<h1>Emacs or Vi?</h1>

Emacs or Vi?

Emacs or Vi? That’s the first question that I ask on every job interview that I conduct. There is a long history of arguing which environment is better. Frankly, I don’t care which is better. I also don’t care which editor people use.

I just want them to have a preference. 99% of the time I can eliminate a candidate based on their answer to this question.

Have you ever met a Computer Programmer that doesn’t have a preference about something? We argue about trivial things like placement of curly brackets, or white space usage. When it comes to our text editor, the program that we spent most of our day in, we have a preference. It may not be Emacs or Vi. It may be Nano, Notepad++, Atom, SublimeText, Textmate, Eclipse, PHP Storm, or any number of other perfectly fine editors.

When it comes down to it, I don’t care which environment you like to use. I just want to know that you have spent enough time in an editor to have developed muscle memory and have a set of features that you prefer working with. I know that you can learn another editor. That isn’t what I’m asking. I’m asking that you have a preference, and that you are willing to voice that preference, maybe even spend a minute explaining that preference.

If you tell me that you don’t have any opinion, even after I try to coach one out of you, the rest of my questions are just to confirm what I learned about you from the first question.

Also. The correct answer is Emacs. ;-)