Is pair programming worth the hassle?

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I have been doing programming for over 14+ years, and from time to time I did pair programming (mostly debugging problem). Since early last year I have been doing more pairing, mostly due to the hints from above. I have mixed feeling on this, mostly along the lines of advantages of disadvantages talked about here by Mark Weldon.

Quote Mark here, “When you pair program, you’re effectively joined at the hip with your pair. You can’t pair if only one of you is there. This means that you both come into work at the same time, you both take lunch at the same time, you both take breaks at the same time, and you both leave at the same time. The work is so concentrated that you work 8-hour days (which is good). But you can’t take time off without affecting your pair. Working from home is possible, but it’s obviously not as pairy as sitting beside one another…” I have very similar feeling here. Mark is probably an experienced developer. I also did a google search, saw other people with different background shared their thoughts on pair programming (manningdigital, a CS student). Mark also talked about the personality clash, essentially one developer with strong will (or more stubborn gets her/his way), which is also echoed by other 2.

Curious about this topic, and don’t want to limit by the google, I came to quora, and searched this topic. I came up with Is pair programming worth the trade off in engineering resources and Does Pair Programming really work.

And I saw this from the legendary coder Kent Beck, he suggested it works when

“The problem space is big and unknown. You don’t know what exact problem you are solving and the probability is high that any solution you find will change your understanding of the problem.
The solution space is big and unknown. You are working with technology you don’t fully understand and the chances are that any solution you find will change your understanding of what constitutes an effective solution.
You need to build relationships on a team…”

I think that’s where I agree with on pair programming at this time.

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