· pair-programming book-club

Book Club: Promiscuous Pairing & Beginner's Mind (Arlo Belshee)

In this weeks book club we discussed Arlo Belshee’s paper ‘Promiscuous Pairing and Beginner’s Mind’ where he presents the idea of rotating pairs more frequently than we might usually, suggesting that the optimal rotation time is 90 minutes.

I remember coming across the idea of promiscuous pairing a couple of years ago but I hadn’t read the paper all the way through and so far haven’t worked on a team where we’ve really tried out his ideas.

These are some of my thoughts and our discussion of the paper:

I often feel that pair programming is a skill that we take for granted and we assume that we can just put two people together and they’ll be able to work together effectively.

From what I’ve found this doesn’t always work out so I think it’s important to keep innovating and trying out different things in this area so that we can find approaches that allow us to work better together.

Update As Dave suggests it should be ‘guerilla’ and not ‘gorilla’ pairing that Nic suggested as being a useful idea.

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