In particular I'm always amazed that, in my experience, the vast majority of the professional software programmers I encounter never bothered to learn how to touchtype proficiently. I personally use the dvorak layout but I can understand staying on QWERTY for convenience but not knowing how to touchtype is very hard for me to rationalize.
Regarding the Ergodox I have a question, do you really find that "matrix" key layout (or "ortholinear" as they call it on their website) is really an improvement? It never made a lot of sense to me and when I tried a similar keyboard a few years back (admittedly for a short amount of time) I really didn't like it. The website says:
> When you extend your finger, it doesn't go sideways, does it? So why are the keys on your keyboard not directly on top of each other?
But... They do go sideways when I have a keyboard in front of me, my hands are not perfectly straight and parallel on the keyboard lest my wrist or shoulders end up in a weird position. Now of course in this case with a split keyboard you can move and orient them any way you like but I always wondered if there was actual science behind that choice or if it's just "non-linear layout == old mechanical typewriter leftover == bad".
I've been using an Atreus  at work for several months now, it's a 40% angled ortho keyboard. I find my wrists and arms are at a natural angle, similar to how the would be on a standard keyboard, with the advantage of the linear finger movements of an ortho. The chording definitely requires some extra brainpower at times, especially since I still use a standard laptop keyboard on the go. I guess it's good mental exercise. I'm debating trying a 60% Atreus or one of the split keyboards next.
(It's also a fun and pretty easy project to build your own keyboard, and a point of pride harkening back to when craftsmen would build their own tools.)
Split keyboards like the Ergodox fix this by splitting and angling each hand's individual keyboard.
But... standard keyboards are already angled for your hands. The [U,J,M] column is a perfect mapping of the curl of your right index finger.
The real issue is that typing tutorials for some reason encourage left hand finger positions forming a curls that are completely orthogonal to the natural curl of your left finger / left wrist position.
QWERTY tutorials encourage [E,D,C], when you really should be using [E,D,X] or even [R,D,C].
I type (in Dvorak) using the columns [W,S,Z], [E,D,X], etc. and am completely happy with the columns of a normal keyboard.
Do people actually type like that? My hand ends up in a very awkward position if I try to hit X (in qwerty, Q in dvorak) with my ring finger while it's trivial with my middle finger. Actually it's pretty funny because in the illustration above it does look like the hands are sprouting from somebody's chest!
+ Except specially-designed ergonomic keyboards of course, but if you need one you'll know.
I meant "[E,D,X] or even [R,D,X]" of course
I can't remember a single programmer I've worked with who has had to look at their hands while typing except for special characters.
I have to concur. Many programmers don't know how to type. Possibly most. Also, whenever I bring the layout up, the most common objection is that it's impossible because they could be touching computers that aren't their own, as if every programmer would be a system administrator as well…
I have yet to be forced into Azerty or Qwerty… except when playing TellTale games. Apparently they have found the One True Layout, and it is Qwerty.
They went back to typewriter layout, and now claim that infrared keyswitches are the secret to ergonomics. Complete With Marketing Copy Capitalizing Every Word. It's so bad that I genuinely thought some fly-by-night Chinese manufacturer had stolen their domain and logo. But nope, it's still the same people.
So today I found out that I own a legacy TECK model. I have visited their site some time ago the last time I remapped the keys with the online utility, so I'm baffled they went back to the century old typewriter layout, it's somewhat like they abjured what they professed few years ago. Bah...
I suppose they expect to sell more units of this more conventional layout.
Also lots of mechanical keyboards from companies other than Truly Ergonomic work fine with Kailh switches.
So I think it's the crappy TE firmware and not the switches.
I like the layout though, so I persist with using it at work. I much prefer my Ergodox at home though.