Today I’d like to share my experience with pair programming. I will admit that it was something I was not looking forward to when I began the boot camp experience. Years ago I was part of a group project that went horribly awry. I have had many successful group experiences since then, including at least one for each of the classes I completed for my MBA, but that one awful experience has left me dreading group work. I am happy to say that the pair programming experiences I have had during the Tech Elevator boot camp have given me the opportunity to see just how awesome pair or group work can be.
We have had several smaller pair exercises so far as well as having completed our first mini capstone at the end of our first module of learning (C#). We actually begin the mini capstone for the end of Module 2 tomorrow. The first advantage to the pair work is that it provides an opportunity to form a stronger connection with a classmate in this virtual environment. While we all keep our video on during lecture and participate in a chat, I definitely appreciate the opportunity to get to know people in a more one-on-one setting that is a bit absent in this virtual experience. The pair work allows for feeling a bit more connected as we work our way through the boot camp experiences.
Another advantage to the pair work is that everyone seems to learn the concepts a bit differently. In every pair I have worked in so far, regardless of if we started the boot camp on equal footing, we have been able to take turns leading the work and gotten things done in a smooth and simple manner. Whenever one of the pair got stuck, the other partner had a slightly different understanding of the concept and was able to get us back on track and past the snarl. It has been a learning process that has allowed me to learn new ways to think about the problems encountered as well as to learn more about myself and how far I have come on this journey. Just over a month ago I had never seen a line of code. At the end of the first module, I was able to build a fully functioning catering/vending machine software with a pair partner. Tomorrow I start working on a reservation system utilizing SQL databases. This is fun and I can’t wait to get started!