Common misconceptions about paired programming
- Doing Agile requires doing pair programming. "The manifesto doesn't mention pair programming and most agile methods don't make it part of their approach."
- XP requires pair programming. XP projects usually do XP but "like any agile method, expects a team to choose its own process."
- People assuming they just won't like pair programming. Most people like it after they try it, others don't do it right and are left with a false impression.
- Pair-Programming halves the productivity of developers. Better designs, less mistakes, better understanding offsets the decrease in ability to type code.
- It's only worth pairing on complex code, not boring rote code. Martin mostly agrees with this but points out that if the code is boring, maybe the design is bad. :)
Ward Cunningham's famous C2 wiki also includes a pair programming page with another set of misconceptions:
- Pairing is primarily a micro-level source code review.
- Pairing will halve my team's productivity (same as Martin's).
- Pairing sounds like an unpleasant task. It would drive me crazy (same as Martins).
- We don't do pair programming here. But infact people often get together to solve bugs which is a form of pair programming.
- Pair programming is a training program.
I should also point out that to most XPers I know the question of whether a team is XP or not is uninteresting; the real issue is whether a team is effective.
"if the code is boring, maybe the design is bad"
What about pair programming where only one half is a programmer?
I wrote an article about rules and agile but for some reason did not mention this scenario. I also wrote a piece on how rules close the gap between IT and the business here on my blog. Would love to know what people think
Edmund Jorgensen Nov 27, 2014
Lisa Adkins and Michael Spayd Nov 27, 2014