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Getting Better!

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When I start any non-trivial development task, I try to keep in mind that I want three things:

  • The work product itself, usually new code.
  • Some reusable code.
  • An improved developer (that's me).

About the third: I try to shape the task so that there's room for me to learn and grow. That's usually easy.

But here's my standby: pick up one or two new keyboard shortcuts.

It's simple to identify the candidates. I just take note of something I'm doing with the mouse repeatedly (which I call mousing about). Then I look to see whether there's a shortcut for that. If so, I try to form the new habit of using the shortcut instead of the mouse.

Your shortcuts: Any faves to share?

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Hey, I like your habit of improving shortcut to shortcut! For IntelliJ Idea, I found a plugin called Key Promoter X. Once installed, it tells you the shortcut for every action you triggered with your mouse which you could have done faster with that shortcut. It also makes statistics on which commands you miss the shortcuts for often. (But beware, Key Promoter can be annoying!) My recent baby is 'Navigating between test and test subject': Ctrl+Shift+T or β‡§βŒ˜T

What else? Maybe 'Make invisible files visible' in MacOS' Finder? Cmd+Shift+.


Danke, Victor! I've installed the plugin, and will be "getting better" tomorrow!

To others: be sure to take a look at this if you're using a JetBrains IDE (mine is RubyMine).


I use Ctrl+Shift+P in Sublime Text to get wherever I want to go, and Alt key is my the most favorite key to navigate when I am lost. With Alt key, you can make up your shortcut keys yourself. Alt+... is default! I am gradually moving to VSCode for both C# and Ruby. I haven't done anything great in Ruby yet, but work is in progress.

I also love the way your try to remember exact shortcut keys. I'll try your formula, and see if I could improve.

All the best!

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Burdette Lamar profile image
Started out teaching English at Embry-Riddle. Graded 10,000 essays. Lesson learned. Became a mathematics teacher. Discovered computing. Never looked back.