One of my favorite topics in agile and iterative development is pair programming.The question is can we make it happen more and do we want to try it more? I’ve typically seen it on the smaller and more isolated projects. It’s a fascinating concept and the research, while minimal that I have found, tend to say two developers get more high-quality work done than one independently.
I also found it interesting that it’s a core tenant of education in some circles today. When my wife was getting her master’s in education, pair learning was one of the approaches she was taught. Often it’s three or four, but two works. All her classrooms are broken into small groups and I guess there’s lots of educational research that backs up the fact that students learn more working in small groups than alone. I’ll ask her for some research links.
I ran across an Distributed Agile post today that dug up some more research backing up pair programming. Here’s what the post had to say
“Pairing is the most powerful tool they’ve ever had. Skills don’t matter as much as collaboration and asking questions. Goal for new hires is to get their partner hired. Airlines pair pilots… Lorie Williams at the University of North Carolina did an experiment and found that the paired team produced 15% less lines of code with much better quality”