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I've Pair Programmed for 30,000 Hours: Ask Me Anything!



Joe Moore answers many questions about pair programming and remote pair programming, from the poignant to the silly.


Joe Moore is a Principal Engineering Manager at Pivotal. In 2005 he joined Pivotal Labs as a founding member of Pivotal’s Ruby on Rails practice. Joe has led eXtreme programming projects for a wide variety of clients, ranging from one-person start-ups to the world’s largest social networks. Since 2010 Joe has remote pair programmed full time with Pivotal coworkers and clients around the world.

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Recorded at:

Oct 06, 2016

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Community comments

  • 30,000 hours since 2005?

    by Ron Jeffries,

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    Well, let's see, there are about 4300 days between 2005-01-01 and today. Of course if Joe gets weekends off, and takes two weeks a year for vacation, that'd be about 2900 days of work, that'd be over 6 hours a day, every single day, of remote pair programming.

    Wow, that's a lot of pair programming, isn't it?

  • Excellent presentation! PP may change job of programming forever!

    by Colbert Philippe,

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    I find this very interesting. Pair Programming challenges the old model of single programming coding away. No one has demonstrated that it's an optimal model. It's the simplest to imagine and implement but nobody has demonstrated it as good. This new Pair Programming way of working is introducing an alternative way of doing things and I really like that it lends itself well to working remotely, something most programmers want to do. Nobody wants to waste precious time on highway driving when it could be used to work. Every programmer will tell you that the job or programming is too broad to be good at everything. There is just too much to know and learn to be good at everything. Let's remember that the world of programming is evolving significantly every moth. By combining two programmers, we are alleviating the pressure to know everything perfectly and to have perfect experience. It's a fallacy that all programmers know very well. Also, the pair learns from each other. That's a definite plus. The big question becomes: Does a pair of programmer working in good conditions produce much more than the same two programmers working solo? Experienced programmers are tempted to say YES, but it must be proven more clearly so as to convince management. I am of the opinion that we should go one step further and consider 2, 3 or 4 programmers working together, tightly. There would be one senior programmer and up to 3 junior programmer. The senior programmer would pass knowledge and experience to the junior programmers.

  • Re: 30,000 hours since 2005?

    by Joseph Moore,

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    I just tracked down my old talk here.

    You're right Ron, that's a lot of pair programming! I count from the year 2000 though I joined Pivotal in 2005. I started pair programming at Evant in 2000, which you might have heard of through Alister C's books and some other references. Kent B, Rob M, Eric E, Joshua K all worked there. And me, with all of 2 years of industry experience.

    Thus I use the following math: years since 2000 * 48 weeks * 40hrs/week.

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