The buzz cut

Ramblings from the barbershop

A Month With Vim: Introduction

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For years, I coded in Perl, PHP, and Java using Pico/Nano. I was pretty damn productive in those days, but simple refactoring was tedious and time consuming. When I shifted to Ruby, I started using TextMate, and eventually Sublime Text. Both provided huge improvements to my programming happiness and overall productivity. Fast forward 5-6 years and now, I consider myself a fairly advanced Sublime Text user. I know the majority of the shortcuts, leverage plenty of plugins, and can move around with ease. I don’t NEED it — I could still go back to Nano, if necessary — but it has certainly made me a better programmer.

Lately, the Vim community has been conspiring against me. Everywhere I turn, there’s another developer I respect gushing over Vim. I see daily references to it in screencasts, conference talks, and blog posts. What’s all the hype about? Will keeping my fingers on the home row, pecking at a new key combinations, provide me similar productivity gains to my Nano –> SublimeText shift?

It’s time to find out.

Vim has a steep enough learning curve that it’s impossible to do a fair assessment in a week, so I’ve decided to commit myself to it, as my only text editor, for the month of July. I’m documenting the experience for others who are starting at zero.

Read more about my first week with Vim