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 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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Sherlock Holmes and Pairing @Wlidcard Conference 2013 09 13

  1. 1. Sherlock Holmes And Pairing
  2. 2. Me Adi Bolboacă Programmer Organizational & Technical Trainer & Coach
  3. 3. Pairing. Why. When. Do you pair? Why do you pair? How often?
  4. 4. Pairing roles Driver Navigator
  5. 5. Driver Takes the decisions Consults with the Navigator Focuses on short term actions Verbalizes all the performed actions
  6. 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. 7. Holmes & Watson pairing
  8. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 13. Holmes & Watson: Recap
  14. 14. Holmes & Watson: Recap Drive or Navigate Observe well. Verbalize. Give meaningful suggestions Being a navigator is hard Pairing is learning
  15. 15. Some pairing ideas Pair-programming (with testers also) Pair-facilitation Pair-talking Pair-writing (collective text ownership)
  16. 16. Pair-programming
  17. 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. 18. Pair-programming: Navigator Adi tells story of Ron Jeffries being a navigator
  19. 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. 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. 21. Pair-writing
  22. 22. Pair-writing Easier to start writing The book can be finished faster Fast feedback on content Learning opportunity from your pair
  23. 23. Pairing Did I inspire you to pair? What other ideas for paring do you have? When would you start paring?
  24. 24. Contact me Unit testing workshop Remote pair-programming TDD workshop Refactoring workshop Legacy code workshop Legacy code retreat Code retreat @adibolb
  25. 25. @adibolb Extend your mentoring & training capacity Accelerate learning through communities of practice Grow your functional leaders and top talents
  26. 26. Thank you! The slides will be available on Slideshare&Twitter Questions?
  27. 27. Images