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Discussion on: Pair Programming Patterns

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simbo1905 profile image
Simon Massey • Edited

I had a USB split keyboard and folks had a regular keyboard at their dock station. I would plugin my keyboard and we could both simultaneously type. Obviously that didn't work unless one person gave way. Yet we didn't need to move chairs to swap roles. We could swap in a keystroke then back. With screen sharing tech you often have to ”pass presenter”. This is really crude as is swapping seats. Just as we can concurrently edit a Google doc we should be able to concurrently type at the same IDE remotely and swap in a split second. When that happens it is like two cyclists working in a team to win a long distance time trial. They keep swapping who is in front to make a push and when they run out of stream the partner steps in and pushes for a while and they get to recharge for a minute and plan the next micro push. Swapping fast and frequently in my experience does get more done that one person working. Pair programming isn't about watching someone else work it is about thinking while they type then typing while the think and doing refactoring based in peer review in ”real-time”.

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rfornal profile image
bob.js Author

I’ve seen setups with the “extra keyboard” and I’ve tried the VS Code Live Sharing. They both have a solid places with both positives and negatives. Thanks for the perspective!

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simbo1905 profile image
Simon Massey

And what where the positives and negatives?

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rfornal profile image
bob.js Author

The extra keyboard: positive, direct interaction with single instance of code. Negative, can’t look at other code while other person is typing. VS Code: positive, multi-individual interaction and allows for any file to be viewed and interacted with. Negative, needs “really” good internet connection; it can lag really badly.

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Simon Massey • Edited

Live Sharing looks great thanks for that. I just enabled gitpod on my repos that lets me run a workspace with vscode in a browser but have not had a moment to try it. I also saw a video that eclipse che lets you run a vs code workspace on Kubernetes on a browser. So it seems that remote workspace sharing is now a reality for pair programming remotely.