Two Brains Are Better Than One

Working through a tough programming challenge on your own always feels great, but studies have proven that it is more effective to code through a complex problem with a colleague. For instance, one study found development time decreased by 19% when the participants used pair programming instead of writing code separately.

You may think pair programming belongs in the computer science classroom or in a corporate job, but it’s starting to gain the attention of a growing number of agile enthusiasts. As more and more academic studies demonstrate the benefits of collaboration during the initial programming process (including reducing testing and debugging time later in the process), developers and smaller companies are beginning to add this type of method into their development workflow.

So how can you try out pair programming for yourself? Find a friend or coworker, set clear objectives, goals and time limits, get logged into Squad and start to conquer your coding challenge.

Squad is perfect for pair programming because it has a built in mode to help reinforce the practice that one person types while the other person watches. Although it may be intimidating at first to know that someone is watching as you type in realtime, with practice it will make you a more careful coder as well as help you identify ways to improve your work.

If you need some help figuring out the logistics of pair programming, you might want to check out one of these articles:
Four Ways to Do Pair Programming
“Pair Programming” from The Art of Agile Development by James Shore
Techniques for Effective Pair Programming

Remember, there is a learning curve with this technique, just like any other, and patience is key with getting over this hump. Good luck!

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