Pair programming

On our second day at school we were introduced to the concept of pair programming, whereby two developers work on the same project at the same time.

Developer 1 stears the direction of the code and offers insight into what should come next. Developer 2 is the “driver”, the one who sits at the keyboard typing in the code. Developer 1 takes into account the broader picture as they watch the code being typed (and can usefully point out any typos or missing parentheses along the way!).

The responsibilities are swapped over every 20 minutes or so that each of you gets a chance to perform both roles.

Pair programming has an added advantage due to the fact that we as individuals do not know everything. When you are not sure how to code something, or which direction to go in next, there is a high probability that your pairing partner might just know. It’s also beneficial for the developer who knows the solution to explain it to the other person; it acts to cement their knowledge or highlight any gaps in it.

If neither of you has a clue, there’s nothing better than researching and learning how to do it together (and also the reassuring notion that you’re not the only one that isn’t “getting” this instantly). The whole process is symbiotic.

I’ve been told that pair programming can have its downsides, but I was pairing this week with a lovely lady. We learnt so much and I really enjoyed the week. We also managed to do Git Pong #womenwhocode!

We also had tutorials covering:

  • Object Oriented Design
  • Domain models
  • Class responsibility collaboration (I personally find this so useful, queue the flash cards!)
  • Test Driven Development
  • Inheritance and composition
  • Using doubles in testing

Phew, it has been a busy week!

On Wednesday afternoon I felt the fatigue starting to creep in. This week has been a bit of a shock to the system after having time off and getting back into early mornings, commuting, learning etc.

I’ve started popping a generous amount of chia seeds in my yogurt in the mornings. These are great for a slow release of energy and help to keep you going until lunchtime.

I decided that I needed lunch to be a nutrition boost, and found an awesome recipe in the Hemsley + Hemsley book for a super healthy DIY pot noodle. It’s packed with iron-rich veg, as well as raw ginger and chilli which is great to warm you up in winter.

It’s easy to transport and much cheaper than buying lunch every day.

By the end of the week I was buzzing, not only from getting into a better routine, but from having such a fantastic first week.