Pushing through with pair programming

Pushing through with pair programming

In my team there are two developers. We're responsible for coming up with technical solutions. However, both of us have problems getting started.


At the outset of a new project we both get overwhelmed by the scope and magnitude of the week ahead of us. It feels like we have to climb a huge wall, or walk through a dense forest.

It's easier to "let it all sink in" for a while, and read another blog post. The feeling of being overwhelmed subsides a bit. When it's faded enough we go back to coding - only to find ourselves in the exact same position.

How to break this cycle?

We decided to face this problem together. Especially at the start of a new, unfamiliar project, but really any time we feel overwhelmed, we team up. We use pair programming to keep each other focused and just start. One driver, one navigator, together against the world. We switch between driving and navigating every pomodoro.

Fear and overwhelmedness turn into curiosity and familiarity

This approach has allowed us to gain confidence and trust our experience and pattern recognition skills. As we work, our understanding of the domain and its issues grows, and we are better able to look ahead.

Fear and overwhelmedness turn into curiosity and familiarity. And as we gain more experience with this approach, and our skill and confidence increase, so does my enjoyment. And... of course the quality of our solutions :)

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