Blog / 7 reasons why pair programming works

Petr Zaparka
October 18, 2010

I was wondering why a lot of people still don’t want to pair program. So I wrote down my most important reasons why you should pair program. Btw if you don’t know what pair programming is, here is the explanation.

Faster learning - if you pair program with a more experienced developer you will learn much faster than you would alone.

Faster development - Even though sometimes pair programming may be slower (pair senior / junior), in general it’s faster. Two people working on the same issue have different ideas on how to solve the problem or they can suggest better and faster solutions.

Learn new things - It doesn’t matter if you pair with a skilled or beginner developer. Every person thinks differently so you will learn new techniques or even just different approaches on how to solve the problem.

Better understanding of code - If you pair program you have to explain what are you writing and why. That will help you think more about problems and their solutions.

Cleaner code - Pair programming usually forces you to write cleaner code, because you are watched and you don’t want to look like bad programmer, do you?

Bus factor - Pair programming helps you increase the number of people that could be “hit by a bus” without affecting productivity, i.e. more people have knowledge of the code base. (Bus factor explanation)

Eyes will rest - Yes this is good reason too. If you pair program you usually don’t stare at the monitor for long intervals (which help your eyes), because you have discussions with your co-worker, about the issue, that you are solving.

So are you finally convinced to pair program ?