Pair Programming

Read about a week ago an interesting article challenging Pair Programming

I have to admit the first time I read it it seemed really devastating to pair programming. I however re-read it yesterday when James Nugent sent it by the second time. This time reading through I picked up on something I didn’t the first time.

Table 1 is extracted from a pair-programming calculator developed by the author.  It allows researchers to input a number of variables including staff compensation, application size in lines of code, and coding speeds for both pairs and individual programmers.  Table 1 shows a typical pattern for average pairs and average individual programmers for 1000 code statements

All of the numbers in the paper aren’t actual research! They are assumptions of the author that were then plugged into a “pair programming calculator”. Which as Mark Nijhof pointed out should “really have more than one author”.

In other words even though its on a “research” site and appears professional its just an opinion piece with made up statistics 😦

I personally think sometimes pairing is good and sometimes its not. I think the bigger question is getting into a more formal discussion of when it is good or not.


  1. Consultator
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sad state of what qualifies as “research” in our field.

  2. Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    To start discussion: First case where pairing is far better than not pairing. When you are consuming my API and I pair with you on the code that consumes.

  3. Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice site

  4. willemsst
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Maybe the author wrote the calculator with this:

    My thoughts on pair programming:

  5. Posted July 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reading this now, but come on Mr. Jones. Only the Sith deal in absolutes. Inability to put things into proper context is our industry’s #1 problem, IMO.

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