Effective Pairing: Good, Bad and the Ugly

These are notes and video taken from the highly entertaining Agile 2008 session Effective Pairing: Good, Bad and the Ugly. Thanks to Ryan Hoegg, Lasse Koskela, Dave Nicolette, Brett Schuchert for letting me capture them on video. These four guys acted out personalities, scenarios and pitfalls that can occur with pair programming, each skit followed by a room discussion on how to address the issue(s).

I did manage to write down a few of the tips mentioned:

  • Problem: experienced dev takes over pairing work to meet deadline. Keep track of the number of times that one developer takes control of pairing situation to meet a deadline.
  • Promote code team ownership, skill team ownership. Anyone can change (and hopefully improve) any code in the project. The team must take responsibility for improving each other’s skills. Find the time to help someone get better, otherwise one dev becomes an island of knowledge. Tomorrow never comes!
  • Isolated problem or ongoing? Observe if the situation is part of a pattern or a one-time event.

Part One (12 min)

Part Two (26 min)

Part Three (26 min)


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