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Where to learn about voice coding

Per a recent(ish) request on Twitter, here are a few resources about learning to code by voice, which also hopefully give you a bit of context when you’re searching around the topic.

If you have RSI and are looking to reduce stress on your nerves, check out a previous article I’ve written on the topic. I also recommend that you start using speech recognition (located in your machine’s accessibility tools) for regular dictation for activities such as writing emails (or blog posts) to reduce strain on your nerves.

And if you’re interested in a Mac app that lets you talk to Vim, check out MacVimSpeak. 🙂

Hands-Free Coding

The first site I’d recommend is the (fairly) recent Hands-Free Coding site. Started in the fall of 2014, it’s refreshing to see a voice coding website that’s not from 1994. It’s great, it’s fantastic, it has actually useful tutorials, such as the conveniently titled “Getting Started with Voice Coding.”

Listservs & Systems

RSI is not a new problem among computer folk. The classic listserv out there is SoreHand. The archives on that site appear to be gone (and quite possibly the listserv itself), but there’s an index of various topics living elsewhere.

The listserv I’m on and actually read is the VoiceCoder listserv. Officially about the VoiceCode system, it attracts voice coders of all types and searchable forums.

You may also want to check out Vocola and search for resources related to it (such as on YouTube!). And a new system that I haven’t tried, nor know anyone who’s tried, is VoiceCode[.io]. Please comment if you’ve tried it!

Assistive technology blog

If you’re interested in voice coding, start reading around the #a11y community (a11y represents accessibility in the way i18n represents internationalization). One such blog is the Assistive Technology blog.

Due to the limits of voice coding (many people work in an office where yelling at your computer might be a bit weird, the Naturally Speaking+Windows combo knocks a lot of people out, etc.), there’s not many resources on it.

So while I’m sad that there’s not more generalized voice coding tooling out there (yet! It’s one of the reasons I wrote MacVimSpeak), getting involved in the a11y community will improve computing for everyone, as we think of new or different ways to interact with computers.

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