One Year at the Terminal

I have been programming now with the terminal, mostly Vim + tmux, for about a year. The road has been long and at some points very frustrating. If there are any out there programming and would like to get started here are a couple of nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up on my “journey to enlightenment”.

First, it takes time! You won’t be ripping through text on day three like others you may have seen. It is an investment that takes a considerable amount of time to train into muscle memory. On this front I recommend focusing on just a couple new things each week and remembering to use those first. With Vim for example; you won’t know how to do everything instantly, so just do them how you know to. Write down a note of some of the things that seem to take a long time to do. Each week learn how to solve a couple things from your ever changing list and force yourself to keep using those strategies.

Second, find others and see how they do it for inspiration. Vim, tmux, and any other command line app worth it’s salt normally uses “dot files” to configure their default behavior. Take a peek at other people’s dot files and figure out how you can incorporate some of what they have done in your work flow week by week. Big warning here, don’t try and just copy a bunch of configurations all at once.

Third, stick with it! I know it’s painful, but you need to stick with it. If something sucks then fix it! Don’t run back to your favorite IDE when things get hard. Write down those things that suck and find good ways to fix them!! This is an echo of what I talked about earlier, but it bears repeating.