The navigator looks around, double-checks the code, and maintains an eye on the larger picture. While one programmer, called the developer, writes the code, the other programmer, called the observer or navigator, reviews every code line as it gets typed. At a higher level, once you start pairing with another developer, you’re going to notice some differences in the ways you each approach your tasks. One of you might know some fancy keyboard shortcuts, have some special aliases for common shell commands, or prefer to use a specific IDE because of its unique features.

pair programming definition

The reviewer is ultimately responsible for letting your code pass to the next stage on your Scrum board, for example QA, or go straight into production. The problem with code review is that no reviewer is infallible. Reviewing someone else code requires discipline, context switching and spending a lot of time reflecting on potential issues. Thus, most often than not, reviewers put way too much trust into the author’s code, leading to defects not being caught before landing into production.

The definition of Pair Programming

Code reviews can be called the process to view any code and pass judgment. The programmer looks at the code to find defects and suggests improvements. Code review also combines some testing methods so that quality is ensured.

pair programming definition

Unstructured pair programming is also harder to keep afloat remotely. This approach is considered if programmers do not know what will work best for a project upfront. It improves the code that’s produced, and it’s less likely to contain errors since it’s reviewed by both pairs as it’s written. Pair programming, when done extensively and with frequent rotations within a team, lets you put all the developers on the same page. By actively discussing and challenging solutions to problems with their team, developers become accountable for the whole code base. The ultimate benefit of pair programming is without contest its ability to spread knowledge among team members.

Pair programming

Create your free account and start collaborating right away with your team on all your apps. Should you have any questions about our offers, be sure to contact us. The navigator gives the driver instructions, and the driver can make corrections or request clarification. This is a good antidote to the anti-pattern, where the person typing controls the text.

Additionally, it’s an opportunity for the newcomer to quickly familiarize with their new environment, find their place within the team and get a glimpse of the company’s culture. Pair programming drastically lowers the time required before new team members are fully ramped up. Pair programming is considered as a replacement process for code review.

How to Start Pairing

Some businesses employ pair programming, whereas others do not. That’s because pair programming has both benefits and drawbacks that you should think about before applying it in your organization. Of course, it’s not mandatory to use this exact phrasing, but if the requirements of a feature can’t be expressed in this minimalist way, it’s possible that the expectations are ambiguous. That’s a potential red flag that’s easier for a pair of programmers to spot when they start to discuss what’s needed. Logistical and personal hurdles such as scheduling, tool choices, and distractions can stop you from getting the most out of pairing.

pair programming definition

Most programmers connect by pairing programming to solve an issue without using TDD. Pairing is an opportunity to make these unconscious variations in technique visible so everyone can benefit from the hidden wealth of experience and knowledge about how we code more effectively. One of the clues that a pair might be having trouble taking turns is silence. Pairing is a noisy process, involving a lot of questions, feedback, discussion, and collaboration.

Learn Tutorials

The interviewer acts as the observer or navigator, while the candidate acts as the driver. Programmers can collaborate, chat, type, fork, and edit simultaneously. This software is an excellent option for developers and designers to learn and sharpen their skills. This program is a popular option for designers and developers who want a more social approach. You can select “Collab Mode” to allow multiple people to modify a single pen at the same time. Nurturing that type of support can be hugely beneficial for team morale.

pair programming definition

It allows the programmers to have a face-to-face interaction because it can deliver much better results than boring online tutorials. The programmer can learn better than the resources available on the internet. Another case where pair programming sets a milestone is that both the fellow programmers can learn different things, especially for those areas where the other may not have any knowledge. Developers are therefore advised to keep up the best practices and build a better relationship as a programmer.

Introduce less defects

But if you don’t mind using the same laptop or keyboard and mouse, swapping roles from navigator to driver in a pair might be as simple as switching places. The fundamental element of pair programming is working together with your pair. When a task is accepted, it needs to be shared between both of the people working on it, and they both need to be fully engaged in the task while they’re pairing on it. That means that they both need to understand the requirements the same way, and work together to come to a shared understanding of how they want to go about meeting them.

Another advantage of pair programming lies in how it enables you to share best practices with your team. Our brains don’t all address problems the same way and we actually often use strategies that have produced results before in the first place. If you recently pushed the code, you can tackle situation in a few minutes over Slack, Teams or any other messaging tools. Conversely, an old piece of code pair programming definition requires you to dig in tickets and commits to recall why you chose that path. You thus have to go through context switches and you might experience difficulty to communicate clearly or even get flustered as you feel a sense of urgency. It gets even worst when you’re on PTO or just off sick and still check your notifications just to be told that “what you’ve coded the other day will not work”.

What Exactly is Pairing?

It’s easier when one person has difficulties keeping up or feels like they’re working alone. Pair programming involves you and another software developer (or prospective software developer) sitting in front of a computer. Traditional pair programming and remote pair programming are very similar.