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Show and Tell: Skill Acquisition
Adam Johnson - me@adamj.eu
28th August 2013
I have been learning a skill...
1
...what is it?
• Something you did today
• You’ve been paid to do it
• You’ve probably never really practiced it in your l...
Typing!
(not me)
3
Motivation
• I’m a programmer - I have a lot of typing to do!
• Fear of RSI - colleagues have been crippled by it
• Statis...
To business!
• Just need to grab some typing programs
• Get down to learning QWERTY the right way!!
5
Ten Thumbs
6
Oh no....
7
8
9
10
Undefined
• Didn’t know how long it would take
• Is this really the best idea?
• Hard practicing QWERTY the right way at ni...
...what changed?
12
A Book
• Josh Kaufman, 2013 - http://first20hours.com/
13
The First 20 Hours : Rapid Summary
• Nearly any skill can be learnt (to a useful degree) in 20 hours
• A couple chapters o...
A brief history of keyboard design...
15
QWERTY
• “Slowly took over the world”, since 1872. Main design con-
straint: to stop typewriter key bars jamming.
16
DVORAK
• 1932 design for an optimal layout.
• Relatively hard to learn.
17
Colemak
• Designed by a programmer with a mathematical model and lots
of spare time.
• Trade-off between ease of transition...
• Source: http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?colemak
19
• Source: http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?full_optimization
20
Method
• Swap keys on OS and keyboard
• Get some training programs
• Don’t give up before the 20 hour mark
21
Programs
• A variety is useful
• Practice different subskills - hardest keys, whole prose, etc.
• Data export is not much o...
Amphetype
• Free & open source - https://code.google.com/p/amphetype/
23
Type-Fu
• £6.99 - http://type-fu.com/
24
Typocalypse 3D
• Free - http://is.gd/typeocalypse
25
26
27
Final Statistics
• Total time spent practicing typing: 20:30
• Recent Average WPM in Amphetype: 54 WPM
• Time spent prepar...
Thank you
• Slides on GitHub - http://is.gd/adamIsDaBomb
• Email me - me@adamj.eu
29
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Skill acquisition

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Talk as given at Quantified Self London, 28th August 2013

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Skill acquisition

  1. 1. Show and Tell: Skill Acquisition Adam Johnson - me@adamj.eu 28th August 2013
  2. 2. I have been learning a skill... 1
  3. 3. ...what is it? • Something you did today • You’ve been paid to do it • You’ve probably never really practiced it in your life... 2
  4. 4. Typing! (not me) 3
  5. 5. Motivation • I’m a programmer - I have a lot of typing to do! • Fear of RSI - colleagues have been crippled by it • Statistic: “In the USA, carpal tunnel syndrome results in an average of $30,000 in lifetime costs” (Wikipedia) 4
  6. 6. To business! • Just need to grab some typing programs • Get down to learning QWERTY the right way!! 5
  7. 7. Ten Thumbs 6
  8. 8. Oh no.... 7
  9. 9. 8
  10. 10. 9
  11. 11. 10
  12. 12. Undefined • Didn’t know how long it would take • Is this really the best idea? • Hard practicing QWERTY the right way at night, then going back to old habits during the day 11
  13. 13. ...what changed? 12
  14. 14. A Book • Josh Kaufman, 2013 - http://first20hours.com/ 13
  15. 15. The First 20 Hours : Rapid Summary • Nearly any skill can be learnt (to a useful degree) in 20 hours • A couple chapters of general how-to, then one chapter on each of six skills he learnt with his method • One of these was on touchtyping... in ‘Colemak’ 14
  16. 16. A brief history of keyboard design... 15
  17. 17. QWERTY • “Slowly took over the world”, since 1872. Main design con- straint: to stop typewriter key bars jamming. 16
  18. 18. DVORAK • 1932 design for an optimal layout. • Relatively hard to learn. 17
  19. 19. Colemak • Designed by a programmer with a mathematical model and lots of spare time. • Trade-off between ease of transition (Q,W,Z,X,C,V stay the same) and optimization. 18
  20. 20. • Source: http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?colemak 19
  21. 21. • Source: http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?full_optimization 20
  22. 22. Method • Swap keys on OS and keyboard • Get some training programs • Don’t give up before the 20 hour mark 21
  23. 23. Programs • A variety is useful • Practice different subskills - hardest keys, whole prose, etc. • Data export is not much of a feature. Many record your WPM + accuracy, but often only for own graph feature. 22
  24. 24. Amphetype • Free & open source - https://code.google.com/p/amphetype/ 23
  25. 25. Type-Fu • £6.99 - http://type-fu.com/ 24
  26. 26. Typocalypse 3D • Free - http://is.gd/typeocalypse 25
  27. 27. 26
  28. 28. 27
  29. 29. Final Statistics • Total time spent practicing typing: 20:30 • Recent Average WPM in Amphetype: 54 WPM • Time spent preparing this talk: 4:24 28
  30. 30. Thank you • Slides on GitHub - http://is.gd/adamIsDaBomb • Email me - me@adamj.eu 29

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