Pair programming consists of two programmers sharing a single workstation (one screen, keyboard and mouse among the pair). The programmer at the keyboard is usually called the “driver”, the other, also actively involved in the programming task but focusing more on overall direction is the “navigator”; it is expected that the programmers swap roles every few minutes or so.
Also Known As
More simply “pairing”; the phrases “paired programming” and “programming in pairs” are also used, less frequently.
- both programmers must be actively engaging with the task throughout a paired session, otherwise no benefit can be expected
- a simplistic but often raised objection is that pairing “doubles costs”; that is a misconception based on equating programming with typing – however, one should be aware that this is the worst-case outcome of poorly applied pairing
- at least the driver, and possibly both programmers, are expected to keep up