Advice to my Kids

Dear Kids,

if you choose the small and winding path of Computer Science as your daily bread, please consider learning this:

Keyboard Layout

Use Dvorak keyboard layout. It's a bit different than the standard QWERTY layout. It is very awkward in the beginning, but if you train you'll soon learn it by heart (or rather by spinal cortex) and you'll be happy.

Never ever look at the keyboard. Get a blank keycap set.

Only if you are forced to use a QWERTY keyboard you're allowed to look at the keys. But get a small Dvorak keyboard that you can carry with you wherever you go.


Learn a UNIX shell. Bash is the most common. It has some warts but can do magic if you put some effort into it.

There are other shells as well. Csh, Tcsh, Zsh, Fish, ... Learn a bit on them too. I use Fish and Bash at the moment.

Avoid PowerShell on Windoz at all costs. Choose the DOS prompt if you must.


To edit text files you should use Vim. It's devine. It's not okey to learn Emacs.

If you choose to learn Emacs instead of Vim I will haunt you in your dreams when I'm gone.

If you still prefer Emacs I will be glad that you stood up to me and wish you luck. Emacs is also an amazing editor.

Well, kids, this concludes my list of stuff you should learn for today. Perhaps I will write what you need to know about programming one day.