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The Advantages and Potential Drawbacks of Pair Programming

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The Advantages and Potential Drawbacks of Pair Programming

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The Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of Pair Programming
Illustration: © IoT For All

Whereas it’s a typical false impression that software program engineering is a solitary area, in actuality, collaboration usually helps you resolve programming points extra shortly and effectively. On this article, we’ll study the apply of pair programming, highlighting its distinguished advantages and potential drawbacks.

What’s Pair Programming?

Pair programming, because the title suggests, is a software program growth apply through which two programmers collaborate on a single workstation on the identical time. You can do this collaboration both in individual or remotely, through which case you’ll want software program for display sharing and real-time enhancing.

In pair programming, the builders interchange between two roles. The “driver” writes the code, and the “navigator” critiques the written code whereas offering data and directions. You usually alternate roles between each quarter-hour to 1 hour.

Many organizations are nonetheless hotly debating pair programming; some undertake it wholeheartedly, whereas others outright refuse to contemplate it. Within the subsequent two sections, we’ll focus on the benefits and drawbacks of pair programming to know every of those viewpoints.

The Professionals of Pair Programming

1. Fewer Errors and Bugs

Software program builders often work alone, which might trigger adverse traits like stubbornness and tunnel imaginative and prescient. It’s all too simple to get caught when making an attempt to repair a bug primarily based on an incorrect assumption, a hidden typo, or a spot in your information.

Whenever you’re pair programming, nevertheless, you’re pressured to work as a workforce. This robotically provides the code extra “high quality management.” Each companions use their shared expertise and information to resolve issues quicker as they come up. In keeping with a examine by the College of Utah, code produced throughout pair programming has 15 % fewer defects.

Having a associate available additionally helps you to apply methods like “rubber duck debugging.” This debugging technique asks you to clarify your code within the easiest phrases line by line, as if chatting with a cute but uninformed rubber duck. Your associate can extra simply spot your personal misconceptions and biases, serving to you get again on observe extra shortly.

2. Larger Resiliency

The “bus issue” ought to be a priority for all mature software program growth groups. If one individual will get hit by a bus or must immediately depart for another cause, what is going to occur to the venture? Is there worthwhile technical information that may be ceaselessly misplaced (or take a very long time to recuperate) as a result of just one individual is aware of about it?

Pair programming does a lot to resolve this concern. Not less than two individuals ought to be accustomed to each a part of the code base, moderately than data dwelling with just one individual. This helps stop sudden venture slowdowns and delays resulting from employees turnover.

3. Elevated Code High quality

Sharing finest practices between companions results in higher total code. Particularly, having to be accountable to your associate discourages each members from taking any shortcuts or hacks. Pair programming encourages groups to construct sturdy options that gained’t create sudden bugs in a while.

4. Quicker Coaching

Often, the companions for pair programming are two specialists or one professional and one novice. On this latter case, pair programming permits junior and new workforce members to choose up data from their extra skilled colleagues. This may massively pace up the onboarding course of.

5. Improved Group Morale

Lastly, pair programming provides you another person to speak to on the venture who can empathize with you and make it easier to resolve your issues, so that you just aren’t caught spinning your wheels all day. This helps make the workforce as a complete extra productive and happier.

The Cons of Pair Programming

1. Larger Prices

Having two individuals engaged on a single initiative could appear to be a waste of worthwhile sources. Certainly, it’s true that pair programming gained’t be capable of full a venture in half the time.

Nonetheless, the larger overhead that pair programming incurs is often balanced by the higher-quality code and a extra environment friendly, efficient closing consequence. You pay extra in prices upfront, however you’ll be able to recuperate your funding over the lifetime of the venture because you’ll spend much less time sustaining the codebase.

2. Sustainability

Pair programming isn’t often sustainable sufficient to be practiced all the time. The best period of time to spend pair programming appears to be round 2 to 2.5 hours—and don’t overlook to take breaks!

The excellent news is which you could take measures to interrupt up the depth of pair programming. Strive switching to a brand new venture or a brand new associate all through the day to assist maintain your thoughts contemporary.

Conclusion

Pair programming isn’t new; it’s been across the software program growth business for many years. As a apply, pair programming originates from the excessive programming (XP) methodology, which prioritizes excessive software program high quality and frequent checks and releases.

For some organizations, pair programming merely isn’t the appropriate match for his or her scenario. Nonetheless, a rising variety of firms are discovering that pair programming has a wide range of advantages, together with saved growth time, higher-quality code, and higher coaching and onboarding. Consequently, everybody on the workforce is working collectively to construct probably the most profitable, finest model of the product doable.



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