Most business decision-makers are always looking for ways to improve upon the way that their team functions. When it comes to working with developers, you might be looking for ways to improve the quality of code, build a better team environment, or increase the productivity coming from this department.
While there are traditional solutions that may work to get better results, many of them focus on just improving in the one area. With a solution like pair programming, you can improve the way that your team works while also creating a better working environment.
What is Pair Programming?
In the practice of pair programming, two programmers work together at the same workstation. You'll have one at the keyboard and one that acts as an observer. The programmer at the keyboard is called the "driver" and the observer is known as the "navigator".
In paired programming, neither programmer exclusively works as the driver or navigator. The idea is for them to switch positions at different times. The job of the driver is to focus on writing the code, while the navigator reviews the code and focuses on the larger objectives of the project.
Pair programming can be used in a variety of different formats and to achieve a wide range of goals. In the pairing, you could have two expert programmers, which can be good for the highest level of productivity. You can also go with a pairing that teams an expert up with a novice, which can provide a good learning experience for an inexperienced programmer.
How It Is Good for Improving Developer Skills
Regardless of the type of pairing, paired programming has something to offer both members of the team. Of course, an inexperienced developer is going to learn more from an experienced partner, but a junior developer can often help the more experienced partner to look at things in new ways.
Pairing can improve quality in a number of ways. To start, you have two professionals looking at the problem instead of one. Each professional will have their own unique experiences and insights, and each programmer will approach the issue from a different way. A good pair looks at all of their options, then they go with the solution that works best.
In addition to that, the navigator acts as a reviewer while the driver writes code. This means that mistakes can be caught while the code is in the process of being written, and improvements can be suggested during the development process.
One common misconception is that pairing will increase costs because you have two people doing a job that a single programmer could do on their own. Pairing actually brings down costs because it reduces the number of issues that you have in the review process. This means less troubleshooting and fixing after the initial code is written.
Creates Learning Environment
If you are looking to improve the skills of programmers, pairing provides a good environment for team members to share knowledge. This can be especially good for junior programmers that lack experience. By working with an expert, they can learn in real time as they work.
Nothing builds trust and a sense of shared purpose like actually working together. With pairing, programmers get to learn from each other, they become familiar with the skills that their co-workers have, and they get to know each other. Pair programming works as a great solution for lowering costs and improving the quality of the work that is performed.
Beyond that, it offers a great environment for programmers to learn from each other and it is a good way to build a more cohesive team. By trying pair programming, you are taking a step to increase productivity in a work environment that your employees will find more enjoyable.