Pair Programming Definition and Overview

The image of the hacker in dark room is what people have witnessed through movies, but you know that the reality is something very different. To get into the chatbot development, you’ll need to have a good command of these programming languages.

  • But by then, you, as the original programmer, might not even be around to appreciate the code review.
  • They are usually time-boxed and the most common Agile framework that uses these periodic rituals is Scrum.
  • This is the reason why it is also called “pairing” or “programming in pairs”.
  • Create your free account and start collaborating right away with your team on all your apps.
  • A programmer new to pairing but comfortable with the task at hand can easily get into a pattern of holding onto the driver role for as long as possible.
  • That’s because pair programming has both benefits and drawbacks that you should think about before applying it in your organization.

Two novices together may have difficulty in the driver/navigator style, because no one is experienced enough to take charge. In addition, the unstructured approach may be difficult for beginner programmers. Two experts can generally work within any pair programming style. Advanced programmers may prefer the ping-pong style, as it allows them to have even participation.

It can be counterproductive for certain types of coders.

You can have people who know little bit of every technology and tool used within the project. Another advantage of this I see is that it helps people in moving across teams much more easier. You no longer have hardcore dependencies on one or two individuals. In an unfortunate event of somebody  leaving the organization or contractor leaving after the contract period you no longer have people taking important knowledge with them. You also don’t need the so called knowledge transfer sessions or handover between different people.

pair programming definition

Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. The following timeline of verifiable sources does suggest that pair programming, in its modern form, has been around since well before the Agile movement. pair programming definition Engineers definitely can work around the clock to push code into production and deliver features under tight deadlines. But how productive would that be if they are always working alone? The code will be more prone to technical debt, hidden bugs and performance issues.

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They don’t like the idea of someone watching them code, they feel they are being judged, etc. In this post we’ll be discussing the benefits, challenges, styles of pairing programming and some of the best practices. Pair programming reduces the need for specialists in the teams.

pair programming definition

The implicit understanding you have in your head when you’re working alone needs to be communicated so both you and your pair know you’re on the same page. Getting as explicit as possible about the work and the approach up front will help make the pairing experience much more agreeable. Pairing involves a lot of talking, as that’s the best way to keep two minds actively engaged in the problem at the same time. With pair programming, your team can get faster results because they get to share ideas and work through problems together.

What Is Pair Programming?

On a personal plan, this may seem right, but in general, it is not fruitful for the long run. Apart from the retention rate, fewer mistakes are introduced in pair programming if the programmer is not in the state of being fired. Both the fellow programmers can thus have continuous attrition and code reviews.

pair programming definition

One programmer is supposed to code, and the other programmer is told to observe the code. He checks whether the code being written is apt for the required project. He also spells, checks it, and figures out whether the written code goes wrong somewhere and the next step. The coder’s individual’s task is to code according to the requirement, and he need not worry about what is being written since the other programmer is proofreading it. The roles can be switched anytime; the driver becomes the observer and vice versa. Both form pairs and work effectively so that time is saved and the code is easy to debug.

Improved team morale

Continuous Integration is a software development practice that makes developers integrate code changes into a shared repository routinely and frequently. Usually, each person integrates at least daily and that ensures them that their code changes do not break anything. The quality of code produced by two developers working together improves, along with their mutual understanding of the codebase. In general, when two people can think about the same problem, they can create simpler and more efficient solutions while learning from each other.

This sounds simple, but those are real problems that pair programming can help to solve. The driver is the developer who codes, talks as he/she works and shares their thoughts in real-time. As the “navigator,” another developer watches the driver while they work. While the driver codes, the navigator comments, offers suggestions and can focus on the bigger picture. They naturally can (and should) switch between each other throughout the duration of the coding session.

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It is one of the most underrated techniques where an individual can learn fast and apply the learned concepts without worrying about the drawbacks. Pair programming introduced itself quite a long time ago but was not considered until it became too late. Thus, big companies often push their developers for pair programming rather than sit and code alone. As we saw in this article, pair programming, though it suffers from some disadvantages, should be implemented quite often because research has been carried out on pair programming. The proverb “two is better than one” beholds the power of pair programming. The planning period is the process of executing certain tasks at the decided time interval.

pair programming definition

To palliate this situation, a technique known as rubber duck debugging was introduced and popularized in the book The Pragmatic Programmer, published in 1999. The story in the book, whose technique’s name is taken from, is about a programmer who purposefully describes each line of their non-working code to a rubber duck. By articulating every steps of their solution out loud and checking the results, they tend to find the mismatch between what they expected and what actually implemented. Technical debt is a constant uphill battle for any development teams. To deal with it, you have to get disciplined as a team and embrace a culture of periodical reviews. If you don’t, sooner or later your code base will internally implose and any changes will require a lot of efforts.

Pair programming in interviews

It is more common than you might think, and it defeats the point of pair programming. To create a safe atmosphere for collaboration that encourages developers to share their knowledge. One person is the “driver,” and the other is the “navigator” in pair programming. The driver is the individual who is actively writing code at the keyboard.






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