César Ferradas

Learn Vim by deleting your vimrc

09 May 2020

Vim is a great text editor.

Here’s why:

  1. Awesome keyboard shortcuts to speed up editing
  2. It changes the way you think about text (paragraphs, words, characters, etc)
  3. It makes you more familiar with working within a terminal

I started using Atom during university, but quickly switched to Vim during my first professional role. Now it’s the only text editor I’m comfortable with and efficient in.

But, the learning curve is steep. Which is why it feels tempting to flatten the curve by adding to your .vimrc so that Vim feels like your old text editor.

I did that. It was good for a while. But I believe it was hindering my ability to fully understand Vim’s core features, workflows and principles.

Now I maintain a very minimal Vim config. I try to use as many core Vim features as I can. Doing this, I changed the way I thought about editing text and navigating through a file system.

And the added bonus is that when I ssh onto a server which only has vanilla Vim, I feel at home. I don’t miss my plugins or custom shortcuts, because even though I use some, I still cherish the fundamentals of Vim.