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Sherlock Holmes and Pairing @Wlidcard Conference 2013 09 13
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Sherlock Holmes and Pairing @Wlidcard Conference 2013 09 13


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During my work I am used to pair with my colleagues on basically anything. I do pair-programming when I develop software, we use pairing when we deliver trainings or when we write articles. I often do …

During my work I am used to pair with my colleagues on basically anything. I do pair-programming when I develop software, we use pairing when we deliver trainings or when we write articles. I often do remote pair-programming with strangers. The most things I learned during the last years were by working in pair with someone I barely knew.

Pairing for me has the following main advantages:

I learn a lot from my pair.
I extend my confort zone and I collaborate better with anyone.
The product we work together is a lot better because four eyes are better than two.

I will give examples from the activities of the well-known fictional character Sherlock Holmes on how his pair Dr. Watson helps him become better and finding the answer to their riddles.

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  • 1. Sherlock Holmes And Pairing
  • 2. Me Adi Bolboacă Programmer Organizational & Technical Trainer & Coach
  • 3. Pairing. Why. When. Do you pair? Why do you pair? How often?
  • 4. Pairing roles Driver Navigator
  • 5. Driver Takes the decisions Consults with the Navigator Focuses on short term actions Verbalizes all the performed actions
  • 6. Navigator Looks ahead for strategy Annoyingly rechecks the facts of the Driver Asks meaningful questions Verbalizes agreement or disagreement Does not cross the Driver's comfort zone
  • 7. Holmes & Watson pairing
  • 8. Holmes driving: action “Holmes took his revolver from his drawer  and slipped it in his pocket.  It was clear  that he thought that our night's work  might be a serious one.” Sherlock Holmes
  • 9. Holmes driving: data “Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently.  “I can't make bricks without clay.” “There is nothing more deceptive than an  obvious fact.” Sherlock Holmes
  • 10. Watson being a Navigator “If I irritated him by a certain methodical  slowness in my mentality, that irritation  served only to make his own flame­like  intuitions and impressions flash up the  more vividly and swiftly” Dr. Watson
  • 11. Watson navigating: Facts The navigator remembers facts to the driver The navigator supports driver's decisions The navigator needs to see options ahead Processing data is hard for navigation
  • 12. Holmes & Watson: Learning “Education never ends, Watson. It is a  series of lessons, with the greatest for the  last.” Sherlock Holmes "I have not lived for years with Sherlock  Holmes for nothing." Dr. Watson
  • 13. Holmes & Watson: Recap
  • 14. Holmes & Watson: Recap Drive or Navigate Observe well. Verbalize. Give meaningful suggestions Being a navigator is hard Pairing is learning
  • 15. Some pairing ideas Pair-programming (with testers also) Pair-facilitation Pair-talking Pair-writing (collective text ownership)
  • 16. Pair-programming
  • 17. Pair-programming Can be done anywhere: office, pub, etc Change roles/keyboard very often Outcomes: learning, better products Fastest feedback cycle in Agile Can be difficult
  • 18. Pair-programming: Navigator Adi tells story of Ron Jeffries being a navigator
  • 19. Pair-facilitation Can be done by anyone Just ask someone to pair when facilitating Outcome: learn better your skills Outcome: be a better listener Outcome: simplify&clarify your explanations
  • 20. Pair-talking Fast feedback on content Outcome: the talk has better content Outcome: learn a lot from your pair Outcome: you learn more from audience
  • 21. Pair-writing
  • 22. Pair-writing Easier to start writing The book can be finished faster Fast feedback on content Learning opportunity from your pair
  • 23. Pairing Did I inspire you to pair? What other ideas for paring do you have? When would you start paring?
  • 24. Contact me Unit testing workshop Remote pair-programming TDD workshop Refactoring workshop Legacy code workshop Legacy code retreat Code retreat @adibolb
  • 25. @adibolb Extend your mentoring & training capacity Accelerate learning through communities of practice Grow your functional leaders and top talents
  • 26. Thank you! The slides will be available on Slideshare&Twitter Questions?
  • 27. Images