Pair Programming Illuminated
Product Author Bios
Laurie Williams has applied the XP methodology to various projects. She is an organizer of the main XP conferences held thus far.
Robert Kessler is a professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, from which he holds his Ph.D., and a past department chair. Bob has founded a number of technology companies and is on the board of several others.
Pair programming is a simple, straightforward concept. Two programmers work side-by-side at one computer, continuously collaborating on the same design, algorithm, code, and test. It produces a higher quality of code in about half the time than that produced by the summation of their solitary efforts. However, nothing is simple where people and personalities are involved--especially people who are accustomed to working alone. The leap to pair programming for a variety of software development projects is one that yields many benefits. However, it is also one that requires careful thought and planning.
Written as instruction for team members and leaders new to pair programming and as an improvement guide for experienced pair programmers, Pair Programming Illuminated explains both the principles underlying this method and its best practices. The authors, drawing on their own extensive experience, explain what works and what does not, what should be emphasized and what should be avoided. Two case studies further illuminate pair programming in practice: one in the context of extreme programming (XP), with which it often is associated, and one linked to a more disciplined software engineering process.
Key topics include:
Special appendices include:
With this book in hand, you will quickly discover how pair programming fits the needs of your own organization or project. You then will see exactly how to get started with this method, and how to do it right.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pair Programming Illuminated (Paperback)I was inspired by the book "Extreme Programming Explained" by Kent Beck and we started to use pair programming. Since that we had a lot of unanswered questions:
- how to spread the pair programming practice across our organization,
- how to argue with the people who did never try pair programming but was against it,
- how to overcome management resistance to pair programming,
- how to gain support and acceptance from our peers,
- how to organize workplace layout in details, how to rotate pairs ...
This book has answered all the questions.
The authors did the awesome homework analyzing lots of books related to project management, software development and human relations. You will find lots of references. However, the book contains only a few authors' own assertion. The authors prefer to base on someone else's books and publications, logically combining and deducing them.
The most valuable aspect of the book is that the authors have interviewed lots... Read more
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
How to choose the personalities to pair,
By A Customer
This review is from: Pair Programming Illuminated (Paperback)Despite the mythology associated with software development, very few programmers have ever worked alone. Most of us have worked in teams and even when not working as part of a formal team there were people we shared our coding problems with. In fact, when talking about coding, programmers are a gregarious group. Therefore, the only difference with pair programming is the formalization of the matching, where two programmers are "formally" paired to work on a single task.
The questions concerning the efficacy of pair programming generally involve getting the right two people grouped together. Given that they will share the same space, physical and intellectual, for approximately eight hours a day for the duration of the project, it is not hard to anticipate tiny personality differences growing into gear teeth that no longer mesh. The authors tackle this problem by going through examples of pairing all different skill levels. While nothing in human behavior is ever exact, they do... Read more
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I started a bit skeptical on pairing but now a believer...,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pair Programming Illuminated (Paperback)I started a bit skeptical about pairing until I read this book. After completing the book I realized that I was thoroughly mistaking about my premature conclusions and comments on the topic.
This is a very thorough, interesting and entertaining book. After reading it from cover to cover, I realized that pair-programming is not only a good thing-in many instances for most software processes-but that it addresses a problem that many individual in our field suffers from-and I am a prime examplar of a programmer with some form of the symptoms of that problem:
General lack of social skills, or interest, for interacting, communicating and working in teams to create "good" large software... as well as sharing our knowledge without prejudice and with humility. Not too mention dealing with our not so small egos...
I also realized that in some sense, I have experienced (positively) some form of pair-programming without really knowing it. At the large software company where... Read more
› See all 11 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapter
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This purpose of this book is to provide you with lots of information on pair programming. If you are already pairing, then the book will give you additional insights and techniques to make your pairing even more successful. We answer many of the questions and concerns that you may have about using the technique.
In Section One, our aim is for you to gain greater understanding about pair programming. We'll describe the technique and will be looking at pair programming from many perspectives . . . from those who want to try and those who would rather not try, from those who are employees trying to convince their managers to let them try and those who are managers who are trying to convince their employees to try.
In Section Two, we deal with some operational details of pairing--like furniture and hints and tips for daily operation. We discuss the importance of pair rotation and how that can lead to better knowledge management.
In Section Three, we explain benefits and shortcomings of many different kinds of pairs and the context when each kind of pair works best. We offer ideas to help enhance the pairing and solutions for most problem pairings. Unfortunately, not all pairs will work and we provide ways to recognize the potential problems before they happen.
Section Four gives two case studies of pair programming in different methodologies. The first describes pairing in Extreme Programming (XP), while the second discusses the Collaborative Software Process (CSP). In both cases, pair programming is an essential ingredient to success.
We conclude in Section Five with some future directions and by enumerating Seven Habits of Effective Pair Programmers.
Who Should Read This Book
We've written this book for software development team members and their managers. When we use the term "software development team," it goes beyond those who write production code. For example, this book is certainly appropriate for team leaders and coaches, GUI designers, architects, and QA folks. This book was also written for educators who would like to try pair programming with their students. Depending upon your role, may we suggest the following process for reading this book:
Who Wrote This Book
The authors of this book are Laurie Williams and Bob Kessler. Laurie has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, an MBA from Duke, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Utah. She has also worked for IBM for nine years in various manufacturing, software development and management positions. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at North Carolina State University. Bob has a BS, MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Utah. He has founded several companies and is on the board of several others. He is currently a full professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah.
As we're sure you surmise, the great benefit that comes from pair programming comes from the social interactions between the partners. Thus, as you might expect, there are social issues involved. Although not trained sociologists, both of us have many years of experience in software development. Thus, our views on the social interactions are grounded in our management experience and provide our fundamental basis for solving the various problems and issues.
You might be wondering how we assimilated all the information in this book. We've done pair programming ourselves. We performed an extensive, formal experiment of pair programmers versus solo programmers, which yielded groundbreaking results. We've observed professional and student pair programmers. We've talked with or presented to thousands of experienced pair programmers, those considering pair programming and anti-pair programmers. We've also done two extensive surveys of professional pair programmers. We've heard lots of wonderful endorsements of pair programming, and we've heard every reason in the book why it won't work. We'll be quoting statistics from these surveys, presenting data gathered in our studies, and relaying lots of information from all these sources and our own experiences.
Table of Contents
Who Should Read This Book.
I. GAINING UNDERSTANDING.
II. GETTING STARTED WITH PAIR PROGRAMMING.
III. PAIR PROGRAMMING PARTNER PICKING PRINCIPLES.
IV. CASE STUDIES OF PAIR PROGRAMMING IN A SOFTWARE PROCESS.
V. IN CLOSING.
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