Two By Two

If you are not a software developer, I encourage you to read this post anyways. Stick with me and I’ll do my best to make it worth your while…

Software development is better when two developers work together. Called “pair programming”, the agile software development practice literally has two developers on the same computer. Blockages get knocked down a lot faster. Code quality is generally higher. And the benefits go on and on. Here are a few articles on the topic:

Atlassian Blogs – Pair Programming Is Kryptonite!

All About Agile’s take on Pair Programming

Agile Alliance’s Guide to Pair Programming

Wikipedia on Pair Programming

There are many more articles on pair programming and almost as many of them are not favorable as are favorable to the practice. My experience is that pairing typically speeds development and increases quality. It is also my experience that it takes the right kind of developers to work in pairs. If you can get your team to have the right attitude and truly give pair programming a shot you will most likely stick with that approach going forward.

My experience is that pairing typically speeds development and increases quality. It is also my experience that it takes the right kind of developers to work in pairs. If you can get your team to have the right attitude and truly give pair programming a shot you will most likely stick with that approach going forward.

One of the premises of AGILE development is that you adapt it to work for your organization. In fact, a hybrid approach may work in which you pair in certain circumstances and not in others.

There are many types of pairing that are not “equal pairs”. In SCRUM, a SCRUM Master and a Product Owner are often “paired”. Sales teams often pair a sales person with a systems engineer, especially in the case of large technical sales situations. The examples go on and on.

To push the point beyond software development, Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs. Pairing works great on much more than just software development. If you have not tried it, I encourage you to try pairing in your work. Here in Nashville, the music industry is very much a believer in pairing… co-writing is one of the revered practices that has brought us some of the greatest songs of all time.

I also encourage you to try the concept in your personal life. The best relationships are typically those where both people get on the same page and set common goals. Not all goals need to be common… just the key ones for the relationship. And the feeling of “success” when goals are achieved is as great in personal situations as in business scenarios, if not much greater.

We live in a time where there are more “solo-preneurs” (companies of 1 person) than ever before. Even in these situations, finding ways to partner can accelerate business growth and opportunities. In fact, the most successful “solo-preneurs” that I know are also great at partnering.

I also encourage you to try it in your personal life. The best relationships are typically those where both people get on the same page and set common goals. Not all goals need to be common… just the key ones for the relationship. And the feeling of “success” when goals are achieved is as great in personal situations as in business scenarios, if not much greater.

My message to the “soloists” is simple… Soloing is great. Partnering, when done well, can be even more gratifying. Try it and let me know what you think.

 

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