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Promiscuous Pairing 
Yes It Works! 
-Ankur Sambhar
What is 
Promiscuous 
Pairing?
switching pairs very 
frequently
optimize learning and 
spread of knowledge
preventing state of flow
What is “Beginner’s Mind”?
…state of few limits
tries more approaches 
tries them rapidly
transitory state that 
depends on instability
to maintain it as a 
stable state?
Change things 
around frequently
What worked for us?
fine granular tasks… 
each < 3 hrs
tasks pulled by 
least qualified 
team members
pair switching 
every 60 mins
pair rotation 
every 12 mins
code check-in 
every 12 mins
Challenges we faced
team composition 
junior – master developers
odd number of 
team members
how frequently 
rotate pairs? 
10 
mins? 
25 
mins? 
60 
mins?
finding optimum 
pair switching frequency 
30 
mins? 
60 
mins? 
120 
mins?
What have we achieved 
with it?
quick knowledge sharing 
across team 
on each task
no local optimization
better quality deliverables
improved throughput of 
team
shorter ramp-up time for 
new hires
It pays to be 
promiscuous! 
keep pairing… 
As they say…
Questions 
& Answers?
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Promiscuous Pairing - Yes it Works!

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Being Agile developer, have tried & tested various flavors of pair programming over the years while working in highly motivated self-managed team. Some experiments worked while some worked better :)

This presentation is about sharing the personal experience of practicing promiscuous pairing which allowed the team to be always in the beginner's mind state and being able to push the boundaries consistently.

Published in: Software
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Promiscuous Pairing - Yes it Works!

  1. 1. Promiscuous Pairing Yes It Works! -Ankur Sambhar
  2. 2. What is Promiscuous Pairing?
  3. 3. switching pairs very frequently
  4. 4. optimize learning and spread of knowledge
  5. 5. preventing state of flow
  6. 6. What is “Beginner’s Mind”?
  7. 7. …state of few limits
  8. 8. tries more approaches tries them rapidly
  9. 9. transitory state that depends on instability
  10. 10. to maintain it as a stable state?
  11. 11. Change things around frequently
  12. 12. What worked for us?
  13. 13. fine granular tasks… each < 3 hrs
  14. 14. tasks pulled by least qualified team members
  15. 15. pair switching every 60 mins
  16. 16. pair rotation every 12 mins
  17. 17. code check-in every 12 mins
  18. 18. Challenges we faced
  19. 19. team composition junior – master developers
  20. 20. odd number of team members
  21. 21. how frequently rotate pairs? 10 mins? 25 mins? 60 mins?
  22. 22. finding optimum pair switching frequency 30 mins? 60 mins? 120 mins?
  23. 23. What have we achieved with it?
  24. 24. quick knowledge sharing across team on each task
  25. 25. no local optimization
  26. 26. better quality deliverables
  27. 27. improved throughput of team
  28. 28. shorter ramp-up time for new hires
  29. 29. It pays to be promiscuous! keep pairing… As they say…
  30. 30. Questions & Answers?

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