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Making Software by Greg Wilson, Andy Oram

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Lessons Learned

Industrial teams that have used pair programming have realized the many benefits from the practice, including higher product quality, improved cycle time, enhanced learning, reduced product risk due to improved knowledge management, and enhanced team spirit. Despite these benefits, overall adoption of pair programming in industry is relatively slow, primarily for the reasons discussed in the previous section, “Challenges.” A small percentage of industrial organizations are professed pair programming shops whereby programmers who interview for employment at these organizations know about the use of the practice. In many other organizations, pair programming is often done spontaneously when a team member faces a challenge and/or complex task or as part of training a new employee.

Students realize the same benefits as industrial teams, but research results have shown additional benefits in academic settings: retention in an information technology field of study; reduced frustration in completing course work; and increased satisfaction with getting to know their classmates. Many instructors around the world have realized these pedagogical benefits as well as an easing of their own workloads due to reduced grading and the reduced burden of answering all of the students’ technical questions. As a result, pair programming will likely become more and more common in education. Students will graduate with pair programming as a more natural practice. Consequently, the use of ...

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