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Pair Programming That Doesn't Suck

On some teams pairing is the norm; developers enjoy the collaboration & experience enhanced productivity. Others, though, work on teams where pairing is shunned, avoided, or just faked. Why do some craftsmen thrive with pairing while others want nothing to do with it?

Why does coach-enforced pairing turn into something dry, distracted, imbalanced & ineffective? Join in an honest discussion & learn about which pairing styles drag teams down & what sort of pairing helps teams rock. Whether you’ve never paired before, or you’re on a team that’s trying, you’ll have fun and come away with a clear sense of the best that pairing has to offer. (Bring a computer set up for development if you have one, but don't let it keep you away.)

Session Leader Name(s): Angela Harms & Michael Hill

Duration (30, 60, 90): 30 minute talk, 60-90 as workshop

Audience Level (New/Novice, Experienced, Expert): Beginner & Experienced

Session Style (Presentation, Workshop, Interview, Panel, Game): Workshop

Description of Session:

This is a 30 minute talk, followed by a code-retreat style pair programming session. In a 60 minute session, it's randori.

Session Leader(s) Background:

Angela Harms makes software at LeanDog, in Cleveland. She loves beautiful code that emerges from collaboration, and learning new ways to make it work. When she's not pairing on tests and the code they inspire, you can find her at conferences speaking about what she's learned (so far), or discussing puzzles and new ideas in open space. Her website, myAgileEducation.com, has invited lots of answers from practitioners and industry leaders.

GeePaw Hill has been a professional programmer for thirty-one years. For the last eleven, he has focused his efforts as a trainer, coach, and team lead on XP software projects and transitions. Mike is a well-known leader in the Agile community and is a regular speaker at related industry events. His chief interest over the last few years has been on the perils and rewards of coaching agile development teams.

Session History: I gave the 30 minute talk at Ruby Midwest in Fall of 2011. I will be giving it again at Mountain West Ruby Conf in March, and at TechWeek in June. Video from the RubyMidwest talk is here: http://confreaks.net/videos/757-rubymidwest2011-does-pair-programming-have-to-suck and is also on speakerrate: http://speakerrate.com/talks/8834-does-pair-programing-have-to-suck

But it really wants to be a hands on workshop. This is its lifelong dream. :)

Questions Answered By This Session:

* Why does pair programming in the real world suck sometimes?

* When I can't follow what some rockstar is doing while they're hunched over the keyboard, how can I fix things?

* When a noobie is slowing me down, how can I get some friggin work done?

And, maybe the biggest one:

* How can I help my team see the beauty I see in pair programming?

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Session Leader Name(s): Angela HarmsMichael Hill

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