2016: The Year of Bad Typing ⌨️

I type a lot. All day, everyday. My primary role at Automattic is of a communicator. 99.9% of which occurs via a keyboard. ⌨️

I haven’t had any problems, except maybe once a week, my wrists hurt a little toward the end of the day. I wouldn’t typically think about it except typing is my life. It is like when a marathon runner feels something at mile 5. Scary.

Our keyboards aren’t made for this. The QWERTY layout that we all know and don’t understand was standardized when typewriters needed people to slow down. People were typing fast enough to make the types (the thing with the letter that smashes the ink into the paper) stick together. The layout makes us a bit more to work around this 19th century limitation. More work, the faster things break down.

I’ve been considering the Dvorak layout for sometime. This is a layout developed to overall reduce the work of your hands and, according to some, faster. I am pretty darn fast on QWERTY and, honestly, am already to the point where my thought process is usually my limiting factor. I am not expecting a speed increase. The potential reduction in strain is a huge benefit though.

I switched cold turkey about a week ago.

Using it exclusively is hard. It is humbling to suck at typing. I don’t know if it will make anything better or not, but figure it is worth the experiment. I return to work after a long break today—will my patience make it without ripping off the keyboard overlay?

Happiness Badges

Happiness Badges

A number of Automatticians worked to create these “happiness badges” for a variety of roles that Happiness Engineers serve in. The badges were retroactive to things you’ve worked on in the past too. For me, the badges represent work in our old “Core Happiness” team, Jetpack, VaultPress, WordPress.com’s public forums, Themes/CSS (even though I turned the badge to look like a frowny guy 😄), WordPress.com’s private e-mail support, mobile app support, community guardian (Terms of Service enforcement), and a new hire/trial trainer.

No badges for VIP or working on the open-source project (yet) and I have my sights set on leveling up on Akismet in the near-ish future.

While small and of little tangible value, I love things like this. I forget the variety of things I’ve done and that I still have new places to explore and things to learn. These little bits of fabric are pretty darn cool.

2015 3M Half-Marathon

3M’s annual half-marathon took place in Austin today. Of the five Austin Distance Challenge events so far, it felt like the most attended event.

While there were some logistical suggestions I’d make, it was a good race. The weather was great and the crowds along the course really came out in full force to support the runners.

The run was hard. I haven’t restarted a regular running schedule since having the twins two months ago, so it was 13.1 miles cold.

The final event of the season, the Austin Marathon and Half-Marathon is in three weeks so there is still a little time to get back in rhythm. Originally, I had signed up for the full marathon, but earlier this month, realized that while I can pull off 13.1 without training, 26.2 was just stupid :-).

As a reminder, since going through the NICU experience with the twins in December and another hospital stay in January, I’m dedicating this season to support the Hand to Hold nonprofit that helps parents of premature babies and others who are in the NICU.

The full story.

Donation Page.