If you think that a keyboard layout can boost your productivity, you should consider the time you will spend to learn a new one, the hassle and the frustration when typing something wrong… but if you love programming, you may consider to buy/switch to the international keyboard.

Back in February, I had to switch to a new MacBookPro. My old 2011 13 inch MacBookPro, started being impossible to use… and after 4 years I had to remove all the stickers from its back and turn it off forever. I am still in mourning after its death.

Considering all the times I’ve been playing, working, writing and programming with it, I feel sad… but I feel even worst when I think that I did it using the Italian keyboard, that was really impossible to use to write code: the keys that I need are hidden by combinations of shift and option. This is really common in several keyboard layouts, like the Danish or German ones.

The Option button (or Alt for some keyboards) is the big problem. If you look at your hands while typing you will notice that probably this “layout switcher” is right under your palms. This means that you have to move your hands to press some combinations that are including it… and you do this every time.

The international keyboard layout, instead, puts all the buttons we need, right there, and we can get [ ] ' \ / . - ; and , without crazy combinations. If we need something more complicated you can still use the shift button, and you can activate it without moving your hands from the previous position.

There is a feature that is helping me when I need to write other “special vowels“ by holding the one I need. You can read more about it here, on the Apple support website. For example to write København I will hold O when i need ti write Ø and something like this will appear:

Just old the vocal you need

To be honest, it is not a big deal, but this is the reason why my MacBookPro has an International Keyboard instead of a localized one. It is easier to use to write code. My hands are thanking me for this choice :-)