Pair programming: Insights from Abzu’s CTO.

We practice pair programming at Abzu, an Agile software development technique that improves our code quality, efficiency, and collaboration.

What is pair programming?

Pair programming involves two team members coding on the same computer. At Abzu, each Abzoid typically has their own keyboard, and there’s a dynamic between the two: One leads (the “driver”) and does the actual implementation while discussing the approach with the other (the “observer” or “navigator”). It’s a collaborative dance of minds, coding in tandem.

While this is the core idea, pair programming can take various forms. Some may shuffle a keyboard between two programmers every five or ten minutes, while others might code simultaneously without a distinct leader. Regardless of the specific setup, the essence remains the same: Two individuals code together.

Many Abzoids pair programming at Code camp: Fall 2023.

Pairs of Abzoids at Code Camp: Fall 2023

The benefits of pair programming.

Pair programming brings a host of advantages to the table, which is why Abzu values this practice:

  1. Current code base: Styles tend to converge, resulting in a more cohesive and up-to-date codebase.
  2. Instant knowledge within teams: No part of the codebase becomes a silo, since two people are actively engaged in reviewing and coding.
  3. Improved knowledge across teams: The collective knowledge across teams is enriched, contributing to a more informed and cohesive development environment.

While some may argue that pair programming consumes more time and resources, at Abzu, it replaces or reduces several other tasks or processes. For instance:

  • Code reviews: With two pairs of eyes on the code during pair programming, separate code reviews become redundant.
  • Faster code integration: Changes are pushed into the codebase more swiftly, as they have already been validated to some extent.
  • Accelerated learning: Junior team members benefit from the insights and knowledge of their more experienced counterparts, helping them catch up and grow in the long run.

So in the short term, pair programming may appear resource-intensive. But it paves the way for long-term gains in code quality, efficiency, and team collaboration.

Pair programming at Abzu - Abzoid Emil Larsen and Tom Jelen

Code Camp: Fall 2023. A closeup of Abzoids Emil Larsen and Tom Jelen.

Pair programming is more than a feeling.

Pair programming is more than just a coding practice at Abzu. It’s a cornerstone of our collaborative culture. It nurtures current and cohesive code, fosters instant knowledge exchange, and enhances collective knowledge across teams. While it may seem to consume more resources upfront, the long-term benefits it brings in terms of code quality, efficiency, and team growth are invaluable.

At Abzu, we embrace the idea that only together can we achieve incredible things at unimaginable scale. Much like our engineering ant friends, an individual Abzoid is not nearly as powerful as the colony. This is why we often say, “Abzoids should never code alone.”

Victor Galindo.

Victor is Abzu’s Chief Technology Officer. He has 10+ years’ experience developing software, concentrating on translation, fintech, and marketing recommendations. Victor loves to go jogging with the company of his loving dogs.

Abzoid - Victor Galindo

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