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This software development manager believes it is an utter waste of money to hire a programmer and not pair them with someone else.

Llewellyn Falco is an independent agile coach. He discovered strong-style pair programming and is creator of the open source testing tool ApprovalTests. He spends most of his time programming in Java and C# specializing in improving legacy code. Llewellyn is also co-founder of


Key Takeaways

  • Kids aren’t ready for “real” programming until they are ready to read, write and type
  • It’s a waste of money to hire a programmer and not pair them with another
  • It’s our differences that make us stronger
  • When we work together with someone, we are in the zone together for longer periods of time
    • It is easier to focus and you aren’t distracted as much
  • When someone is “watching” us work, or working with us, we are more inclined to use best-practices
  • We feed off the other person, we bring good things out of each other
  • “I’ll come back to this later” usually means “I don’t want to do this”
  • In code reviews, not much generally changes in the code
    • We get feedback occasionally but by and large the structure of the software stays the same
  • Efficiency can’t survive in a vaccuum, you can’t be “efficient” with being efficient FOR something
  • When you want to pair-program, sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission
  • Paired work is more intensive – strive for 4-5 hours of paired work then take a break
  • Trust is a critical issue – ask for trust from your partner

Resources Mentioned

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Available on Productivity Tuesdays and Hello Tech Pros daily podcasts