I can touch type, but I’ve never considered it a special skill of any sort. I’ve always taken it for granted that I could do it. However, some clients recently expressed amazement that I was touch typing when I was giving them a hands-on demo of a new application. I was a little confused, as it seems to me like something that a person who works with computers every day ought to pick up eventually.
So I’m curious QT3ers. Can you touch type? If yes, how old were you learned to type and did you receive any formal training on touch typing? Did you use online games such as MUD or MMORPGs to sharpen your skills? I’m curious if this is a generational divide thing and the kids who grew up with computers in the home have a strong advantage from having gotten to know keyboards from a much younger age.
I’ll go first. I can touch type, I grew up with computers (TRS-80 baby!) so I was fairly good typist by the time I was teen. I did receive a bit of formal education on touch typing when I was in high school but I don’t recall it teaching me much I didn’t already know. I can point to spending my late teens/early twenties playing a lot of MUDs for really sharpening my skills but I could touch type before that.
I can. I took a typing course in high-school but I wouldn’t say I could type after that. I didn’t learn until my late twenties. I figured I should learn how to type before I got my first programming gig, so I did. I used $9.99 typing software to do it.
I see professional people all the time who do the four-finger-hunt-and-peck style, even though they spend the majority of their days typing. I don’t understand it.
7th grade class. Only girls could take typing, no boys allowed. Just like no girls allowed in shop. A girlfriend of mine sued the school and after that, girls and boys could take any class they wanted:).
That’s a really good point, I probably should have included that in the questions. It occurs to me that while I’ve been able to touch type for a long time, I wasn’t a fast touch typist until I started playing MUDs.
I self-taught myself to type from growing up with a C64 and then Amiga, and don’t use the standard format. For example, I don’t use my pinky fingers for any letters, only modifier keys. And I also cross my index fingers to the other side depending on relative position of my hands.
That being said, I type 125wpm and don’t need to look at the keyboard at all.
Yes, I can. Mainly from constant use – emailing, posting on forums (or usenet if we’re going way back). I don’t remember when I learned the skill though. Probably in my early teens when I started getting interested in communicating through the computer more.
I know many people at my office – people who work in technology – who still hunt and peck though.
I actually had to go look up the phrase ‘touch type’ because I’ve never heard it called that before, oddly enough. But yes, I took a typing class in high school and that was how we were taught, had to keep our eyes on the document we were transcribing, not the keyboard or the paper in the typewriter.
Funny but over the years I’ve developed my own little modifications to the way I was taught to type – for instance when I reach up to the numeric keys I rarely use my little fingers, for some reason it’s more natural for me to use my ring fingers though I do use my pinkies for q, a, p, and such. It’s weird to think about, just evolved from years of typing somehow.
edit: took sinnick’s typing test and scored 80 wpm. My problem is accuracy, waste a lot of time backspacing and correcting.
I learned touch typing in High School on an old electric typewriter. It was a senior year elective taken as a joke with friends (and to meet chicks), but it turned out to be one of the most useful things I learned in HS.
Incidentally, have any of you touch-typers ever tried to switch to the Dvorak keyboard layout? It’s a real mindfuck, especially when it comes to things which are pure muscle-memory, like typing passwords into web forms.
I tried once and was never able to make the switch – too frustrating. But I’ve considered it several times since, idly.
My HS required typing as a class. I learned there. This would have been 1988-89 or so.
When I worked at an internet cafe (remember those!?), people used to be amazed that I would talk to them while typing. But it really is a passive thing. I even fix mistakes in many cases without thinking about it. I just realize I hit the wrong key and go back and fix it.
Like you, I find it surprising when people don’t know how to type in today’s world.
This. I took a class in high school, but it wasn’t until I Had to type ‘flee’ or ‘sneak’ followed by ‘hug ph’ very quickly, in a short amount of time, that I really learned to type. I never did master macros and scripts.
Edit: I think I’m around 80wpm. The test ran out of text on the 3-minute Astronaut setting.