Tangential comments about Software Development

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Queasing and Pairgramming

I believe the Financial Times coined 'Queasing' as a shortened form for Quantitive Easing, the economic plan of the month. My breakthrough practice of the month has been applying Queasing to Pair Programming, by introducing a second keyboard and mouse.

My colleague Ben and I were stuck at the "Storming" phase - we were not getting on well. Memorably, when the customer asked what Ben thought of my code, he said nothing at all. A couple of hours later he managed "I've seen worse." Pair programming had been a miserable experience for both of us. He didn't like programming with "someone looking over my shoulder."

One day at the customer site, with a second screen plugged into the back of the laptop, I added a keyboard and mouse. Now we had dual control - no more asking to use the keyboard. He had to use the laptop trackpad, but he was up to that challenge.

The day went much better.

Since then, we've tried it back at our office with two full keyboards and mice. It is an improvement. So Quantitive Easing can help with Pair Programming. Or should that be Queasing helps Pairgramming?