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Inefficient = ineffective

Oh, how I dread people who still type with 2 or 3 fingers.

Yes, unfortunately, there are plenty of professional developers or functional analysts, whose day-to-day job it is to type on a keyboard, who still type as if they were grade scholars.
This is just so damn inefficient. Granted, I can’t type with all 10 fingers but a simple typing test shows I’m well above the average (78 WPM with an accuracy of 95%) > or (give it a try, see what you average is).
So why not learn to type efficiently to be effective.


  • Would you use a professional builder who, when building a house, would still creates his mortar manually instead of using a concrete mixer?
  • How about a chemistry teacher/professor who still has to look up the table of Mendeljev or a professional cook who has to look up how to make Bechamel Sauce

But this article goes beyond just inefficient typing. There are plenty more ways people are inefficient in how they work.

What about shortcuts

Why do people insist on using the mouse for each and every action while there is a perfectly sound alternative in a keybinding.

For developers (and testers who write automation scripts alike) there is a plugin for IntelliJ IDE which shows you the alternative keybinding each time you use an action with a mouse:

In JIRA (and most other bugtrackers) or TestRail (and most other test managament systems) you can use designated keys to execute certain actions (eg create issue, add attachment, show next issue in current list, create new testcasen, …). By using those your effientcy increases tenfold.
Heck: some games require you to use the keybindings if you want to be a bit competitive (RTS’s and ARPGS come to mind).

What about tools to improve you effectiveness:

  • Use Google properly to search some answers (use the advanced features for Google search
  • Use a tool which remembers the last xx entries of your clipboard. This way, copy pasting multiple items is quick and effective (I personally use
  • Automate boring and tedious work.
    Need to copy a file from an ftp, why not create a script which auto logs on, goes to the specified folder, downloads to the file in the correct place and closes the ftp-session.
  • Use plugins for tools. Most browsers have add-ons or plugins which can do all sorts of crazy things (issue suggestions, take screenshots, show colourblindness, …). Or for Notepad++, you can do file validation (eg xml vs a xsd), json prettifying, show difference between 2 files, …

Time management

= Don’t waste other peoples times. Their time is as important as yours.

  • Be on time. This is a pet peeve of mine. People who are late without notice already have to work twice as hard to earn my respect.
    If the meeting is at 9:00, be there at 8:58 so the meeting can start at 9:00. Don’t be the guy/gal to leave your desk at 9:05, get a coffee on the way only to arrive at 9:10.
  • Learn to estimate. This can only be done through experience. But don’t be too stubborn not to let experience be your guide.
  • Keep a promise. If you said you would deliver a (test-)file, a build, an instruction, … anything basically before or at a given time, do so!
    And if for some reason, you aren’t able to. Let the other person know in time. They may be waiting on whatever you are delivering.


And last but definitely not least important, structure! If you know where things are, you will work more effectively. All the time you are searching for info (we all lost the TV remote right…), is time wasted

  • Create a proper tree structure for (test)files.
  • Set up a proper structure for you functional & technical analysis (in whatever tool you are using)
  • Group your bookmarks for private/personal use and professional use
  • Work in predefined blocks (try not to jump from problem ‘a’ onto problem ‘b’ back to ‘a’ to go to ‘c’).
    Being able to cross a task of you list, clears if also from mind which again, makes you more effective.

As a bonus tip: Get plenty of rest and sleep. Working during lunch or for long stints at a time is counter productive. We are not machines.

If you know some more tools which may improve day-to-day testing work, you can always let me know via a comment of the contact form.



2 thoughts on “Inefficient = ineffective

  1. Being inefficient does not necessarily mean that you are effective. Being efficient means doing something really well – but what if you’re doing the wrong thing? Compared to being effective – even if you are not doing it in the fastest way, atleast you are doing the right thing.


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