Paulo Phagula

Musings and Scribbles on Software Development

Famous Vim users (that are not famous for using Vim)

Having read “Famous Emacs users (that are not famous for using Emacs)”, I thought I’d do the same for Vim, just to keep the war going :trollface:

I don’t think using Vim could make you a better programmer, nor do I think that having a couple of relatively famous middle or old aged people using (or previously using) Vim could prove that Vim has some unique power.

However, when I started using it, there were a few Vim users that I have high respect for, which is one of the reasons that made me continue to play with it. Here I have created a list of famous Vim users and hope it will (mis)guide newbies.

This list will be updated occasionally (the latest updates will be on the top) and revision is highly welcomed.

NOTE: Where possible I made the videos start exactly where Vim is used so you don’t have to look it up for yourself.

Rasmus Lerdorf - the creator of PHP

Rasmus Lerdorf is a Danish-Canadian programmer. He created the PHP scripting language and continues to contribute to the project.

Rasmus Lerdorf programmed in Vim during his talks, e.g.: Rasmus Lerdorf: PHP in 2018 – phpCE 2018

Larry Wall - the creator of Perl

Larry Wall is an American computer programmer and author. He created the Perl programming language.

He can be seen using vim on a Perl Conference recording: Larry Wall (TimToady) - Perl 6

Katrina Owen

Katrina Owen is the co-Author of 99 Bottles of OOP along with Sandi Metz and the founder of Exercism is an online, open-source, free coding platform that offers code practice and mentorship on 48 different programming languages.

She’s best known for her enlightening talks on refactoring code.

She can be seen using vim on Katrina Owen & Geoffrey Grosenbach - Live Refactoring - La Conf Paris 2013 video recording

Paul Graham - Y-Combinator co-founder

Paul Graham is an English born computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and essayist. He is best known for his work on Lisp, his former startup Viaweb (later renamed “Yahoo! Store”), co-founding the influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y-Combinator, his blog, and Hacker News.

He is the author of several programming books, such as: On Lisp (1993), ANSI Common Lisp (1995), and Hackers & Painters (2004).

The first Question on his Programming FAQ is “What editor do you use?” and the answer is a short and big two letter word: “vi”.

Harry Roberts - inuit.css and ITCSS methodology developer

Harry is an award-winning Consultant Performance Engineer from the UK. With a client list ranging from the United Nations to Google, the BBC to the Financial Times, he has helped some of the world’s largest organisations make their websites faster.

He also holds positions as a Google Developer Expert, where he shares web performance research and findings, and as Performance Ambassador for SHIFT Commerce, where he aims to make ecommerce faster from the inside out.

He writes about all things front-end performance at, speaks at tech events all across the globe, and regularly shares his insights at @csswizardry.

His blog has many articles describing how he setups and uses vim, including but not only: Vim for People Who Think Things Like Vim Are Weird and Hard and Preparing Vim for Apple’s Touch Bar

Gary Bernhardt - Destroy all Software

Gary Bernhardt is the fastest developer I have ever seen. Yes, even faster than Jeffrey Way. He’s most known for his WAT lightning talk presented at CodeMash 2012, which inspired many spin-offs for other programming languages.

If you’re not convinced checkout his talk, The UNIX chainsaw for a preview on how he combines UNIX tooling to get a more productive environment.

Jeffrey Way - Laracasts founder

Jeffrey Way is the founder and voice behind Laracasts, many Tuts+ tutorial videos and also a Laravel framework contributor.

In many of the courses available on Laracasts he can be seen using Vim. In fact he has an entire course on Vim mastery

Chris Oliver - Go Rails founder

It could be said that Chris Oliver is the Jeffrey Way of Ruby on Rails, he is the founder of the Go Rails an e-learning platform on software development pretty much like Laracasts but focused on Rails.

Mike Hartington - Developer advocate at Ionic

As a developer advocate for Ionic, Mike is most known for blogging and showing up at conferences to speak of Ionic, at all times live-coding/demoing using Vim.

He talks on his Neovim setup on My Neovim Setup on his YouTube channel

Julia Evans - Wizard Zines

Julia is known from publishing zines on programming and sysadmin topics that serve as guides or quick references for using specific tools or getting out of problems quickly.

On a daily basis she publishes a zine on twitter under the b0rk handle, and has some for print on sale at Wizard Zines.

Doctor Krieger

Doctor Krieger, “everyone’s favorite Hitler clone” from Archer uses Vim, and you can see him editing and saving a document with it on The Untold Truth Of Archer YouTube video by Looper.