If you lost the use of your hands, how would you code?

adam_cyclones profile image Adam Crockett ・1 min read

Seriously, So this has been a question on my mind for some time, if for some reason you couldn't use your hands anymore, would you want to carry on coding and how might you do it, similarly if you went blind.

I wonder what the employment rates are and how these sorts of life changes could be overcome for a professional programmer.


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Blindness is comparatively easy. Use a screen reader, and just be done with it. I already use vim for all my editing, which works rather well with a screen reader, though I might more actively use command mode than I do right now, and I already can use a screen reader.

Loss of ability to use hands though, I'd probably just try to claim social-security disability benefits (because that, combined with my already bad eyesight (bad enough I can't get a driver's license), would mean I couldn't work almost any type of job),


You can talk to the computer.


what what happen when someone can speak and they have no hands


A lot of things can happen.

The video shows that is possible to control the mouse cursor with your eyes and write text with your voice. That's it.


similarly if you went blind

Blindness is likely a more common and manageable situation.

play pause The Changelog

If I didn't have use of my fingers, I'd think I'd have to get some really good dictation software. I feel like some custom IDE integrations would be nice. With strongly-typed languages with good typeahead situations I bet one could make it work reasonably well. Worst case scenario is having to type one character at a time.

I'm just guessing here.


If you follow the latest technology, then this is a question of limited lifespan. I have seen impressive alternative input methods and am convinced that typing will rapidly be obsolete once we manage to use brainwaves as input method. But even with today's tech: speaking to your computer has become quite far and typing isn't the only haptic input possible today.

Going blind is a bigger problem unless you develop for other blind people.
The reason is quite obvious: If your average user requires visual feedback & structure, a blind developer will always lack the ability to compete with "seeing devs"


Learn to use my toes is what I would do.

People always underrestimate the agility of toes.

Problably related to the fact that we have no practical usage for them in regular life.


I'd code with my ass.

Oh wait, I may already have heard some colleagues saying that I already did.


I had something like that in mind, but I thought it would be too much :)

Anyway, let's not hide this video from the rest of the world! For non-francophone people, there is subtitles!


I am french, and I know about this video.

Cultural pride here!