I’m a programmer by day and I spend a lot of evenings and weekends writing. This means a lot of time in front of a computer typing.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing some .Net development, which I don’t usually do. This means using a spare Windows machine which has a cheap (< £10) keyboard. It’s not ergonomic at all, it’s flat, practically a laptop keyboard, with keys that barely respond to the fingertips. I haven’t taken it apart but I imagine it’s a rubber or dome membrane keyboard as they’re suitably cheap to make.

In contrast, I’m typing this on a mechanical keyboard which I spent around ~£80 on. It’s fast, responsive and I can immediately feel the difference in quality. It has a flat layout too, but the keys are raised and easy to differentiate between. They’re responsive to the fingers and make my typing faster and much more accurate (my typing needs all the accuracy boosts it can get). I can pretty much close my eyes and let the words flow out.

I’ve picked up a few bad typing habits over the years and I tend to over-use my left little-finger for control and shift (I’m left handed). By the end of yesterday my left hand ached from typing. That used to happen a lot until I bought the mechanical keyboard. It just shows the importance of proper tools for your trade, no matter what your trade happens to be.