Should I learn Vim?

. 1 min read

I’ve been using Vim for a little while now, and I love it. Yes, I am THAT annoyingly smug person.

But please, only learn Vim if you have a strong motivation to do so. The learning curve is tough and Vim will not feel intuitive for many months. It’s always better to choose the editor you are most productive with, not what makes you seem like the most hardcore programmer.

I switched to Vim for ergonomic reasons. My wrists were in constant pain. If I wanted to continue being a software engineer, I had to learn Vim.

Whenever someone sees me using Vim, I receive compliments and respect that I don’t deserve. But it’s not worth learning Vim for the kudos. It will take a very long time to recover from the productivity hit, far too long for a full-time software engineer.

It is only worth learning Vim for street cred if you are an undergraduate Computer Science student with manually marked homework assignments. I’ve noticed that tutors significantly less time checking my code, because they (wrongly) assume a Vim user is right! During marking, only basic navigation is required, so look up what hjkl do and you’ll be fine.

Only learn Vim if you have a very good reason. Only learn anything if you have a very good reason.

Photo by Eduardo Cano Photo Co. on Unsplash