One simple trick to supercharge your programming skills...


2 min read

Hello there!

If you've been programming for any reasonable length of time, there's no doubt you've already discovered the secret "KFC recipe" of programming. It's a secret, which when you have learned it, can potentially turn you into a millionaire! Finally, you get to buy your dream car with a customized number plate and cruise on a billion-dollar yacht, sipping champagne, flying to exotic locations and eating at the fanciest restau------ oh wait... you don't know the secret? Bummer.๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ

My bad. This secret does come by experience, but in this article, we will give it to you for free. This trick I'm about to show you is really simple but I assure you that it works.

The trick is to master keyboard shortcuts.

The time taken to find your way around a GUI and move the cursor to the right position can always quickly be cut in half or reduced by as much as 90% (just an estimate...). This advice may sound simple and probably like a no-brainer, but I'll give an example to fortify the point I'm making.

It wasn't until I started using Ctrl + backspace (equivalent is Cmd + backspace) to clear unwanted words that I realized how much time was being wasted just by simply using backspace on its own.

This is how much time it takes when using backspace on its own:

Compare that to this:

The former takes about 33.19 seconds while the latter takes just under 5.85 seconds!

Even better, using Ctrl + A followed by backspace or delete takes an astonishing 1.63 seconds. You could even speed it up a bit more by first selecting the entire passage with the mouse and pressing backspace or delete. This takes about 1.51 seconds. Obviously, the only reason the GUI method worked the fastest in this example is because the text was not too lengthy. Bulk up the text and the method may slow down exponentially, as compared to using Ctrl + A, which has a time complexity of O(1).

This is, of course, just a rough demonstration but in the real world, these things really do add up and cost you a LOT of time.

I have been complimented by a former coworker about how fast I type. And yet I don't even think I type that fast.

In summary, learning how to use keyboard shortcuts is a secret recipe you must know as a software developer. It will absolutely transform the way you write code.