It's the modal editor that scares many a command-line newbie, but its loyal following shows that once you break through the learning barrier, you cannot go back.
The old favourite started life on the Amiga as a Vi clone; in fact, Vim originally stood for "Vi iMitation" not the "Vi iMproved" that we know now. November 2, 1991 saw the first public release, and it took off from there.
For the full history of Vim, there is always Wikipedia, or read this history by Vim's creator Bram Moolenaar.
I could go on and on about why I prefer Vim to Emacs and Nano editors, but it is best summed up in this stackexchange answer.
"Your problem with Vim is that you don't grok vi" is very much a truism; once you realise that Vim's commands are actually a language, the whole process seems to fall into place.
There was that one time that I switched to a Dvorak keyboard for a few years, and lost all productivity in it for a long time indeed.
For those too new to the field to remember, try Vi for a while and see what you miss, then use ed and see how you survive. Programmers in the past worked with ed everyday, crazy trailblazers that they were.
Vim also helps out the real world; without Vim, I'm not sure I would have the same knowledge of the plight of Ugandan children. Vim is charity ware, and uses its own licence, not the GPL.
So, many happy returns to the editor where the colon key gets a bashing.
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets -- he claims he once read an entire one.