We can all type on keyboards. It’s part of our job right? But can you do it without looking at your fingers? Can you do it without repeatedly making mistakes and having to go back over words?
When I worked in the police force, we started out on old fashioned typewriters. If you made a mistake using that, you had to use Tipp-Ex to dab over the wrong letter or typo. I then started a part-time law degree. We had to complete assignments of several thousand words sometimes.
Imagine typing that number of words with two fingers whilst looking down at your fingers and then back up at the screen to see if you typed each word correctly? Well, the chances are you do type that number of words over the course of a few weeks while working as a network engineer.
I finally realised that tasks were taking me twice as long as they should because I couldn’t touch type. I resolved to learn how and found a program which taught me. I spent around 30 minutes per day on the program for a month, and I got up to 20 words per minute. I was happy with that. I don’t want to be a secretary; I just want to be accurate.
That skill has saved me many hundreds of hours over the years, but there is another benefit. If you are working on a live network as a consultant, not being able to type without looking at your fingers will not inspire confidence in your clients. It will make you look amateurish at best. Sure, I know being able to touch type won’t actually make you a better engineer, but it will help you do your job better.
Just like riding a bike, you only have to learn how to do it once and you can do it forever. I used Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, but feel free to find one that works for you.