3 Reasons Every Developer Should Get a Mechanical Keyboard

TL;DR? Watch the video. Enough said.

All jokes aside, if that video didn’t already convince you why you should get a mechanical keyboard, then keep on reading!

New Beginnings

As a developer, we are constantly interacting with our keyboards. Whether we’re typing code, replying to emails, or sending memes to co-workers, we use our keyboards a lot. The keyboard is a very important part of every developer’s arsenal.

You’ve probably heard of mechanical keyboards or at least have seen other developers using mechanical keyboards. So you might be wondering what the hype is around them and why you should get one. Well here are three reasons every developer should get a mechanical keyboard. Let’s dive in!

1. They add character to your workspace.

A mechanical keyboard can be a great addition to your workspace. As a developer, a keyboard is something you use every day for your job. It’s the first thing someone might notice when they look at your desk space. This makes them a great centerpiece for adding some character to your desk.

The awesome thing about mechanical keyboards that make them stand out is their customizability. They come in so many different sizes, colors, and designs that allow you to customize your keyboard to your liking. Here is a diagram that shows the different sizes and some variations of the colors and designs.

By having a keyboard that’s customizable, you can create the perfect keyboard to complement and add character to your desk setup. But wait, there’s more. The great thing is that, once you purchase a keyboard, that doesn’t mean that you are locked into that specific look.

Every mechanical keyboard has a component called the keycap. A keycap is essentially the outer shell that your finger touches every time you type a character. Here is a diagram I will reference multiple times in this post.

As shown in the diagram, the keycap is the topmost piece that has each character printed on top. But wait there’s more! In a mechanical keyboard, you can easily pull the keycap out and replace it with another one.

There exist so many different varieties of keycaps online of different colors and designs that you can put on your keyboard to change its look. This greatly adds to the customizability of your mechanical keyboard and is a great way to spice up your desk space. Here are a few examples of keycaps that I personally own. Pretty cool right?


2. They can enhance your working experience.

A mechanical keyboard can be a great way to improve your working experience or at the very least make it more enjoyable. To explain this I will use a fun three-word rhyme. Ideal, Feel, Appeal. 


The first way that mechanical keyboards can enhance your working experience is by helping you find your ideal keyboard. What I mean by ideal, is a keyboard that best complements your work as a developer.

As mentioned previously a mechanical keyboard comes in various sizes and form factors.  These different keyboard sizes allow you to choose the best keyboard for your workflow. Do you need a lot of extra keys and macros? Then a larger tenkeyless or above keyboard would work for you. Prefer to not have a lot of extra keys that you don’t use and save on desk space? Then a 65% or lower keyboard would work best for you. This flexibility allows you to choose the best keyboard for your work style.

You can also find different variations of mechanical keyboards that include rotary knobs or LCD screens and a variety of different shapes that may ergonomically suit your working needs.

65% keyboard with a rotary knob and OLED screen

An ergonomic keyboard that is split down the middle (ALICE style keyboard)

One of the most popular mechanical keyboards, known for its compact form factor while still offering all the essential keys.


The next category is the feel of the keyboard. With a mechanical keyboard, you can customize the feel and feedback of each keypress. This is due to a keyboard component called the keyswitch.

The keyswitch determines the feeling you get every time you press a key down. A keyswitch will come in three distinct types: linear, tactile, and clicky. A linear switch means that the key press feels smooth all the way through. A tactile switch means you feel a small bump when you press down on a key. Lastly, a clicky switch means you’ll feel and hear an audible click every time you press down on the switch.

Also, each different key switch can have different spring weights often denoted by different keyswitch colors. This determines the amount of force or pressure you need to exert to fully press down the keyswitch. This can all be fully customized to suit your preferences and improve your typing experience and enjoyment. For more detailed information about keyswitches, here is a great article.


The last category is the appeal of the keyboard. What I mean by appeal is not the visual appeal but the auditory appeal. This is the sound the keyboard makes when you type on it.  There are many components of every mechanical keyboard that determine the sound that the keyboard makes.

The keycap material, the type of keyswitch, the material of the mounting plates, the design of the PCB, and the upper and lower shell of the keyboard can all change the sound the keyboard makes.

The customization of a mechanical keyboard allows you to find the perfect sound signature for your preferences. The combination of typing feel and typing sound can create an enjoyable typing experience. For some examples of mechanical keyboard sounds, here is a playlist from one of my favorite YouTubers.  Put on some headphones and prepare to have your ears blessed by the sounds.

3. They make for a great hobby.

Finally, mechanical keyboards can make for a great and fun hobby, as well as a great conversation starter in the office! As you’ve probably noticed from this post, mechanical keyboards are pretty complex, with many different components. That’s what makes them fun and interesting.

The mechanical keyboard hobby has a huge community surrounding it, and there is so much to learn and explore. For starters, there are a ton of pre-built mechanical keyboards you can purchase online. These come fully assembled but are still very customizable to your preferences. This is where I recommend most people start.

For those who want to get further into the hobby, you can get into the realm of building your own mechanical keyboard. This means getting all the separate parts of the keyboard and putting it together piece by piece. Doing so gives you complete control over the sound, feel, and look of your mechanical keyboard.

The mechanical keyboard hobby goes very deep and can be a huge rabbit hole if you dare tread in that direction. But if you want to get a simple understanding of building a mechanical keyboard, here is a great video.

What’s next?

For all the reasons above, a mechanical keyboard can be a great addition to your work lifestyle and add a little jazz to your workspace. That being said, purchasing a mechanical keyboard can be difficult and expensive. It’s important to do your research when purchasing a keyboard. If you have coworkers or friends with mechanical keyboards I would recommend you ask them if you can try them out.

The good news is, a lot of good mechanical keyboards are getting cheaper and cheaper. This should make it easier to find a good one online. Interested in purchasing a new mechanical keyboard? Here’s a great video with some advice in helping inform your purchase.

That’s it! Thanks for taking a dive with me into the endless possibilities that exist within mechanical keyboards. If you liked any of the keyboards in this article, you can directly click on the images to be linked to where to purchase them. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. Or, if you are already a mechanical keyboard user, let me know your favorite keyboard!


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