Friday, 27 July 2018

Solo Programming

Solo coding is a new practice where a developer sits down and puts their headphones in and works completely on their own. This allows for higher concentration and individual focus levels just not achievable in group working! It means the team can output more work! Every developer can maximise their output!

han solo GIF

Some developers dislike pair programming, it's not a bad sign on them. There are a lot of benefits to mobbing or pair programming. But I have days when it's just nice to put my headphones in and get on with stuff, maybe this is bad? I mean now I've gone and added less reviewed code that only I understand.

The first step is to make sure that the developers understand the benefits of shared work, it may seem slower at first than solo work but after you get some practice you will find that the work starts to speed up and you become way more efficient working together. Also, it is about the best way to share knowledge and reduce risk as a team. When a single person writes or works in an area they are the only person that knows that area, meaning that others will misunderstand and potentially cause issues when working there. Knowledge gaps can lead to failures and big problems with people having time off.

I would suggest that to start we begin by timeboxing the pairing activity, its a completely new way of working and it will take some time to get used to. Also, you must remember to strictly follow the rules, pair programming or mobbing is not just sitting around the computer working together, there is a strict format to follow. One person should be on the keyboard and the other(s) should be navigating, this means the person on the keyboard should follow instructions from the navigator(s) not just get on with the work and explain. The navigator(s) should be telling the driver what to do, they are in control at this point, follow this with extreme discipline! Also, the position should swap regularly, I recommend 5/10 mins then swap.

So give it a go trying to follow the rules properly, after a while you can adjust the numbers if you want, and start extending the time pairing. I still have mixed feelings about how much I enjoy group work, but I can clearly see it is a benefit, so trying to find a good balance of doing it regularly feels important, also I read that some companies are trying to vet out people who don't like pairing in the interview process nowadays...


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