When I first learned how to exist on UNIX, in 1988, I used vi as my primary editor. During the next nine years I taught myself how to become a power user - migrating from the simple motion and copy and paste to more complex skills like marks and named registers. When I started graduate school I saw many of the professors and grad students using emacs. I tried it out a couple of times, but it was not until 1997 that I decided to take the time to stick with emacs and take the time to learn the right way to do things even when I could get the job done faster in vi.
As of this past weekend it’s been fifteen years since I started my career as a software developer. With the exception of a few months here and there, I’ve spent all these years working on Linux or Unix-like operating systems. I’ve noticed that despite the wide variety of tools and applications I have used and continue to use, some key skills are always in demand in this field. One of these is mastery of a text editor.