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Iceni Magazine | August 13, 2020

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The software developer who didn’t like typing


It’s Easter so time for something different.

We spend as much time as we can reading to our kids. When they were younger they enjoyed books such as The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water: “Everybody knows that crocodiles love water, but this little crocodile is different. He doesn’t like water at all. In fact, he prefers climbing trees!”

My eldest son (12) is vegetarian, but like a lot of children he doesn’t really like many vegetables. I always thought I should write a book called The Vegetarian Who Doesn’t Like Vegetables for other children who don’t like vegetables. I am increasingly of the opinion that this would be very unfair on my son, as I am the software developer who doesn’t like typing!

I’ve always been impatient. That’s how I got into software development at the age of 8. I was too impatient to wait for the games to load from tape on my Acorn Electron, so I started writing my own programs instead, which was far more satisfying, even if I did frequently hit the limits of the hardware.

But I never really liked typing and I still don’t. I’ve got better at it over the years, but I don’t think it is something I will ever enjoy or find comfortable. This is a shame as it’s about the only practical way of writing computer software. I couldn’t imagine trying to describe syntax and copy and pasting to a voice recognition system and the chances are my fingers on the keys would be quicker anyway.

Article by Paul Grenyer

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