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Hello Atom!

 •  Filed under By Me, Dev Life, Atom, Vim, Github

About a year ago I made the jump to Vim. Having finally mastered enough of the keystrokes to muster through a single coding session, I made it my default text editor for programming. In the last couple of months though I've been using Atom for most of my programming. The reason for the move? Just for a change. Atom does have a number of niceties that encouraged the switch.

Good Looking

Vim is simple and productive but let's be honest, it's not exactly an eye-opener as development tools go. Sure you can cut and splice code like a keyboard armed ninja, but its look begins to get a little dull when you're using the same development environment for most days of the week.

Atom, like Sublime Text is it's own application and doesn't run within your terminal. The plus side to this is that it isn't restricted in the way the user-interface can give feedback to me through elements like auto-complete suggestions and notifications.

Atom is easier on the eye and maybe that's a cop-out reason for making a change in your development tools, but my eyes start to strain staring at a two-pane terminal session for most of the day. Maybe it's an age thing, but coding with Atom is much easier on the eyes than writing code within my terminal app.

Keyboard Friendly

Atom, just like every other development tool on the planet has a list of keyboard shortcuts that eliminate the need for a mouse. Not only that but there are some keyboard shortcuts from Vim that I can take with me to Atom. Also, like Sublime Text it includes a command palette to allow you to lookup and select the right command for the job.

Atom is keyboard friendly but more importantly for me, it's familiar in that most of the keyboard shortcuts I use are either from Vim or similar to shortcuts that I previously used in Sublime Text.

Switching to Atom wasn't prompted by it being a more productive editor, its growing community of packages or the fact that it's made by Github. The reason for the switch was just for a change. Sure I'm just as productive with Atom as I was with Vim or Sublime Text but sometimes you just need a change of tools to keep things interesting. A simple change like this can stir things up for the next few months or even years. At least until they perfect a text editor in the browser.