When I watch my expert colleagues navigate their work, I'm impressed by how their tools look like an extension of their body. A videographer with a custom Final Cut jogwheel + keypad setup, a designer who knows every Illustrator shortcut - they go about their work with a fluidity that looks like a dance. They never look at their hands while they're working.
In college, a professor told me that "Once you learn
vim, you can move mountains." This sounded impressive, but didn't really click with me until 5 years after I graduated when I finally went through
:vimtutor and dedicated myself to using Vim for all of my code development. I can move mountains (of text)! But
vim is all but useless if you can't touch-type.
I've always told my colleagues at work to memorize keyboard shortcuts. "Imagine how many hours of your life you've spent just moooooving your hand over to the mouse so that you can click some icon!" I say. But then I realized: keyboard shortcuts will only save you time if you can touch-type. If you can't find home row, a keyboard shortcut is not going to make you faster.
So that's my question - given that our range of professions involve fending our way through gigantic piles of text, is true mastery only attainable to those who know how to touch type? Or is it merely a nice tool to have in one's proverbial belt? Or am I missing the point entirely?