on pair programming

If you let them, a partner can be a great asset. Of course working with two brains and egos litters the playing field with challenges. I find that one of the greatest obstacles is maintaining the same conversation. Specifically, listening to the conclusions they come to and working with their perspective rather than overlapping with your own.

It can be easy to disregard the foreign logic your other half has pulled from what seems like nowhere. It seems distorted and you’d like to help them by clearing the table and generously offering your perspective.

There are some problems with this generosity though.

You might be wrong. (also likely)

You may be saying the exact thing they’re saying.

You may both be right.

Believe me, there’s nothing more frustrating than giving your thoughts on the problem and having someone not understand and rather than hearing you, telling you what they think. That’s not taking advantage of both brains and it’s also going to rattle some egos.

Keeping the peace is the name of the game here. You won’t be as effective if you’re not communicating, feel like you’re being heard, or hearing your partner.

So come at it with a ‘yes, and..’ attitude rather than a ‘no, this..’