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PairWithUs: On-Demand Agile Software Development Video Examples

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One thing well known by most programmers is that the best (only?) way to learn programming technique is by example; specifically, watching someone else doing it. Antony Marcano & Andy Palmer's PairWithUs gives people a great place to do just that.

The styles and techniques of software craftsmanship, things for example like Test-Driven Development and Refactoring, take time to understand, get the hang of, and do well. One of the best ways to accelerate this process is to work with other people who can show you different ways of doing it. Pair Programming is a great way to do this, simply watching other people pair can often be another. Further, the practice of pairing in and of itself is one of those things that you need to see work to really get it.

Knowing this, Antony Marcano and Andy Palmer have launched the new PairWithUs initiative, what they refer to as "agile software development (user stories, tests, code and more), broadcast live and recorded for your future viewing pleasure." Through this site the two provide access right into real live pair programming between them - you get not only the code screencast but also travel with the two of them as they pair, experimenting with varying ideas and techniques, which is probably the real gem of what they're doing.

In their own words:

We aren't trying to teach any specific technology or technique. Instead, we'd like to share how we combine several software craftsmanship techniques, shown in the style of a fly-on-the-wall documentary.

The main learning point that we hope our viewers take away is that it's ok to make mistakes and to change your mind. Things don't have to be perfect, first time, every time, as long as you progressively make things better.

We aim to show the real deal including uncertainty, debate and eventual clarity (along with some petty arguing and occasional tangents).

But most of all... we're two guys who have fun programming :-)

The pair have used Vimeo to post nearly 70 25 minute pair programming sessions (aka, pomodoro's). Most of the videos so far track their progress through a "FitNesseNarratives" project, one in which they are providing FitNesse users a way to use the common BDD-influenced "Given-When-Then" style for FitNesse pages.

There's no charge, its free (.."as in beer"). Take some time to check out what these guys are doing, use it for yourself or someone you know who might be having some trouble understanding (or believing) some of the things you're telling them about pairing and craftsmanship.

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