Pair programming benefits and arguments

· September 14, 2009

As I wrote earlier I attended my first ever Alt.Net un-conference this weekend. It was very rewarding and great to meet fellow developers under such informal circumstances. The open spaces was the most rewarding part I think.

One of the open spaces I took part in were about Pair Programming. It soon evolved to a session about how to convince developers / management and other that it’s a good idea.

Here is a short recap of some of the good thoughts that emerged from that session.

Good ideas

  • Switch the keyboard often. I.e. one developer writes the test and one the implementation or use some kind of a pomodoro clock for ten mintues.
  • Switch partners often – once a day for example

Argument for the benefits of Pair Programming

  • It’s fun! No more agrument should really be needed than this. You need fun at work or else you should work somewhere else.
  • This is a list of benefits here and then some studies that shows an increase in quality etc.
  • It may be slower to the first checking but faster to production
  • A higher quality to immediate quality checking by the partner
  • More people is familiar around the code-base
  • Higher degree of concentration and fewer interruptions, both internal and external.
  • Here is a paper that states that you do loose tempo (15 % in their studies) but you gain in quality

Yeah – that pretty much sums up what we talked about. And finally, if they still are uncertain, try it for a sprint and see. And change what isn’t working.

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