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A horrible suspicion

Posted on 17/9/06 by Felix Geisendörfer

I think I just made pretty bad discovery a minute ago. For some reason I've always been pretty bad with names of Locations, People, etc., but for some reason I almost always remember the first letter correctly. So if I met a girl named "Sandra" and see hear again I would be like "Hey S ... S ... S ... S-Sorry, what was your name again?". Ok, no, I actually figured out that pretending to remember the name works a lot better then that, but anyway, the problem still exists.

So as I said a minute ago a horrible suspicion came to my mind. What is if all of this had to do with my programming, or to be more exact my with IDE. For those of you who don't know, I come from a BASIC background and started to use Visual Basic (*sigh*) fairly early. One of the nice aspects of it was that they always had a really good IDE with auto completion, just like my current IDE. So my suspicion is, that the auto complete feature is what causes me to forgot names. If I have a class called Pictures, I just type P press Ctrl+Space and hit enter -> done. I do this approximitly 100-300 times a day, so I think this could seriously have something to do with my inability to remember names. Whenever I use an IDE without auto completion, I feel really uncomfortable and my productivity goes way down which seems to support this theory as well.

What do you guys think, anybody having similar experiences? Any ideas how to fix it? I should probably start using Notepad++ for my coding at least once a week : ).

--Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


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Bakytn  said on Sep 17, 2006:

Funny :)
You know..sometimes i want to puch Ctrl+F

to find something in the real...again it is so funny.

I think you shouldn't start using Notepad++ just remember that "bugs" and just be more attentive.

Thank you, Felix, for your very useful blog-site!!

Felix Geisendörfer said on Sep 17, 2006:

Bakytn: Well I think I couldn't get myself to use an IDE without code completion for php any more, I'm way to spoiled already *g*. And yes, being more attentive fixes the problem really well, I just have to actively think "I want to remember that his/her name is ...", otherwise I end up trying to push Ctrl+Space in my brain the next time I see them ; ). Anyway, I'm glad you like my blog, thanks : ).

Nate K said on Sep 17, 2006:

Felix, I can side with you on this one. I use TextMate - and I have so many things programmed into the bundles to help increase productivity. From CSS, HTML, XML, SQL, PHP, Javascript, etc. I am so used to typing the snippet keys and building from there.

Honestly, sometimes I try to do many tasks by hand where possible, simply to keep me fresh and up to par. I just train myself to work quicker in some areas.

Its tough, in one aspect computers are there to help with production and speed, and on the other hand too much reliance on them can lead to simply forgetting things.

Man, what if the real world functioned like a computer, shortcut keys and all! hehe.

Lucian Lature  said on Sep 18, 2006:

I use Notepad++ and I still forget names.
I dont't think it has to do with the fact that I'm using the computer a lot .

Felix Geisendörfer said on Sep 18, 2006:

Well the thing that I feel is about me forgetting names is the fact that I can almost always remember the first letter. It's not like this has ever helped me to guess the name correctly, but it sure sounds like I would only store the information needed to access objects with auto complete : p.

Pacifists  said on Sep 20, 2006:

I've dropped using auto completion a while ago, just because I've noticed that my blind typing skill is more into regular words and not programming. At that time I was coding really slow... and chatting really fast ;) And after I've changed my editor to faster one, but with no code completion just correct function highlight I've noticed the same thing .. I had to look up into manual for most functions if I wanted to use them.. Now I don't have that issue, I know function names, how they work... and even how to spell them :D So dropping the IDE helped me as a developer, but it's only my experience, most people do benefit from the IDE's they use.

Problem with girl objects.. they don't support auto completion... and even when they do... they give you enough "rope to hang yourself" with dieferent names to guess :)

Felix Geisendörfer said on Sep 20, 2006:

Pacifists: Well I'm a fast typer too, but I got so used to fire IDE hotkeys, auto-complete series etc. that it would slow me down quite a bit if I would stop it now. However maybe I'll try to see what would happen once I start writing code by hand again ; ).

Maulana Kurniawan said on Nov 22, 2007:

I do, I'm currently using Komodo-Edit to work on my cakephp project. It has auto-completion also, and I use it at all time. Then, you know what, I need to dig in to old code to get the name of class and function library that I've made before. I think it will be better if I turn that feature off...:(

BTW, it's an old post but very interesting, I just found it while searching for cakephp issue. Well, nice blog.

Salvatori  said on Mar 13, 2008:

Stop using the IDE guy. And buy my Maltese pumpkin a stitch :P

Tim Koschützki said on Jun 11, 2008:

What if really the world would function like a computer and there was a shortcut for finding some good text to tell a woman on a date? Oh yeah... one day...

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