When I was in college and we had projects due, I would always have to run my code on the open servers that the school provided. At that time I was running Windows XP and so what I would do is ftp my homework from school to my computer, edit it, upload it back to the school server, and run the code in the unix shell. This was a very painful process with way too much overhead. I never knew if there was a better way.
Fast forward a few years and I'm in the work field. My first real experience using Solaris and Linux to do administration. From here I learned about text editors that I could have used in my solaris shells to edit my homework when I was a student! Oh how wonderfully bliss that would have been to edit my homework directly and run it without the pain of using ftp.
I mainly use vi right now to do all my shell editing, but there's also easier to use ones like nano or pico. There's also emacs but it never really matched my style like vi did so I stuck with that. So morale of the story, learn how to use a text editor in a shell to get more productive. I'm even writing this very blog post in vi ;).