Practice your keyboard shortcuts

This blog helps you to use keyboards in your daily routine and how can you improve it. Here, I have created a set of exercises by observing the daily operations testers at Qxf2 perform on vi editor, Git bash and Visual Studio Code. If you are in the habit of using Unix based systems or an IDE.


Why this post?

We have observed that most people who are starting their career prefer to use the mouse. Though there are a lot of shortcuts that can be performed using a keyboard, they are more comfortable using a mouse. Most people struggle to use vi editor, Git bash, VS code and Linux OS because they find it difficult to use the keyboard. In this blog you would find a set of exercises that would help you understand the benefits of using a keyboard rather than a mouse. Once you complete these exercises you would find it easier to use the keyboard.


Take a minute to go through these questions

  • How do you navigate from one application to another while you’re working on your laptop?
  • How are you using VS Code IDE?
  • How do you pick, copy, and paste multiple lines in Vi editor?
  • Are you typing on the command line or copy-pasting commands?

If you use keyboard to perform all the above operations then you can skip reading further. If not, I am sure you will find this useful.


Why we choose to use the keyboard

As a tester, I’ve always thought about why we choose to use the keyboard and what difference it actually makes by choosing the keyboard over the mouse. Using the keyboard for all your work, building aliases for repetitive commands, etc. will increase the efficiency of your job. Pick up keyboard shortcuts when you start your career and this will help you to build a good impression. A good engineer will inevitably pick up this habit and increase the pace of work. To bring this habit into your daily life we have come up with a real-time problem. Typically, to practice the use of the keyboard, we try to create cheat sheets and refer to them. But you can’t remember all those shortcuts if you memorize it, instead, we have designed our exercise to make it look like your everyday work routine.


How do you use our repository?

This repository contains a set of Python and .md file that will help you to practice the keyboard shortcuts. If you want to use any other files of your own choice, you can do that as well. You can go through the keyboard-shortcuts.md file and do the exercises.
For example, if we take exercise 5, we are searching a keyword ‘app’ and replacing the same with apps, using mouse we will do following steps:
I. Open the file in editor.
II. Find the word in all those file around 63 location.
III. Replace the word everywhere.
IV. This may take around 10-15 mins.
With keyword shortcuts we will do following steps:
I. Go to the Visual Studio Code and do ctrl-p and search the file with filename.
II. Once the file is open, press ctrl-f+h to search word app and replace this with apps
III. Do ctrl-s and close the visual studio code and come out of it
IV. This can be done in less than minute.(Please find attached gif file)

To practice these exercises, fork and clone this repository. You can read the readme files for setting up the repository in your local machine. This exercise doesn’t contain all the keyboard shortcuts and you can’t bring this habit immediately into your work. Hence try to introduce these keyboard shortcuts slowly into your daily routine and increase your productivity. I believe, these exercises are helpful and will increase your productivity in your work. You can tell us how did you get into the habit of keyboard shorcuts and how it helped you. You can try out the exercises and post your feedback.

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