Vim’s learning curve may be a myth!

For some years now I’ve been putting off learning Vim. I bet a lot of people will understand why. The learning curve is steep but apparently this sentiment is a myth. I know only two groups of people, those who know Vim very well and those who don’t use it at all (like me). But recently I’ve been wanting to learn Vim more and more. I have my reasons which I believe are good, with these reasons aside, the challenge to learning something new is thrilling!

An excuse I give myself is that I think Vim is more fun on mechanical keyboards. Currently, I work on a 15” 2017 MacBook Pro. If you don’t already know, the keyboard on this machine is nothing to write home about. The keys are very fragile and feels a bit like you’re pushing your fingers through egg shells. That’s not even the most annoying part, this MacBook doesn’t have a real ESC key! I understand you can map the escape key to another key but the preferences on a Mac suggests that you only map to modifier keys, which doesn’t work for me because I need these keys. Drawbacks like these don’t present any motivation to learn and use tools like Vim.

Learning Vim with ErgoDox EZ

Recently, the urge to get a mechanical keyboard has been progressive, and if I’m going to spend money on getting a mechanical keyboard I better make maximum use of it, this would mean divorcing my trackpad and hopefully making myself more productive in the process. The first thing that comes to mind is getting an ErgoDox EZ! I know almost nothing about this keyboard other than the fact that it’s mechanical and cool. A lot of Rubyists from my Twitter timeline seems to use and like it so I thought to myself… this many people can’t be wrong about this keyboard. I’m getting it!

The $350 Motivation

My motivation to learn Vim costs over $350! And I’m sure the journey will be well worth it. The spec I’m reaching for is a black, backlit keyboard with a black tilt kit and CherryMXBlue switch. All coming in at $354.

Rails 6 splash screen

In all honesty, I don’t think changing over from Sublime Text to Vim will make one more productive. Sublime Text is awesome and gets the job done. But if I’m getting an ErgoDox EZ, then it probably would mean that I won’t be using the trackpad on my MacBook Pro and if I’m not engaging my trackpad, I better learn Vim… or get a mouse.

EDIT: April 3rd, 2020

I have since decided to sell my Ergodox EZ. I quickly realised that the keyboard is not for everybody and my purchase was rather impulsive. Though a decent keyboard, I couldn’t bring myself to having to re-learn the position of the keys. I kept typing the wrong keys and kept retyping. This hindered my productivity and I used it for about 2 days and decided to call quits on it.

Now, this is just my experience. Ergodox EZ is highly customizable and has some very cool features: you can program the LEDs and keys to a high degree. It just isn’t the product for me.

I have returned to my usual Magic Keyboard from Apple.

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