Tag Archives: pair programming

What is up with all the apairia?

The love of pairing, specifically pair programming with real geek joy, is seeming quite scarce. I keep finding myself around folks who, from my perspective, don’t get it. I want to really understand this. Get underneath it and inside it and get it.

So I’m asking: What are the causes of apairia? If you have personal experience, what do you hate most about pairing? If you’re a coach, have you seen people go to lengths to avoid pairing?

I am not asking to hear good stuff about pairing. This is all about a•pair•i•a: the fear of, hatred toward, or avoidance of pair programming (esp among fans of collaboration and code quality).

What are the causes? Are there effective treatments?

GeePaw sez…

If you’ve only ever had bad pairing experiences, it can seem like the best thing is never to pair again. I even know several coaches in that camp.

Consider dancing, another highly interactive joy-bringer. Imagine how you’d feel about dancing if:

  • your partners were all also first-time dancers;
  • you only ever danced in a tight closet;
  • your idea of dancing is for you to sit there and watch;
  • you get yelled at for stepping on toes;
  • you had the same partner for days;
  • …you get the idea.

We need to make sure every noob has at least one excellent pairing experience. If we fail to accomplish this, we can lose potentially terrific pairs forever.