10 years ago, I posted in my previous blog (migrated here thanks to the waybackmachine and some quick munging) that I had just switched to the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout. Since that time, I’ve obviously learned how to type properly with it, and I can honestly say, I’ve never looked back… though, I do still have to switch back and forth between Dvorak and QWERTY since I admin/support several systems that still use QWERTY. I would, admittedly, probably type faster if I didn’t have to change back and forth, but with Dvorak I type about the same, or a bit faster than with QWERTY, and certainly more efficiently (I can actually pay attention to typing, and realize how little I leave the home row).
I will say, my coding slowed down, and never really sped back up. I think this is just due to the layout of certain characters and how they changed position in Dvorak, but I really can’t say specifically. It just seems like I code slower than I used to.
All and all, I’m happy I made the switch. If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, I would highly recommend finding a keyboard to rearrange the keys on, so you can learn that way. You may also want to get a keyboard overlay, or stickers, for your laptop, as most laptop keyboards are a pain to rearrange the keys on. Also, ideally, switch completely. You’ll regret having to flip back and forth. Your coworkers, friend, etc will be annoyed with your new layout, but you’ll be happier that they can’t use your computer. =)