Learn Your Coding Editor Really Well

June 28, 2014

People often ask why I like Emacs so much. My answer is that programmers can improve their productivity, just by learning to work well with any good editor. I’ve settled on Emacs, but it’s a personal choice.

No matter what tool you like the most, learning how to use macros, regexes, and keyboard bindings/combinations can make your programming life easier. The less time spent doing repetitive tasks while manipulating text, the better.

Powerful editor sequences become hardwired in our brains. Working almost all the time without leaving the keyboard to get a mouse is a huge win. We don’t even think about it.

GNU Emacs is just one tool among many alternatives. I can’t regret changing my habits to use it. There’s a learning curve, for sure, but it more than pays for the time gains later.

Emacs Rocks has some nice screencasts. Once you see someone working cleverly with an editor, your mind/eyes will get opened.