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Danilo Assis for Woovi

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How Woovi Handles Pair Programming

Pairs are a expensive method of communcation, since it's a sync communication method that uses not only your time, but the person making the pair with you. Due to this it's very important to get the most out of it.

At Woovi, we try to follow a systemic debug before starting a new pair.

Then, even with systemic debug it is not possible to find the solution, we move forward to a call.

It consists in split in two parts, the person requesting the pair, and the person helping in the pair. Splitting the roles we can follow these practices to get the most out of it for both sides:

Lets move into the systemic debug and the to the requester and helper.

Systemic Debug

Even before pair we have a strong culture of following systematic debugging.

Systematic debugging follows a bit of the Socratic method, we train and direct our devs to always ask what the root cause of the bug is.

Let's do a table test. Imagine you have:

  • a registration form
  • registration does not work
  • clicking to register does not change the screen or return an error

How to systematically debug

  • Why is there no error?
  • the problem is on the backend or frontend
  • Does the request happen?
  • the request breaks in the backend
  • the request breaks after the return?

Discovering the possible flaw it's time to go to the code. Applying the same idea to the code it is possible to reach the solution.

With the questions you combine with other attitudes such as searching for a possible solution on the internet, searching in opensource, in repositories on github, sharing the doubt in communities, asking in the public channel.

If even so it was not possible to reach a solution, then we went for a pair.


  • Ask as many questions as possible
  • Be prepared to show what you need
  • Give as much context as possible
  • Focus on learning how to solve the problem, not the problem itself
  • Absorve all feedback given


  • Do not give a straight solution to the problem
  • Focus on showing how to get to the solution
  • Give context of the whys and hows
  • Give feedback on what the person could be doing better

A pair should not only solve today's problem, but also future's problems. It's important to give all the tools needed to the person requesting the pair to solve the problem, rather than just straight up giving the solution, this way the requester can use the knowledge gained to not only solve his issues now, but also help others or himself in the future.

If you want to work in a startup in its early stages, This is your chance. Apply today!

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Photo by Alvaro Reyes na Unsplash

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