Understanding a UK Keyboard for a US developer

One of the very interesting parts of my job is that I run into UK keyboards on a regular basis. Redgate is a UK company and most of the trade show laptops that they bring to events are UK layouts. Our VMs are built in the UK, and when I use one of those, I need to remember that some of the keys are different.

I needed to learn the difference between the layouts, because when you’re in a hurry, you can’t scan the keyboard. I found a nice visualization and summary on Wikipedia. I’ve used that a few times, and with Kendra starting as a new Redgate evangelist, I scanned it again. I haven’t worked on a UK keyboard in a few months, so I want to highlight the differences in my memory for upcoming conferences.

For me, the main differences I need to remember are the at symbol (@ ) and quotes (“) are switched. That means for logging in with emails, I need to smoothly use what I know as quotes for the @. I rarely use quotes, so this isn’t an issue.

I do use the $ at times, and there isn’t a good way to get this without messing around. The same thing for the hash or pound (#) key. If I really need those, I often just end up changing the keyboard layout.

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