Pair programming is a software development methodology in which two programmers or more work together at one workstation. It's an effective technique for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and problem solving. One, the driver, writes code while the others keep an eye on the program's progress and look for potential problems. This way, both programmers can learn from each other as they work on a project. You don't have to do everything alone! Paired programmers collaborate to produce code more efficiently. They also catch bugs that one programmer may have missed. Moreover, pair programming can be less stressful than traditional solo coding because both developers share the responsibility of the code.
In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 reasons why you should try pair programming.
Being alone and working by yourself can be tiresome and slow. You can feel alone and lose focus. Pair programming has the benefit of increasing accountability. Both developers are responsible for the same project, which makes the other a true peer. You become more conscious of your tasks, of your teammates and become more productive as your peer is counting on you. And if one gets stuck, the other one is right next to him or her, ready to help them. Both developers are also empowered to ask questions, make decisions, and pick up right where the other one left off. This allows for effective communication and teamwork, two necessary attributes of good programmers. This means that pair programming is more fun and engaging than solo coding.
Learn from othersvia GIPHY
One of the greatest advantages of pair programming is the speed at which you can learn with and from your partner's feedback. Due to the non-invasive nature of the feedback, both developers will learn more from each other. Instead of spending time finding bugs or figuring out alone how to solve a problem. Two brains are better than one. With pair programming, you can figure out the solution together, and you will not lose time finding the solution or fixing bugs. Pair programming saves time and you’ll be more productive.
You can work with the best! As you know, some programmers are more experienced or have different points of view than others. Some have great ideas and can tell you more about the problem than others. In this case, pair programming helps you quickly learn something new from your colleague. It's a great way to transfer knowledge.
This means that they can not only answer each other's questions during development but also improve on each other's code and knowledge of the codebase.
Say goodbye to code reviewsvia GIPHY
When two programmers work together, they are doing the code review in real-time. In this way having a pair of developers working together can speed up the project and release time. Pair programming is a form of code review. You are looking at the same screen as your co-worker, listening to what they are typing, and reacting to their comments on your code. This type of teamwork helps promote good communication skills and improves the quality of the code you write.
One of the biggest challenges when programming alone is that you need to prepare your code for the PR review and this could be a laborious task. You have to do a lot of manual work, document your changes, clean your code, etc. These include reviewing each PR's source code, checking for coding errors, and sometimes even code polishing. Usually there's a lot of back and forth and as everybody is replying in their own spare time, a PR can take days or even weeks to be approved.
Pair programming eliminates the need for these tedious and repetitive tasks. A programmer can focus on coding and ensure that they can make more mistakes with the comfort of knowing that the second developer will be watching them. Once the task is done, there's no need for a PR review and everybody can focus on a new task.
Easier to understand the codevia GIPHY
Pair programming at its core is a collaborative effort that enables two or more developers to program together. This is a very efficient way to share the codebase knowledge and to make everybody understand all aspects of the code, even if they didn't write it all. It helps to eliminate bottlenecks and also provides a means to share knowledge. Pairs can be assigned together as needed, fostering open communication and continuous collaboration.
Pair programming helps to make sure that all aspects of the code are understood and accounted for. It also helps to make sure that you never forget to add or change something in your program because someone else will likely have seen it too. Everybody benefits from pair programming - the developers, their team, and their company.
Improves team communication and collaborationvia GIPHY
When programmers are working in silos, communication can be difficult and a lot of extra work (like extra documentation and detailed PR) is required to make sure that everything is correct. But when the team works together in real-time, it becomes easier for everyone to know what the other programmer is doing. While one programmer is writing a function, the other can ask the right questions to find out how it works. Pair programming makes it easier for developers to interact with their teams and improve their collaboration.
Catch bugs that you might have missed otherwisevia GIPHY
One of the primary benefits of pairing is that you have someone else to help you avoid bugs. While you're writing your code, your colleague can be double-checking that you are not making an unintended mistake. You can simply write the code, as fast as you can and let your partner help you catch the issues with you. This is a huge advantage, but it doesn't guarantee that your code will be stable or bug-free. You both can may miss something in the code you wrote and that's fine. The point is being able to progress much faster and catch other issues that otherwise might have appeared anyway.
Why you should try pair programmingvia GIPHY
Programming can be a solitary job. It's just you and the code. The only time you interact with another person is when you're asking for help or reviewing somebody's else code. Pair programming changes this. When you work with someone else, things become more interesting and conversations will go much deeper than they would otherwise. You'll be forced to explain what you're doing and how it works in order to explain it to someone else - which will help you understand it better yourself. Your colleague will learn from you and you from them.
Programming usually requires you to be both a problem-solver and a technical writer. Pair programming alleviates this issue by having two people work on the same code at once, which makes debugging easier and can help clarify questions about what the code does.
Communicating clearly is something most people don’t do enough of. It can be hard, especially when you’re not talking to the same person every day. When working on a team with many different members, it could be even more challenging.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case if you are pairing programming. Two or more developers work together on one project at the same time. One performs the coding while the other provides feedback and asks questions about what they are doing. This way, both people get to talk and collaborate. After talking so much about improving communication and collaboration I couldn't end this post without mentioning Duckly. Duckly enables developers to talk and collaborate in real-time directly from their IDE and independently of the IDE of choice. That's right, you could be using VS Code and your colleague IntelliJ or WebStorm. Give it a try for free!