While discussing with fellow developers, I was asked the following question a few times: We spend most of our time as developers thinking, not editing code; so, why invest time into mastering a complicated code editor, and why lose some cognitive resources on thinking about text editing instead of about the real programming problem?

I think this point of view is misguided, for a few reasons:

  • Despite their name, code editors are not only about editing, but also about code navigation. Programming is a hard task partly due to the huge amount of context we have to keep in mind, and being able to quickly navigate code helps us refresh that context, by looking at definitions, implementations, and comments.

  • Although code editing itself is not the most important part of programming, it still takes non-negligible time to perform, and can be optimized by using better tools.

  • Finally, a programming career spans a few decades, so investing a few weeks to improving our editing and navigating speed is definitely worth it.

Programming Tools

This is where all the vim VS emacs posts should go.

Created on Oct 19, 2020
By @gurlic