A Very Serious Guide to Text Editors

Text editors! They're the random piece of software that you use to write your programs - so why do they even matter? Shrey Sudhir, now in his 3rd year of Computer Science (also 2021 CSESoc Co-President), has seen more than a few text editors being used over his time at uni. But more importantly, he's observed the people that use them, and has created a very serious guide to finding out what type of person someone is - just by their favourite text editor!

Check it out below!

What your text editor says about you

Shrey Sudhir



Gedit!! You either are currently doing 1511, or loved it so much that you're using Gedit. You appreciate the simplicity. Whilst its not an editor that can be used in a terminal - it's streamlined, it has basic plugins and its not too overly bloated. You likely have your room organised to maximise zen (except the posters of Marc Chee and Chicken) - and love a rainy day and a hot drink. Honestly, it never occurred to you to try something different - why bother??? If it works, it works.


Ah Vim. Vim is renowned for the utter "simplicity" it offers. Vim is an editor that allows you to do literally anything you could want, by use of keyboard commands. As a Vim user, you enjoy the raw power of making large changes with just a few key strokes! You love going to the library and watch everyone struggle with their computers, what fools - if only they knew. You're the type of person to lecture someone on why they should use vim and only vim for everything. You probably don't believe in doing anything outside of the terminal, why should you compromise on efficiency? Oh, and you definitely laugh watching your friends attempt to exit vim. You probably have "Power User" tattood somewhere, or would if you could spare the time - but moving away from your setup is simply not productive.


One of the oldest of the "editor wars" is the rilvary between Vim and Emacs. So, what is emacs? Emacs also has many keyboard shortcuts, but they are largely considered to be more friendly! Look if you're using emacs you're probably old - trying to convince others that you're young and cool. You probably run arch linux, and enjoy hacking away to make ImPoRtAnT changes - most of which end up breaking your computer anyways. You've been meaning to learn vim, but could never really be bothered, your muscle memory is already solidified. You're also probably a doomsday hoarder.

"Look if you're using emacs you're probably old - trying to convince others that you're young and cool."


You let the power of intellisense flow through your blood. Why write code, when you can let the editor code for you. Your blood boils reading this, intelliJ isn't an editor, it's a full fledged IDE!! Stupid CSESoc, how could they understand? No bug can get in your way. Your code is elegant. It's beautiful. Your code is always optimized, it's always perfect. They'll never understand intelliJ like you do, but they can sure try.


You probably had some student lure you into an alley, with promises such as "psst.. wanna know about a terminal editor that has sane keyboard shortcuts" - and violah now you have micro. You love the simplicity of Ctrl-C for copy, rather than some obscenely strange yyp command (thanks vim). However, you probably consider yourself indie for finding this cool "underground" editor that not many people know about. You're the type to want to use a terminal editor, but dont want to drive yourself insane trying to learn something ridiculous such as emacs and vim. So, to all your family and friends - it still looks like your hacking, and thats all that matters 😜

" So, to all your family and friends - it still looks like your hacking, and thats all that matters 😜"


Similar to Micro, you probably discoverd VSCode when someone told you there was a way you could eaisly edit your code, especially large projects! While that was enticing, the hook was that you could edit your files on CSE by use of some cool plugins, and you wouldn't have to touch the terminal to write ssh, that's often quite scary! You're pretty mainstream though, you're the kind to walk around in company merch, or use Linux only because everyone said so. Go explore some new things!

Google Docs

You're sitting in your room, staring the clock in 3, 2, 1. You pull up a Leetcode hard question - and open Google Docs. Gotta practice in real conditions you know. You look at the question, you breathe - and take a sip from your Google waterbottle. Sweat starts to drop from your Atlassian Hat, right onto your Canva shirt. "Cmon", you think, "what would daddy musk do". All of a sudden, the time strikes 1 hour - and you sigh. Eventually you'll get there, you'll make it to FAANG - get that 300k salary, maybe even try consulting or something like Jane Street. You'll make it, and they'll never see you coming.

For context: Google conducts its technical interviews on Google Docs.

Microsoft Word

Here have this, you'll need it:

Choose your own adventure!

Now that you're acquainted with the tools of the trade, it's time to get into what it's like to actually start programming.

Or keep what you've learned in mind as you !

Don't like these options? Check out the full roadmap below!