Help for a software developer

mattgill Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hello everybody

I am a 53-year-old man with osteoarthritis, especially in my thumbs. They can be quite painful sometimes.

I can take Ibuprofen, but not standard arthritis medication due to adverse interactions with my other medication.

 At the moment I am seeing an NHS physio about my left thumb. He has given me a splint and some exercises to do. I had an injection for it and will probably have another, they last a little while but probably not a permanent solution. I was hoping for surgery, but apparently I'm not bad enough.

 Now my right thumb has also started hurting!

 My job is as a software developer. I program in languages like Java and C++. I have an ergonomic layout with wrist rest, vertical mouse, etc. I am wondering if there is a way to reduce typing. Obviously speech recognition software is available, but that tends to work best with prose. I'd like to know if there are any tools available for software developers like myself. Ideally I would be able to dictate something like the following (a mini C++ program):



// A little C++ program
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>
void func(std::vector<int>* &p)
    p = new std::vector<int>();
int main() {
    std:: vector<int>* vec = nullptr;
    if ( vec == nullptr ) std::cout << "null"<< std::endl;
    return 0;



 Does anyone have any suggestions?




  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 827

    Hello @mattgill and welcome to the Community.

    An interesting question - I assume that you have done an internet search, there does seem to be some solutions, at least one is open source so might be worth a download and see how good it is. I've sent you a private message with a link to it. You might have tried it already.

    I hope you can find a solution that helps you.

    Best wishes


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  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    Hi @mattgill I've been programming since 1970 and am all too familiar with the problems caused by sitting hunched over a keyboard for long days. Sorry I haven’t got an answer for your specific question but things I've found which helped me are a track ball rather than a mouse, powered rise and fall desk, kneel on type of chair, ergonomic keyboard and raised height screens (I use two in preference to a single large screen). I've only briefly tried speech to text systems, but they all seemed far too annoying being slow and inaccurate compared with my reasonably fast touch typing. One alternative we used for entering commands and controlling screen cursor position for CAD systems was a tablet with pen. On the tablet was a menu containing command buttons plus an area used like a touch pad. These were quite popular until they were largely superceded by screen menus and toolbars.

  • mattgill
    mattgill Member Posts: 4

    This has been suggested:

    I haven't tried it yet. I don't know how much RAM it will consume. But it looks promising.

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    @mattgill Looks good. I believe it requires Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and that it uses half your RAM.

  • mattgill
    mattgill Member Posts: 4

    @RogerBill At the moment my programming is on native Linux.