Is muscle memory important for programming?

Hey everybody! In this episode of Bura Tech,
we’re going to be asking the question: Is muscle memory important for
programming? All right let’s take a look at the
question, Does muscle memory affect your ability to become a good programmer? Well
believe it or not, the short answer is no, but the longer answer is a little bit
more complicated! So what is muscle memory? Well muscle memory is when you train your muscles to do a specific task. This can be anything from driving to throwing a basketball, all the way
to playing a musical instrument. It might make sense because when you’re
typing on a keyboard, it’s very similar to playing piano, but it’s not exactly
the same, and a more important question is, does muscle memory help you speed up
your development time? When it comes to muscle memory, there are different
degrees of muscle memory, and the one we’re gonna be talking about today is
fine muscle memory. Fine muscle memory is similar to what a piano player
might be playing. The reason why we’re going to be talking about this is that
the muscle memory used to, let’s say, become a sprinter or a hockey player
is different from when you’re playing piano because the muscle memory is much
more fine and small. When you’re programming, you’re technically typing on
a keyboard, but how much does it really affect your ability become a good
programmer? Speed when you’re actually typing your code doesn’t really matter
that much. Years ago a lot of companies try to make their employees change to
the Dvorak keyboard, which is a keyboard that is meant for speed .If you don’t
already know the traditional QWERTY keyboard was invented so that
typewriters wouldn’t jam. In today’s world, that’s not a problem, so the
Dvorak keyboard was devised. I tried the Dvorak keyboard
for maybe two days and absolutely gave up. The reason why these companies
don’t still force their employees to use this kind of keyboard is because speed
doesn’t matter, as much most of the time you’re programming, you’re spending your
time on figuring out the problem versus actually typing in the code. If
you’re going to a game jam, it is a little bit more important because you
have to do things quicker. This comes into a completely different philosophy
of different kinds of programs. This is in stark contrast to, let’s say, a
production line where you’re trying to get things out as quickly as possible. I have blended these two approaches, and I want to tell
you about that right now. In this blended approach, you need to
figure out how to figure out the problem as quickly as possible and to get it out
as quickly as possible, and how do you do
that well? You always have to be thinking one step ahead,
so as you’re coding something, you are thinking about the next problem. There are many disciplines out there that actually use this. Musicians that
are improvising are usually thinking to four or maybe even eight bars ahead. In
addition athletes are always trying to think of the next move, and if you like
games, chess players try to be a few moves ahead. When you’re making
something, you need to think about what you’re doing and think about what you’re
going to do next all at the same time. I is possible, so I have this philosophy
that if you think of an idea, you’re already two weeks behind, and you should
get your idea out as quickly as possible. I often use different game engines. I
use Unity; I use Unreal; and I use Construct 3. The muscle memory
between all of these different types of programs is different, and that’s because
when you make a game in Unreal and Unity, there are completely different mouse
movements, and there are completely different keyboard movements.
There is a muscle memory component to making a product, and you need to
understand this muscle memory component. If you’ve ever switched engines,
you’ll realize that moving your mouse around does take up quite a bit of time,
and if you know where all the icons are, then it’s going to be quicker to produce
that part. If you’re changing up your programming language, you might call
the same thing something different. For example, the word function is different
in different languages in Swift. In other languages, you
actually have to write the word function Believe it or not, this is a
different muscle memory. Stopping at the C and completing the word function is
different. so there is a muscle memory component. All the courses at Mammoth
Interactive try to teach the idea that you’re supposed to practice and perform,
and when you’re practicing you have to practice the muscle memory the same way
a basketball player or a piano player practices. If you think about this,
the next time you go into your favorite engine, you want to speed up your
mouse movements and you want to speed up your typing actions. You’ll probably
get your products done faster. In addition to that, you’ll probably spend
less time and less frustration on your project. This will make your project
encoding more efficient. We’ve talked about game engines, but we haven’t talked
about graphic engines. This is
way more apparent than it is when it comes to code. If you’re using Blender
or 3DS Max, those are two completely different skillsets. All the icons are
different, and all the hotkeys are different. If you figure out a good way
to use your hotkeys. you’ll speed up your development time. As well, I
like to get development done as quickly as possible because I want to move on to
the next idea. I have so many ideas that it’s hard to get them all out. This is why I’m always trying to think of doing the projects faster. Becoming familiar with the engine isn’t just about a cognitive process. It’s is a
physical process as well. Even if that physical process is minute. When you’re
working on your skills, you want to find the way to use as many hotkeys as
possible and to figure out a way to move your mouse quicker. I used to be
a freelancer for many many years, and what I found that worked out is that I
actually increase the speed of the mouse. It’s something simple, but it makes sense,
and it might take a bit of time to get used to, but it works. The reason why
I had to increase the mouse speed is because at the time most of the projects
end contracts, I was getting work fixed price, meaning that if I didn’t speed up
the way that I did my work, then I would get paid less per hour. Even if you
are paid hourly you want to be the best person on your team; you want to shine
the most, and how do you do that? You want to get your stuff done as quickly
as possible. The way to do that is to practice getting things done quicker. In
fact, I always like the time to see how long things take in a specific engine or
a specific environment and see if I can do better. If you’ve ever watched as a
speedrun, that is someone trying to play a video game and get a world record. You’ll notice that they constantly do the same motions again and again just to
try to get a few seconds off. If you apply that concept to your development, you can do a specific task better and
better and faster and faster. You’ll start to make your projects better
and faster. In order to do this, you need to do two things: you need to
cognitively think of the better way of doing the specific task, and you need to
practice the muscle memory. Muscle memory is important, so, in order to become a
faster developer, you need to cognitively think of better ways to do things
quicker, and you need to practice the muscle memory. Even though it’s fine motor skills, and it’s nowhere near as important as being
a basketball player or a piano player, it is still important to programming, so let
me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Does muscle memory affect your development? Thanks for listening!
Make sure that you like and subscribe and share this video. The more you share
it, the more videos I can make! If you love this channel, you can check out some
of our amazing products below! Today’s featured course is How to Make a Battle Royale in Unity. This is 55 hours of how to make a complete battle royale like
Fortnight from scratch! Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you in
another video! ~John Bura

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One Comment

  • Bura Tech — App and Game Development says:

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