to be. However, I easily out-type news reporter friends of mine while chatting (both on computers - not mobile). They write a couple of articles a day. Shouldn't they have more key presses than a coder?

    I'm blaming the newer keyboards for a lot of the increased errors that I feel that I'm hitting. Keyboards from the 1980s just felt a lot better. You had to have intent to hit a key. That doesn't seem to be the case any more.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      You might like the USB cherry keyboards. They have a nice old school feel to them, plus they are pretty cheap.

    • I used to repair photocopiers, and one of our accounts was the New England Patriots. During games, they needed a tech right there in the press box in case the copier broke down. Anyway, I couldn't believe how bad the sports reporters were at typing on their laptops.. every one of them was hunting and pecking with their index fingers. I figured they'd be faster.

  • Is this like that 'everyone thinks they are a better than average driver' thing?

    • by fatphil (181876)
      In part - and the results seem to show that.

      I went for "about the same", as the only people typing ever around me are fellow software engineers, and are also pretty nifty. Compared to the average in the population, we could all shit on them but that wasn't what was asked. Perhaps people just misinterpreted the question?
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        It depends on how narrowly you want to define "your peers". I'm male, software developer, age 32. If I went to court, and was in front of a jury of my peers, I wouldn't expect all the jurors to be 27-37 year old male software developers. Peers doesn't necessarily mean people who do the same profession as you, or even people you come in contact with on a daily basis.
  • by peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @10:28AM (#42966493)

    I, for one, tell people that my large amount of PC gaming (according to my parent's) on our dial-up internet connection is the primary reason that I can type both "fast" (80-100 wpm sustained depending on the application) and free of errors.

    When all you have is a dial-up connection and the family computer, you can't communicate via any other method than typing really fast. Having the ability to quickly and accurately tell my friend he's battlefield information was a priceless skill.

  • The red fox jumps over the lazy dog. The red fox jumps over the lazy dog. The red fox jumps over the lazy dog.

    ( I wanted to show how much of that sentence I could put down in a minute, but apparently I violated their compression filter. So much for using repetition to make a point!)

    • by invid (163714)
      Whoops, I just remembered that it was supposed to be "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
      • by xaxa (988988)

        Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud! (It's shorter).

        Or, for a perfect pangram: J Q Schwartz flung D V Pike my box.

        (From Wikipedia: Quartz glyph job vex'd cwm finks.. I didn't know 'fink', an American term for strikebreaker, spy or informer.)

  • Faster than CowboyNeal but slower than CmdrTaco (or vice versa)

    For the off-topic secretarial digs that say typing speed isn't important to IT, ummm, where do you work because the faster I can get email responses out to people the better, and the fewer errors the better. If you're in IT and NOT typing I want your job!

  • As usual, a majority of people believe that they are above average.

    • by slinches (1540051)

      That would only be relevant if the poll was "Compared to other slashdot readers, my typing:"

      It is entirely possible that ~52% (as it now stands) of people who visit this site and respond to polls are in fact better typists than their peers. I responded that I'm both faster and less error prone not because I think I'm particularly skilled at typing, but rather that my peers as a group average just above hunt and peck speeds. Actually, I would consider my typing to be below average by most standards.

  • I never lerned to touch type so my typing method is known as "pick, peck, cuss."

    Given that I'm not a touch typist, I don't do too badly on speed or number of errors. My observation is that typing code seems to be hard for most touch typists due to all of the non-alphanumerics.


  • ...7th grade typing. I learned to touch type as a 12-year-old and I'm typing 100 wpm to this day. It has made my job immeasurably easier and more pleasant.

    The fact that significant typing classes are not required for students but cursive still is baffles me.
  • on the lack of typing skill these days. I was trying to reproduce an error report on a laptop where it would drop characters when typing. My typing was just not really fast enough to reproduce the error, and the person reporting was off site. I went around most of the office looking for fast typists. I only found two people who even thought they might be fast. I have never managed to learn to touch type, (Poor hand eye coordination.) but was still far faster than anyone else in the office.

    I finally reprod
  • As expected, over 90% of the people are above-average typists.

    • As expected, over 90% of the people are above-average typists.

      To be fair, it's not exactly a random sample.

      I can certainly believe slashdotters are better typists than non-slashdotters. I'd expect most people here to be above-average typists.

      In my case, we actually had an office competition to find the fastest typist (the winner would get a keyboard that was being coveted by many). I therefore have actual evidence I'm faster and type with less errors than my immediate peers. That said, it was pretty close all around, I didn't smoke them or anything.

  • My buddy types so fast it sounds like buzzsaw. i have never in my life heard or seen someone type so fast. He blames muds. i don't disagree.


  • I can't seem to stop making the it's / its error. That one in particular show s up at the same rate in my typing regardless of how fast I type. As for spelling errors or other important matters, I would say my error rate is no worse than anyone else.

    Also, where is the "faster, but the same rate of error" option? This seems like an obvious choice.
  • I'm a software engineer. I've been doing this for years. It always amazes me how many of my coworkers can't touch type. (I mean they've used keyboards for years, why the hell wouldn't you touch type? It makes coding a far more enjoyable experience when you don't have to take your attention away from the problem you need to solve so you can find the 'a' key.)
  • I don't know if I really type faster than my coworkers, but they lose significant speed using the mouse. E.g. when I copy and paste 3 words, I select them with 3x Ctrl-Shift-Left, then copy with Ctrl-C, then change windows with Alt-Tab and paste with Ctrl-V. Who doesn't? It takes 2 seconds at most.

    My nearest coworker over whose shoulder I sometimes peek for fun, never fails to surprise me by actions like using Copy from Menu bar -> Edit in the middle of typing, or by trying to find the previously focused

  • Everybody thinks they are above average so I predict that most people will say that they are faster and more accurate than their peers. Their peers will also vote the same way.
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:52PM (#42980987)

    ... I often hit 'Submit' before even thinking about my post.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:12PM (#42982683) Homepage Journal

    Fast with a lot of mistakes.

  • I have a Das Keyboard ultimate (completely black keys, no letter marks at all) and every time a colleague works with me and wants to type, I love seeing their reaction. I can type for half an hour sitting next to them and they would _not_ notice that the keys are black, so they're just baffled when they try and use it :)

    (I do keep a "guest" keyboard and mouse stashed away, but connected to the same PC, but always wait before pulling them out :) )

  • On the other hand (hehehe) my son's speed on a smart phone is amazing.

  • I know it says not to complain about missing options but jeez this has a _lot_ of missing options... Suppose you type at a similar speed but either with more errors or fewer.
  • by msobkow (48369)

    85 words per minute seems to be about my limit if I don't want to make a bunch of mistakes. Surprisingly, it's only about 10 words per minute faster than I typed on a manual typewriter in Grade 10 over 30 years ago. On the bright side, I haven't slowed down. :)

Maternity pay? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry will get pregnant. -- Malcolm Smith


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