Developers November 12, 2019

Forcing myself to use my laptop keyboard when coding

Ryan van der Kooy @CodeReverie

When coding at home or at the office, I use my mechanical keyboard. However, what if i want to do some coding at a coffee shop or even in my car? Does anyone else force themselves to become proficient with their laptop keyboard for these reasons? Right now, whenever I do have to switch to my MBP keyboard, I feel like I'm at about 60% efficiency.

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    I agree with your loss productivity theory. For me, the productivity drop that comes from switching keyboards is due to loss dexterity in my muscle memory. The keys are smaller on my laptop keyboard, and because of this, the physical location of a key could be off by half an inch. This can cause me to hit the wrong key.

    That said, I try not to use my laptop keyboard ever. For me, it's an ergonomics issue. I suffer from hand and wrist pain. I just can't work very long on such a small keyboard without having to take a break.

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      Ya, for me, it's primarily the locations of the home, end, and del keys. I use them so much when shuffling code around and navigating.... I agree with the muscle memory issue.

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    am using HAVIT Mechanical Keyboard 87 when on the go , can look it up on aliexpress, its light TKL variant and far better anything rubber dome/scissor switches can offer. As well have having a short L-shaped micro USB cable helps.

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    I use my laptop keyboard all the time and have never felt a decrease in productivity because of it. Whenever I am coding it is the thinking that is a bottleneck rather than the keyboard's ability to support my flow of thoughts.

    That said, I have never used a mechanical keyboard but I seriously doubt if things can get better because of it.

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      Exactly, typing shouldn't be the bottleneck, though sometimes it is useful to have the code written as soon as you think of writing it.

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        I think I’ve grown so used to the home, end, delete keys being where they are on my external keyboard that i get really thrown off when I can’t navigate and shuffle code around efficiently. It interrupts my flow. Maybe I just need more practice.

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    I do try to use my laptop keyboard at least once a week, even if it is for writing on social media or whatever. It just keeps the layout and the feel fresh in my mind.

    On my mechanical keyboard, there is a certain rhythm I get into which I can't get on the laptop keyboards.

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    For me is extremely frustrating trying to work on a laptop, the screen is so small, I have to alt tab all the time and yeah, the keyboard. I kind of envy people like you that can work in a coffee shop (to noisy for me) or in their car... wait what? why? :o :)

    It might work for small sessions (under 30mins) but the only time I used for a normal day, I end up hurting my wrist (using laptop keyboard + trackpad for hours put my wrist in a weird position)

    I bought the x-bows keyboard and when I'm forced to use the mbp, I put it on top of the laptop keyboard, it fits perfectly :P

    I used a 60% keyboard for a while I was very happy with it, specially because I can hit [ESC] and the navigation arrows without having to move my hands out of the keyboard,  and was able to put it on top of the laptop keyboard too, but since the x-bows, I don't use it as much.

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    I have tried many keyboards, but I actually like my MacBook Pro keyboard best of all. I love the key travel distance and the's the most natural of all to me. (Of course, I've got an ancient 2015, but folks love the keyboard on this model)