The majority of programmers don’t prefer using mouses while programming, so why?
What are the reasons that make them hate mouses?
in this article were going to discover the 13 reasons that make programmers dislike mouses.
mouses waste time
The first thing that makes programmers hate or dislike mouses is speed. That is to say, to do a little and easy movement, it takes 2 times to execute a task by using a mouse instead of a keyboard.
For instance, if you want to close windows as a simple task you will at least need 1 second to do this operation with a mouse.
While doing that with a keyboard you just need to press on the command ” CLT+W ” which won’t require more than 0.5s at the maximum. But if talk about other tasks like text editing and other operations the time difference is more than that.
you will find in the table below a simple differentiation between using a mouse to close a window and using a keyboard to do the same thing.
Closing a window with a keyboard
Closing a window with a mouse
remove your hand from a keyboard
picking a mouse
move your head to a cursor to detect its position
move mouse to an icon
pressing or clicking on icons
So we can imagine doing that multiple times and this is what we do actually. It has been recorded that developers click 4000 times during 8 hours of work.
So if we make a simple calculation we find using the keyboard instead of a mouse saves 33 minutes of waste. That is to say, if you use purely use a keyboard for programming you can save half-hour, which is enough time to take a lunch.
this reason is only enough for programmers to not prefer using mouses.
Mouses can’t be precise like a keyboard
Programming is a job that has a lot of text editing, 80% of the time, developers spend editing texts or code lines.
Editing a text with a mouse is not precise like a keyboard, sometimes it might drive you nut trying to drag a cursor in the exact position of the statement.
while with the keyboard, you can calculate how much of steps should you press to get where you want.
Especially for some bad mouse qualities when is hard to move a cursor between letters. In other words, you miss the position multiple times before you get it. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming.
stay focused and not losing the track
Programing only with a keyboard allows you to be focused on the screen. In other words, you won’t move your head from the screen which increases productivity.
In addition, you don’t have to go back and forth between a mouse and keyboard. This is so annoying and developers know that more than anyone.
Sometimes we can get easily lost when we move our head from a screen. For developers who are working on big projects, dealing with a lot of lines requires them to stay focused in front of the screen.
mouses take spaces
mouses require spaces to operate well, sometimes developers might not have that. In other words, to work properly with a mouse, you need at least to have 80 cm x 50cm of space. This is not always available for people who have smaller desks.
Using a touchpad laptop as a replacement for coding is not effective and it is worst than a mouse. You could find more details reading this article.
Using a laptop with a mouse needs to have a desk while some developers prefer to put the laptop on their laps. It is so annoying to bring a mouse with you while you are programming sitting on the sofa or lying down on your chest.
Sometimes icons are smaller
Some editors or IDEs have small icons because they got a lot of details, using a mouse is not effective as a keyboard. That is to say, you might lose some steps with the mouse especially when you have a lot of directories and files to manipulate.
IDE’s has keyboard shortcut
IDEs have shortcut commands that facilitate programmers’ jobs they are super useful. In other words, you can do amazing programming operations by just using the following shortcuts that you will see in the video below.
mouses are tiring a wrist and fingers
according to ergonomictrend, 60% of computer workers in the US have wrist pain, that is to say, 6 forms 10 suffer from wrist pain. So nobody can deny how much mouses are tiring fingers and wrists.
Using a keyboard allows programmers to be static, in other words, they don’t move their wrists at all, all they have to do is to move their fingers.
The difference is we have only one wrist while we still have 10 fingers, so this allows programmers to split the workload to each finger.
using a mouse meaning the index finger is supporting the whole workload. So you can imagine pressing 4000 times a day just with one finger as a developer.
Instead, you could divide these 4000 clicks that a developer makes a day to 10 fingers and notice a big difference.
mouses don’t work on any surface
Mouses have a killer point which is they don’t work on all surfaces especially if you use them on glass or polished surfaces. The other thing is they need a flat surface to work which is sometimes is not feasible.
if you want to use a mouse on a transparent surface you should use the oldest and heavier mechanical mouses they are not precise like optical ones.
keyboard commands can be customized
you can customize your keyboard commands and use it as a mouse. To clarify you could choose any command or button you want, to make whatever you want.
for instance, you could make:
- CLT+A to open your file
- CLT+B to run your favorable music and so on
This is become so helpful and gives more freedom to users.
Sometimes you can’t use a mouse
using mouses in some cases is difficult for developers and not feasible, we’re going to list some examples where is hard to use a mouse.
- have a small desk
- work on server boxes
- having a laptop in lap
- work outside offices
- work in dirty places
for this reason, the laptop constructors have made a touchpad to solve the mouse portability issues. But is useless for programmers.
In addition, even if it was possible programmers won’t prefer to use mouses in these environments because is not conformable like a desk.
with this chrome extension you could even browse without a mouse
you can say Bay to your mouse using a chrome extension called vim. This extension allows you to browse only with a keyboard you could find more details in the video below.
The great thing about vim is you could customize the shortcut as you want. It also gives you more freedom and flexibility in the work.
is great to use the keyboard for repetitive tasks
when it comes to repetitive tasks using a keyboard is the best thing to do as a programmer. so we will list the 10 repetitive tasks that we use with a mouse that makes us lose a lot of time.
- F2: Rename
- F5: Refresh
- Ctrl+Z: Undo
- Ctrl+W: Close
- Ctrl+A: Select all
- Alt+Tab: Switch apps
- Alt+F4: Close apps
- Win+L: Lock your computer
- Win+I: Open Settings
So these commands are super useful and reduce a lot of effort doing them with a mouse.
keyboard is 100 years older than mouses
if we go back and look at the history we find that the keyboard is older than a mouse by more than 90 years. to explain more:
- in 1874 was the first keybaord made
- in 1950 was a time were programming language used and implemented in computers
- in 1964 is a time when the first mechanical mouse was introduced
- in 1973 was the fist time when a muse was introduce with a comptuer called Xerox Alto
- in 1980 is the time when mouse start to get popular
So the computer infrastructure was built on the keyboard. While a mouse comes as a second extension to facilitate the work. Many older programmers say that they prefer the keyboard over mouses because this is how they’ve learned to program.
Using a mouse facilitates work but when we talk about programming keyboards are powerful and so helpful. For this reason, we find a lot of programmers don’t prefer to use mouses in their jobs.
Unless we use this magic mouse mentioned in the video below in the future.
But to perform and count 100% to keyboards for programming you need to have some practice and some time. it is like learning how to type fast without looking at the keyboard.