Extreme Programming

By Deane Barker on August 26, 2003

The New X-Men: I read a book on Extreme Programming once, but I never quite got it, and at the time I was working in a company that wasn’t ready to embrace it. After reading this article, however, I can’t help but think that I’d write better code as part of a pair.

“Pair programming may be the most bizarre aspect of XP, but those who’ve tried it swear it’s a blessing. With another brain at the ready, coders no longer suffer hours of frustration inside their own heads. While one partner types, the other can zoom in on misplaced semicolons or zoom out to look for flaws in the structure of the code. There’s somebody there to celebrate with when things go right and someone to keep you on track when attention drifts toward email.

By all accounts, the divorce rate is low. What’s more, pairing is not a drain on productivity. Although concrete data is meager, a University of Utah study showed that paired programmers catch more defects than solo coders. Though the practice adds 15 percent per programmer to the time it takes to complete a task, the lost productivity is offset by having fewer bugs to fix.”

What do you say, Chris? Wanna pull up a chair?