Agile Pair Programming Tips for Remote Work GitLab

Faster onboardingJunior programmers learn much faster by pairing with experienced team members. Pair programming is a social skill and it takes time to learn it. The programmers have to suppress their egos, they have to listen to each other and be patient. If you have a team member with experience with pair programming, let them show it to the rest of the team so they can imagine how to do it. “I’ve done pair programming in person and I actually find it easier remote because of screen sharing,” explains Cynthia. “You have more control over what you’re looking at and how, whereas in person, often the main thing you’re working on together is on one person’s screen.”

pair programming

An avid cricket fan who also likes listening to Hindi music. Your team develops better interpersonal and social skills. Team members can learn to communicate with each other, work together, and share information. In this pairing, a newbie can learn many things from expert, and expert gets a chance to share his knowledge with newbie. Tasks often done by only one person tend to be simpler than those assigned to two people. For these complicated tasks assigned to a pair, an approach should be created and agreed upon.

Developer Screening: How to Screen Developers Before Hiring

The good news is that unlike other forms of in-person collaboration, pair programming translates really well to remote work, and in some cases is even more effective. The ping-pong style of pairing is suggested on C2 Wiki. This combines pair programming with test-driven development.

While what is pair programming has a lot of benefits, it also requires practice and might not work smoothly from the start. The following is a list of some of the common challenges teams experience, and some suggestions on how to cope with them. When you come across these challenges, keep the benefits in mind and remember why you pair.

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If the navigator doesn’t know where the driver is going , the navigator may become bored and disengaged. Codebase is more consistent with coding guidelines due to collaboration. Where problems are challenging, pair programming finds solutions faster. Due to increased social interaction, there’s greater job satisfaction and higher productivity.

  • The idea of having two developers working on a single task at the same time seems like a waste of valuable resources.
  • Today, Visual Studio Code users can easily choose to work locally or connect to cloud-based development environments, like GitHub Codespaces.
  • The interviewer acts as the observer or navigator, while the candidate acts as the driver.
  • When a pair feels that they don’t have the collective knowledge to approach a problem, split up to read up and share back, then continue implementation.
  • With a price tag of free, this choice is a no-brainer — particularly if you’re already a Visual Studio Code user.
  • Detection of coding mistakes becomes easier – Navigator is observing each and every line of code written by driver, so mistakes or error can be detected easily.

If you don’t take time to acknowledge and accommodate this, it will come back to haunt you later in the day. To help get you into the mindset, the following are a few examples of the non-coding activities in a story life cycle that benefit from pairing. Part four and five, “To pair or not to pair?”, and “But really, why bother?”, will conclude with our thoughts on pairing in the grand scheme of team flow and collaboration. Users can make a sandbox live and share the URL with collaborators. You can determine whether anyone can edit at will, or control who can edit at a given time . File changes, dependency changes, and selections are all kept up-to-date across sessions.


That way, your next retrospective becomes an opportunity to evaluate your experience in pair programming. We already said that pair programming helps to solve complex problems faster – so why can’t we apply it all of the time? According to one survey, 96% of developers who practice pair programming at work say that they enjoy their job more than when programming alone. This remote pairing tool claims to be lag-free and includes basic integrations with Share.js, which allows simultaneous editing. The goal of many software engineers is to improve overall code quality while building their skills along the way. Pair programming is one way that developers reduce errors and boost efficiency.

There are trainings that can help individuals or teams with this, for example “anti-bias” or ally skills trainings. Limit your team’s WIP to the number of developer pairs on your team and make it visible in your team space . WIP limit discipline might naturally force you into a pairing habit.

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If you’re ready to try out a pair programming interview, CodeSubmit helps your hiring team set up and manage objectively good pair programming interviews. CodePair by CodeSubmit is a pair programming environment optimized for real-world use cases that supports 24 languages. We offer a ton of features that make it easy to conduct really interesting and company-specific interviews in a matter of minutes. Using a pair programming interview promotes a more objective hire. The selection is based on demonstrated skill and expertise instead of biased CVs, recommendations, or simple question-answer style interviews.

pair programming

Here are our picks for the best collaborative coding tools. Several product categories could be described as collaborative coding tools. Pair programming is when two or more developers work together on the same project. This can make the team more cohesive and also help to create a better product. Microsoft MVP for Azure with a motto of Code with Passion and Strive for Excellence. Always believes that knowledge is grown by sharing with community.

Is pair programming better than code reviews?

However, it is a big misconception that needs to be clarified. Based on researches carried out through surveys and practices, it has been found that pair programming, if done right results speed up the coding to about 15%. It also enhances the code quality by having fewer bugs, thereby stopping the chances of redoing the same task or repeatedly repeating the code review process. At times, a solo developer gets frustrated with using the same design pattern to solve complex and hypothetical codes that are too generic for him. Often, he declines the power of collaborating because he may need some space to think better.

pair programming

Pair programming always results in the development of great interpersonal skills. Collaborating on a single project promotes both the programmers to appreciate each other’s core values, communications and promotes teamwork. It sums up the developers to individually communicate and drive a solution-based approach to proceed with a problem without worrying about bugs and glitches. This style works well for a novice paired with an expert programmer. The navigator role can range from a reserved approach to a tactical hands-on role. Pair programming is a software development technique in which two programmers work together at one workstation.

Code Review vs. Pair Programming

This promotes the sharing of more skills between developers and keeps them engaged. Junior developers can pick up more skills from senior developers. And those unfamiliar with a process can be paired with someone who knows more about the process. Knowledge sharing is one of the benefits of pairing, and we have mentioned how rotations can further increase that effect.

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