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Pair Programming Illuminated

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Pair Programming Illuminated, 9780201745764 (0201745763), Addison Wesley, 2002

Pair programming is a simple, straightforward concept. Two programmers work side-by-side at one computer, continuously collaborating on the same design, algorithm, code, and test. It produces a higher quality of code in about half the time than that produced by the summation of their solitary efforts. However, nothing is simple where people and personalities are involved--especially people who are accustomed to working alone. The leap to pair programming for a variety of software development projects is one that yields many benefits. However, it is also one that requires careful thought and planning.

Written as instruction for team members and leaders new to pair programming and as an improvement guide for experienced pair programmers, Pair Programming Illuminated explains both the principles underlying this method and its best practices. The authors, drawing on their own extensive experience, explain what works and what does not, what should be emphasized and what should be avoided. Two case studies further illuminate pair programming in practice: one in the context of extreme programming (XP), with which it often is associated, and one linked to a more disciplined software engineering process.

  • Principles for selecting partners

  • Practical advice, such as furniture set-up, pair rotation, and weeding out bad pairs

  • Seven habits of effective pair programmers

Special appendices include:

  • A pair programming tutorial

  • An economic analysis of pair programming

  • An introduction to test-driven development

With this book in hand, you will quickly discover how pair programming fits the needs of your own organization or project. You then will see exactly how to get started with this method, and how to do it right.

About the Author

Laurie Williams has applied the XP methodology to various projects. She is an organizer of the main XP conferences held thus far.

Robert Kessler is a professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, from which he holds his Ph.D., and a past department chair. Bob has founded a number of technology companies and is on the board of several others.

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