Pair Programming & A Learning Environment

Whether pair programming is effective or not is relative to how each individual person learns and takes in information. I have made my biggest gains in programming knowledge when paired with one other person and working through an issue. I recommend beginning developers to give pair programming a try with someone else that is just starting out or has a little more experience than yourself. Keep in mind that it takes patience and contribution for pair programming to be effective.

Pair programming doesn't always have to be in a driver/navigator format, both developers can “whiteboard it” together and take turns adding or taking away from the coding solution they are trying to work through.

Some of the positives of pair programming.

  • Pairs typically consider more design alternatives than programmers working alone, and arrive at simpler, more maintainable designs; they also catch defects early
  • Resulting code has about 15% fewer defects.
  • The satisfaction of working through an issue together, through completion

Some of the negatives of pair programming.

  • Staying on track
  • The navigator or driver not talking through their thought process
  • The driver becoming a keyboard zombie

Wiki stats on pair programming

In an online survey of pair programmers, 96% of them stated that they enjoyed their work more than when they programmed alone.

Additionally, 95% of the surveyed programmers stated that they were more confident in their solutions when they pair programmed.

Pairs spend about 15% more time on programs than individuals.

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