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To Pair or Not to Pair: Pair Programming - YouTube |
Lady's from ThoughtWorks (, and if that's sounds familiar, that's because they're the Selenium and GoCD people.

Benefits mentioned in the video:
1. knowledge sharing (1 + 1 > 2)
2. combines two modes of thinking: tactical (driver: local optimization), strategic (navigator: big picture)
3. reflection (on the story, value-added, effectiveness vs. # of LOC)
4. helps coder / team focus; discipline around structure of code, strategy, explain and justify choices, avoid rabbit holes
5. "I get more programming productivity" out of reducing time that I'm stuck than from increasing my speed when I'm not stuck."
6. helps practice "true" CI--code review on-the-go; more collective code ownership; >> trunk-based development

1. don't do it for 8 hours a day
2. take breaks; it's exhausting
3. even skill levels
4. share feedback (I don't like it when ...), exchange READMEs
5. "the shame of pair programming"; requires vulnerability

Homogeneous teams feel easier, but easy is bad for performance. (ref:

The authors are saying that this idea goes against many people's intuition, and often if there's something counter-intuitive, there's a cognitive bias hidden away somewhere, right?

And the one that they're mentioning here is the "fluency heuristic," which says that we prefer information that is more easily processed, and if it's easily-processed, we think that it's more true, more right, more beautiful, and that serves us very well in a lot of situations in software development. We want readable code, easily-processable things. But I don't think that it serves us well if we think that's why we're not doing pair programming.

So, pairing feels hard, but that doesn't mean that it's not good for performance, and also it doesn't have to stay hard.

Ways to make it easier (reduce friction, conflict, anxiety):
1. get the talking going
2. active listening
3. friendly feedback
4. answer why

See also:
agile  cs  programming  pairing  pairprogramming  teamwork  collaboration  communication  conference  talk  video 
december 2018 by kme
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