Pair Programming — An Agile Approach
Pair Programming is a powerful programming approach in which team members mutually work in pairs can actually benefit from it and not all can easily adapt. It involves and requires soft skills along with the required technical stack skills.
First among all the developers, only a few support the concept of Pair programming as it results in knowledge sharing, transfer of project skills, and reduction in potential bugs of the deliverable. It paves way for a team member to mentor his teammates on a particular domain and ensuring them to take over one’s responsibility in parallel to technical skills thereby reducing dependencies.
As a developer, it helps to vocalize the approach of coding from an individual perspective. In pair programming, two different ideas/approaches emerge for the same solution. Physiologically, it is very productive when more than one individual works/codes on any complex solutions thereby reducing stress levels, choosing feasible business solutions, and implementing apt design patterns.
“Coexistence and being social has made developers evolve the best possible way for successfully engaging with teams across the globe to continue delivering business”
Pair programming is not about two developers sitting together at the same workstation or virtually connected to the same machine. It is a science-oriented and fun-filled agile programming practice that results in more productivity and standard deliverables by following a standard set of principles effectively.
Pair Programming Techniques
The scope of pair programming is not only restricted to developers but for testers as well. The below are the various pair programming techniques that is extensively followed.
This technique is effectively performed in a Test- Driven Development. One member writes the test cases and the other person makes the test pass.
This technique is similar to a rally car race in which the driver listens to the instructions from the navigator while driving the race. In the programming scope, one member (Driver) will type the coding based on the navigations from the other team member (Navigator).
As the name signifies this technique does not have a predefined approach to perform programming. It is similar to a free-flowing concept in which well-matched pairs can proceed and complete the deliverable faster than scheduled.
Pair Programming avoids 15x (1500%) the development-time cost
How to Achieve the Goal of Pair Programming?
Exchange of Ideas
Pair programmers should open up with each other on the ideas and strategies each has to get the task completed faster with good sync among them and not be an “Information Islands”. The good practice is to always narrate the thought process in a project that one is involved in.
It is very important that when working in pairs, the workload should be equally shared among the members thereby ensuring a collaborative approach towards the goal. The roles can be switched after a specified interval to create an equally comfortable work environment.
Firstly, it’s important to split any assigned task into S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related) sub-stories before starting to code.
- Hardware & Software configurations
The first and foremost step is to ensure that all the required hardware and software to successfully deliver the outcome are in installed and made available.
2. Dealing with the knowledge gap
The main purpose of Pair Programming is to leverage people’s expertise to learn more efficiently by exchanging the known facts/skills thereby ensuring successful completion of a task with more quality and lower cost. Proper homework should be done by members at regular intervals based on the project needs.
3. Focused Approach
There should not be any deviation on the goal set because of the difference in focus levels to get the task accomplished on time.
4. Mutual Agreement
The major required aspect in pair programming technique is to have mutual respect and agreement on the views or strategies shared/discussed in the process workflow.
5. Peer Respect
Respect for peers is a significant need irrespective of the experience between the pair programmers involved. Any occurrences that involve differences of opinion should be handled professionally.
The below is one of the effective pair programming principles that is extensively followed to a better, faster, and feasible outcome.
Author: Ashwin B