How I came in to Vim

I know most of them in the programming world are very fascinated by Vim editor rather than typical IDE's like Eclipse, Visual Studios, etc. Every one using Vim has a story to tell, How they came into Vim. Here is my story.

I was started to use the Vim editor from my College time onwards. Since then for a long time I have just used it whenever there is no other option available, and I didn’t realize the importance of Vim editor.

After I started my Job as Server Administrator, I have to use Vim regularly to work with servers and other configuration files. But I used it because there is no other thing available at remote servers :). And some times when I watching hackers video, most of them are using Vim editor to show their works, I always wonder why they are using it instead of common IDE's. At the same time I have an interest in Programming, so I tried to automate my works using different Scripting and Programming languages, which eventually turned me into a Programmer.

When I was started working as a Django developer I used to work with Eclipse with python binding. At these times I very rarely used the Vim editor, most of the time I was engaged in the Eclipse editor. Then I moved to another company as a Python and Django backend developer, there I met @Satyajit Ranjeev My Team Lead and a Big fan of Vim, He already using Vim as his main editor and he encouraged me and others to use the Vim editor. But for a few weeks, I didn't mind it and was worked with the eclipse itself.

Finally one day evening I realized the fact that why Vim gets this much interest among programmers and other hackers. That was a sudden move, within that day I learned the basic navigation key bindings and @Satyajit Ranjeev helped me to set up Vim as a general IDE for all my works. After that, we together working and learning to improve the Vim skills every day and I'm enjoying the facts that I'm using it for my project works right after the first day of my basic learning. When I look back I can see that I missed the Vim editor for a long time. Anyway, right now I became a big fan of Vim :). I used Vim to type this blog entry.

The main facts that I liked with the Vim editors while comparing with other editors are,

Basic Navigation

Actually, this feature is the one that brought me to Vim. There is no need to use Mouse, We can do everything using the keyboard. The mouse usage is far less productive and more stressful if we compare the same operation with the keyboard. The mouse has importance when the user has no or very less idea about the GUI, then He/She can do better with a mouse. But that case is valid for short term usage only.

If you are comfortable with touch typing then it's very easy to catch the Vim commands. This includes navigating through,

  • Files
  • Pages
  • Lines
  • Words
  • Characters

And do all CRUD operations very quickly by using simple keystroke.

You might think that we can do that with the keyboard arrow keys, that is possible, but vim has its own way to do it. It got different modes of working, Insert Mode - For typing contents, Command mode - In this mode we use different shortcuts todo a lot of operations, Search Mode, etc.

Using Vim is far faster and easy to work with any text editing operations. Programmers are always doing it.


By default all Gnu/Linux ship with the Vim editor. So we don't need to move to other editors when you are working with Gnu/Linux. Mac and Windows also got Vim editors so just download it and give a try. Also, you can integrate the Vim key bindings with all major IDE's like Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc..

Also, the vim keyboard bindings for navigation are also being used with web browsers(Chrome, Firefox), and even you can use this key bindings with OS command prompt.

Lightweight, Fast and highly configurable

Even after adding lot of extensions with default Vim to make it general IDE like look and feel, its size would be very less compared to other IDE's.And we can customize the Vim editor very easily using its configuration file .vimrc under the user home directory. And of course Vim is very fast.

One problem with Vim is the learning curve. It has got lot of very advanced shortcuts and key bindings that can be understood after using it for a while, But the basic shortcuts required to get start with Vim is very simple. We will learn new and new keyboard bindings throughout the life span :).

You can have a look at this Article which describes how the Vim key bindings became an integral part of our lives ;).

My Vim Story-2 blog entry will come soon which describe the details how to setup the Vim to make it suitable for all types of programmers.

Till then... Bye :)


Finished the second part of my Vim blog - How to setup Vim as your IDE

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