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Pair programming: Good, bad and ugly

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  • One workstationDriver –Concentrates on just codingNavigator – Reviews codeChecks for errors Considers overall design
  • simpler design, reduce bugs, more maintainable– code base and coding, removes knowledge silo’slogin
  • Think about:Possible bugsLarger issuesWays to simplify the codeAlternativesAre we doing the right thing?Wait until the driver has finished the piece of code to bring issues and design upJot down any tasks to discuss when driver has finished typing
  • Studies have shown you can’t navigate (think about larger issues) whilst driving. Two roles exist so it isn’t about one getting a break while the other codes!
  • Pairing is hard!
  • If you are doing pairing right you will be very tired at the end of the day as you will have been very focused all day

Pair programming: Good, bad and ugly Pair programming: Good, bad and ugly Presentation Transcript

  • Pairing
  • Why Pair?
    Better code
    Knowledge transfer / sharing
    Better morale – fun!
    Higher productivity
    Improve communication, learning and cooperation
  • The Good
  • What is good pairing?
    Drawing out a solution to focus the mind
    Communicating – talk a lot
    Being patient and courteous
    Encouraging and mentoring
  • Good Driving
    Focus on the task
    Complete the code
    Syntax
    Trust the navigator
  • Good Navigating
    Review the code
    Pay total attention
    Talk not show
    Think about the bigger picture
    Think about alternatives
    Are we doing the right thing?
  • The Bad
  • What is bad pairing?
    Anti - patterns
    Navigator dictating – backseat driving!
    Keyboard hog and keyboard snatching
    Mentally checking out
    No collaboration
    You can’t do both roles
    It’s not fun!
  • The Ugly
  • Clever code != clean code
    Complex code is not always clean code
    It can confuse your pair
    Steam training
    Belittling your pair – “Don’t you know that”
    Arrogant and egotistical
  • Dreyfus Model
    Novice
    Advanced Beginner
    Competent
    Proficient
    Expert
  • How to be good…
    Define your task and agree on a solution
    Rely on each other
    Sync up frequently
    Celebrate your success – High 5!
    Switch roles regularly
    Be courteous, respectful and understanding
    Talk and listen
    Don’t check your email/twitter/facebook etc
    Have short regular 5 minute breaks
  • Remember…
    Pairing is sharing

  • Questions?
    Sara
    Email:sara@sarastephens.com
    Blog:www.developerdame.com
    Twitter: @developerdame
    Rachel
    Email:rlaycock@thoughtworks.com
    Blog:www.rachellaycock.com
    Twitter: @rachellaycock