Is Touch-Typing an Obsolete Skill?

December 16th, 2010 201 Comments

I can touch type.

If you don’t know what I mean, you probably don’t touch type, and if you don’t touch type, you hunt-and-peck.

I didn’t make up the terms so don’t get mad at me if you don’t like them. I’ve seen impossibly fast hunt-and-peck typing on a keyboard, and perhaps the greatest hnp typists are texters, whose thumbs can fly across their keypads.

I would compare their words-per-minute output, but as we all know, texting involves “words” that would make my typing instructor lulz.

Photo by Lainey Powell from Flickr used under Creative Commons

Touch-typing is a lost skill, and I wonder why, given its utility to people like me who use a keyboard all the live-long day. I’ve met developers who pound out millions of characters each week without touch-typing. It seems horribly inefficient.

Didn’t they ever stop to wonder why the “F” and “J” keys have nubbies on them?

It would seem odd that touch-typing classes have not become a prerequisite of computer science courses, if only to help the students become more productive. I don’t know if they are, but somehow I doubt it.


Because through texting and computers at home, children are exposed to keyboards much earlier now, and it’s supremely tough to break ingrained habits like hnp typing. So what’s the point of a touch-typing class?

In addition, I doubt anyone finds real utility in a typing class now, since the touch-typing hallmark statistic of words-per-minute no longer seems valid or useful to getting a job.

The benefits of learning to touch-type vs. hnp typing are too hard to quantify, and thus, “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy yellow dog” is now just a sentence no one uses anymore.

So, am I right? Can anyone touch-type anymore?

Find the comments.

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201 Responses to “Is Touch-Typing an Obsolete Skill?”

  1. Jimmothy Says:

    It’s worth it to take the time to touch-type guys. The only question is, will the keyboard ever become obsolete? I’m already using talk to text on my phone. Maybe that’s a discussion for another blog.

    I took typing class in Middle School and used a lot of AIM & AOL chat rooms at the time.

    Your score: 546 CPM (that is 109 WPM)

    Your score beats or equals 99.45% of all.

    Congratulations! You typed all 99 words correctly!

    I advise you to take a 2 minute break now.

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