How to Pair Code ? logo
Published on

How to Pair Code ?

Here's what you need to know

First things first: relax. You've got this.

Putting two people together to accomplish a task is called pairing. In the past, you have probably "accidentally" paired with your colleague when faced with a tricky bug or a new area of the codebase.

Nonetheless, it's quite typical to be nervous at the beginning. Usually, nerves are your biggest enemy during your first pairing.

Here are a few tips to keep things low-stress.

How to pair code

Try it with someone nice

Ideally, your first session will take place with an experienced pair. More importantly, the pair should be kind.

Do it when you’re fresh

Plan to shoot first thing in the morning, when caffeine levels and motivation levels are high.

Make sure you avoid the hours right after lunch and late at night.

Make sure your ergonomics are right

  • Sit directly next to each other, with the monitor equidistant between you.

Pick an easy task

Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you’ll find that pairing truly shines when the problems get harder.

But for this first session, try to pair on something that doesn’t feel intimidating. Something you’re already pretty sure you know how to accomplish is good.

Mob programming

Try mob programming (“mobbing”)

Some folks find mob programming less intimidating than a two-person pairing session.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Get a group of three or more devs together.
  2. Put some code up on a TV or a very large monitor.
  3. One person drives while the group navigates.
  4. Switch drivers very frequently. Every ten minutes is good.
  5. Marvel at the quality of code you produced, how much you learned from each other, and how much fun it was.
Subscribe to the newsletter

Time-box it

It’s a good idea to start with shorter sessions. 45-60 minutes is about right.

You can burn out very quickly if you are unable to focus and communicate effectively when pairing.

When your stamina grows, you'll be able to run longer sessions, but at first keep them short.

Wait to draw conclusions

After your first session, you’ll begin to form an opinion about pair programming.

Try to avoid this. It’s a great way to get overwhelmed.

The quality and compatibility of pairing partners vary greatly. Before you decide whether the pairing is right for you, try pairing with five different people. logo

“Several thousand dollars are spent by companies to find the right candidate. The most frustrating part is, that they still lack the right match. Make your company the one people want to work for.”


Founder of

Hold On, Perfect !🚀

Do you have any questions, comments or simply wish to contact me privately? Don’t hesitate to shoot me a DM on Twitter.

Fetching Replies...