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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The core idea behind XP is anything that is worth doing is worth doing continuously. And if you're going to do something continuously, then it must be cheap. Testing is good, so make testing a cheap part of the activity -- write tests first and run the complete test suite at every checkin.

    In this context, pair programming is nothing more than cheap, constant review. I've seen a development shop where a team has been working together on a project for months adapt some of the XP methodologies to suit local conditions. Going from a traditional development environment to full bore XP is a certain recipe for failure. Their "customization" of pair programming was to institute a policy of review during checkins.

    I know of one other environment where "pair programming" meant programming head-to-head with a peer using two computers back to back. This aided the other goal of pair programming, constant cheap communication. In this instance, the programmers could just casually say, "What do you need a select method to return?" or other simple question to hammer out an interface while in development.

    Pair programming is good. Just don't buy into the definition that there's exactly one way to pair program. :-)

    • isnt this what company irc/im and cvs commit mail is for? :) i actually prefer the irc route because then, no matter what their location, i can have the whole team in a "room". so when i ask questions like "JESUS CHRIST WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?" the team can benefit from the discussion and not just the pair. and yes, i agree with torgox. the few times people have tried to pair with me (sitting next to me, watching, and commenting) were disasterous. i hate being watchced and i hate discussing and d
    • Pair programming in XP is more than just code review. It's also a design session. Where the planning game does a little design in the large, it's the test-driven cycle that does planning in the small. As you're baby-stepping your way toward the goal with testing, you're also designing with your tests and refactorings.

      Then there's the "Hey, we just added code without a failing test! Oops!" peer pressure. It's hard to overestimate that.