What’s Your I/O Bandwidth?

Tue 24 April 2012

At a certain point as a developer, you begin to hit a plateau, where new concepts or techniques no longer produce the drastic increases in productivity you once experienced (such as the realization that you can do most of your job with a handful of well-written shell scripts).

You could learn a few more Vim tricks, or finally get around to learning Ruby. But there’s one thing that most developers don’t pursue, yet is beneficial in both programming and non-programming pursuits:

Go faster.

How fast can you type? Can you type 120 words per minute?

How many words per minute can you read? Can you read 700 words per minute?

Few of us bother testing to see what our speeds are, and even fewer do anything about it, typically because we fall into a ‘comfortable’ speed. We spend so much time reading and writing, yet we don’t bother to check our own personal I/O bandwidth.

The benefits of these speed-ups are obvious. While BASH-fu can help you parse logs in a snap, it can’t help you read that 30-page spec any faster. You can dazzle people with your Wordpress setup, but it’s not going to write meaningful content quickly (or at all).

To get you started:

Speed-Reading Test

Typing Test