Pair Programming

The rapid development of technology enables us to complete our day-to-day tasks easily and conveniently. Among them is pair programming, which has been capturing the interest of many people, specifically businesses to improve ideas and address potential problems.

What is it?

Originated from Extreme Programming (XP), pair programming is an excellent agile technique where two developers collaborate and work in a single computer. These two developers or programmers are composed of driver (writes code) and navigator or observer (reviews all code lines as it is keyed in). Often, these programmers shift roles.

The idea is to split responsibility between the navigator and driver to maintain a stable development flow, have better structure, and avoid bugs while sharing more knowledge through the team. Though pair programming is challenging to implement since it is a big change, intense, exhausting and entails soft skills that most of the team could have not completely developed, it possesses lots of benefits that can help a business attain success that it critically needs.

Why doing it?

Over the last few years, pair programming had benefited lots of users across the world. In spite of the demands it requires, one must try what it can offer. The pay-offs you can get include:

  • Greater team solidity – You are now bound to know your team better after spending full periods of time working with them. Thus, team solidity increases.
  • More satisfaction of job – Mostly, programmers learn that it’s a release to share the encumbrance of code writing with a coworker. They can help each other. Meaning to say, they don’t need to beat heavy time only to finish the job on their own.
  • Save time – The actual development can be quite slower of faster. With a higher quality, you and your team can save more time in refactoring code and error fixing.
  • Safer and better code – Because two brains are focusing on the code, failures and errors can be minimized. At the same time, you are able to discuss various solutions and structures you wouldn’t produce alone.
  • Happier team – Some think it is more satisfied and fun working with the environment by yourself. Not unless you try pair programming because it can also be your great time to make new set of friends especially with those you usually don’t spend time with.
  • Higher focus – Since you’ve to team up, you’ll potentially focus more on other important tasks. A constant dialogue helps you to keep focused as well.

How to do it?

In order to have a successful pair programming, keep these important tips in mind:

  1. Before sitting down, plan a reasonably definite task
  2. Agree on one small goal at a time
  3. Depend on your partner and show your support
  4. Talk a lot. Don’t hesitate to say anything, ask for application ideas, highlight possible inputs that the code does not cover, propose clearer names for subroutines and variables, etc.
  5. Sync up regularly
  6. Take a time to celebrate as you finish the jobs and overcome problems
  7. At least for every half hour, shift roles often

— Slimane Zouggari