Re: [ljc] Am I a bad programmer if I do not like pair programming?

From: Wesley H.
Sent on: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:13 AM
Jim,

Yes, you are terrible!! Please leave the industry immediately! ;).

I was quite surprised to read the part about people not being prepared to stand up and say they don't like pair programming, my experience has been that people tend to be quite vocal about this. I have actually been one of these people.

That said, I have come around quite a bit in recent years. I tend to find that PP works much better if you are also using TDD, since this is a process that tends to lead to quite a lot of 'inner dialogue', even when you are working alone and it is useful to share this.

I think it is important to remember that pair programming is a skill of it's own, it's not just a matter of two programmers sitting at one screen. A singles tennis player is not automatically good at doubles, they still need to train, and people that are good at one thing, tend to get frustrated when they feel less good at a similar thing.

I am still learning. I can get a bit bossy when I am the non-keyboard member, and get twinges of annoyance when I am typing and get reminded to do something that I was just about to do.

On the whole though, I am now quite a vocal supporter of the process. When I come back to code that was developed a while ago and try to understand it, I find a strong correlation between it being understandable and it being pair programmed. I am no longer looking at the historical content of a single person's mind.

All this said, provided you have a good understanding of the kinds of things that pair programming solves, and have another mechanism to solve them. Then there is nothing wrong with having another approach. Personally, I hate doing code reviews, and I often have to pester the original coder to try to figure out what they were thinking, (either, "What were they thinking?" or "WHAT WERE THEY *THINKING*!!!). My experience is that code reviews tend to become very half arsed very quickly. YMMV.

Cheers

Wes

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Jim Collins <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering if there are other programmers out there who feel they are bad programmers because they do not like pair programming.

I feel that I am much more productive working on my own and it is how I enjoy to work. If I am working on something particularly difficult then I will often ask a colleague what they think and when I commit code I also talk my colleagues through what I have done in a code review. That is how I have always worked and how I enjoy working.

I sometimes get the feeling that pair programming is like the emperors new clothes. No one will stand up and say I don't like this so we all continue in this vicious circle :).

Thanks

Jim




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