miércoles, 4 de noviembre de 2009


I have to admit I was skeptical about pair programing when I first heard about it. Two people, and only one writing code? It seems like a terrible idea to me, cut your productivity in half before you've even started!

Of course, part of the problem is the "lone cowboy coder" syndrome. I mean, we all want to be like Willam Gibson's (link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_gibson) characters, the lone hacker against impossible odds. I used to think I coded best when left alone. Anybody else would just slow me down.

Boy, was I wrong. I read a great article about pair programing by Jim Resnik in the New York Times(link http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/jobs/20pre.html?_r=1) and decided to give it a try.

It's by no means easy. You need to trust and have a good relationship with the person you pair program with, but in a startup, well, you're already married to your partners! Any friction will have to be worked out before the shit hits the proverbial fan, or else you need to start looking for some new partners...

If, however, you manage to get past the obstacles (and there are at least 10 reasons why most attempts at pair programming fail (link - http://blog.obiefernandez.com/content/2009/09/10-reasons-pair-programming-is-not-for-the-masses.html)) then you will realize that it's just a better way to do things. You code faster, you maintain concentration much easier, you code is much better quality, bugs are easier to find and quash.

In fact, we've gotten so used to pair programming that when we can't be together we try to use VNC or other means to keep in touch. If that's impossible then I can assure you that you feel the loss.

So, if you're in a position to give it a try, do so, and leave comments on your experiences!

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