You might see typing requirements in job descriptions or wonder if you should list your typing speed on your resume. Do you need to be a fast typist to be a good IT Professional? No. There are are plenty of good IT Pros that hunt-and-peck for the keys on the keyboard. However, if you want to greatly improve your productivity, enjoyment of work, and perceived competence then becoming an excellent typist can help. Particularly when you are writing scripts, being able to type well will speed up the development process and greater accuracy will improve your scripting so you have less mistakes and fewer syntax errors to debug.
Improving your typing is a valuable skill to invest in. It’s foundational and will benefit you for the rest of your life (unless computer input drastically changes). You may never quite type like a hacker in the movies but typing above 50 words-per-minute accurately can make life easier for the IT Pro. Be certain to not neglect learning the numpad either, that can certainly speed up inputting numbers or performing calculations. A hexadecimal numpad may also be a worthwhile investment if you deal with IPv6, MAC addresses, or other hexadecimal numbers.
Another means to improve your typing could be to change your keyboard layout. I’m sure you’ve all heard that the QWERTY layout was designed to slow down typing so the typewriter mechanics would not get jammed. There are other keyboard layouts like Dvorak or Colemak to try. This could improve your speed, accuracy, and comfort while typing once you get past the learning curve.
I’ve talked about this before in 2009 where I recommended some resources such as practice games and typing tests but I recently saw the question on how important typing is or how fast an IT Pro needs to type, so I figured I’d revisit the topic with a simple summary.