Only one in ten new year’s resolutions are kept, so I thought I would make one that actually had a chance of making it into that elusive ten percent. The concept of pair programming is one that has appealed to me for quite some time, yet I have not had (or made) the opportunity to actually put it into practice. So my resolution is to pair when ever the opportunity presents itself.

I am very fortunate to work in an environment filled with fantastic programmers. It’s just two working days into the New Year and I have spent most of it pairing with the “newest addition” to Biomni’s brain trust, Rich. My admiration for Rich’s “mad skills” are well known around the office. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with him on our last two sprints and they have been my most rewarding agile iterations to date; pairing with him has been fantastic on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, I feel we are getting a great deal achieved. The importance of this cannot be understated as if we weren’t I am sure the management would step in and curtail my new found championing of pair programming. In addition to keeping those that pay our way happy, the sense of self worth that daily achievement brings helps cultivate my “happy geek”. The two sets of eyes being better than one plays out very well; how often do you refactor a user interface and it’s controller fairly substantially and get it right first time on your own?

Secondly, I feel I am learning a great deal from Rich personally when we pair (without being totally dead weight!) From the use of code snippets and keyboard shortcuts through to his almost maniacal love of the factory pattern, the constant learning is rejuvenating. Although some nights I feel a little like my brain is full come closing time.

All in all the new year has started wondrously on the Agile front and I am glad pair programming is one of the practices that I have added to those I use daily.