Pair programming is likely to be the most misunderstood of all Agile development techniques. While the practice is known to have been used for decades, it was only made popular in the early 2000’s by the Extreme Programming methodology and has subsequently been met with a great deal of skepticism. In this unconventional style, two software engineers work side by side at the same computer. While one developer, commonly known as “the driver,” writes code, the other, “the navigator,” critiques the work and strategically plans the next steps to be taken in the programming process.
From the casual perspective of an untrained eye, pair programming can easily be misinterpreted as a big waste of time. After all, logic would seem to suggest that two developers engaging in separate tasks would be able to accomplish twice the amount of work. When other less obvious factors are taken into account, however, this argument holds very little water. Through our many years of experience in the industry, Software Planet Group have learned that when used skillfully and for the right assignments, pair programming not only saves time, but also emerges as an invaluable practice to ingeniously generate high-quality code.