I've recently switched keyboard layouts from Dvorak to Workman. Dvorak has been good to me over the past 5 years or so, but the philosophy behind it wasn't actualised in it's final design. Workman has been optimised for English and minimises finger strain etc etc. There's no point rabbiting on about it as all of my praises or critiques are already well fleshed out on the Workman website.
Whilst my higher education started off in the computer science realm, I quickly became disillusioned and, excluding a decent temporal shift, moved more into the physical sciences. Whilst I never finished my CS degree; what I completed gave me an adequate understanding of development life cycles, program design and sufficient competency in c++ to get shit done. When I started heavily coding again, forces shunted me towards Matlab and higher level quick and dirty rapid prototyping. As we all know; you can only go so far in this world and I've recently found myself back into the depths with c, fortran and even a little assembly.
Ultimately though, my c++ programs never needed to link to external libraries or worry about machine specific configurations the
-o switch was the only one I needed when calling
gcc pretty much. Now I'm building MPI tools to run on supercomputing clusters that need the highly optimised linear algebra routines; written down by our forefathers in a more civilised age.
If you're not already using PGF and TikZ for figures in your LaTeX documents, I suggest you take a few evenings and get acquainted with a number of examples, so you can grasp the magnitude of its' capability—you certainly won't be disappointed.
Building static diagrams and graphs (adding PGFPlots into the mix) is fine, but I find myself constantly wanting decent plots from real data, that don't fit the usual line/surface paradigm. The datatool package is perfect for this kind of work.