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Re: [XP] Re: Pair Programming Measures

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  • Steven Gordon
    Rob, I believe Marvin had in mind metrics that could be used to manage teams without having to directly interact with them (particularly outsourced teams)
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 9, 2012
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      Rob,

      I believe Marvin had in mind metrics that could be used to manage teams
      without having to directly interact with them (particularly outsourced
      teams) rather than metrics to be used to make the case for doing pairing.

      But, since you brought the topic up and there was a time several years ago
      that I thought quite a bit about it, I will brain dump it here:

      My intuition is that if you took a statistically significant number of
      student programmers and compare pair programming performance to individual
      programming performance for the amount of time the students were willing to
      participate for free, that you would indeed find much lower defect rates
      and somewhat longer development time. The issue is that student
      programmers are quite a bit different from professionals, programming tasks
      that take students just a few hours are quite a bit different than
      realistic programming tasks, and the amount of time it takes to get good at
      pairing is too long for a free or low cost study.

      If one could afford to do a study of a statistically significant number of
      professional programmers over a long enough period of time to get good at
      pair programming and do non-trivial programming, I would expect to see
      shorter development time, not quite as much reduction in defects, and also
      a significant reduction in "technical debt" (which is probably the most
      important long-term effect).

      The most affordable way would be to compare individual programming before
      with pairing afterwards in a company transitioning. Unfortunately, there
      would be many dependent variables that would be uncontrolled (especially
      because there would likely be a lot of other changes occurring in the same
      time frame in a transitional professional environment other than just going
      from individual programming to pair programming). This would end up just
      being a case study.

      Ultimately, a study is not of that much practical value. Teams will only
      stick with pair programming if the team finds value in it regardless of any
      studies.


      On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM, Rob Myers <rob.myers@...>wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by Laurie
      > Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
      >
      > She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development time
      > was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
      >
      > In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster, for a
      > whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to knowledge
      > work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on
      > average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than separately.
      >
      > I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have plenty of
      > hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
      >
      > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com" <MarvinToll@...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that there
      > is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not all that
      > useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative measures.
      > >
      > > _Marvin
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Goodsen
      ... good luck with that little fantasy. -- John Goodsen RADSoft / Better Software Faster jgoodsen@radsoft.com Lean/Kanban/XP/Scrum
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 9, 2012
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        On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...> wrote:

        > Rob,
        >
        > I believe Marvin had in mind metrics that could be used to manage teams
        > without having to directly interact with them (particularly outsourced
        > teams) rather than metrics to be used to make the case for doing pairing.
        >

        good luck with that little fantasy.

        --
        John Goodsen RADSoft / Better Software Faster
        jgoodsen@... Lean/Kanban/XP/Scrum Coaching and Training
        http://www.radsoft.com Enterprise Ruby, Java and Scala Solutions


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • MarvinToll.com
        Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available are not establishing a strong case for pairing. I remain hopeful that some day we
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 11, 2012
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          Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available are not establishing a strong case for pairing.

          I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures useful for making the case.

          _Marvin

          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Myers" <rob.myers@...> wrote:
          >
          > The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by Laurie Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
          >
          > She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development time was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
          >
          > In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster, for a whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to knowledge work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than separately.
          >
          > I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have plenty of hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
          >
          >
          > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com" <MarvinToll@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that there is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not all that useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative measures.
          > >
          > > _Marvin
          > >
          >
        • Curtis Cooley
          ... team velocity as it is, so how could you use it to measure pair programming efficiency. All the issues we have with estimation and planning will still be
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 11, 2012
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            On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM, MarvinToll.com <MarvinToll@...>wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available
            > are not establishing a strong case for pairing.
            >
            > I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures useful
            > for making the case.
            >
            > What qualitative metrics would you use? We already have issues measuring
            team velocity as it is, so how could you use it to measure pair programming
            efficiency. All the issues we have with estimation and planning will still
            be there.

            I agree with Steve, it is unlikely to happen.

            "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and
            support they need and TRUST them to get the job done."

            If your team of motivated individuals believes pair programming will help
            them get the job done, you should trust them and not make them prove it's
            more effective.
            --
            --------------------------------------
            Curtis Cooley
            curtis@...


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Steven Gordon
            Agile teams should try pairing because they have a problem with quality and/or knowledge silos and believe it may help them address their problem. And then
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 11, 2012
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              Agile teams should try pairing because they have a problem with quality
              and/or knowledge silos and believe it may help them address their problem.
              And then they try it and retrospect on it to see if it helps and if not
              whether they should try to do it better or abandon the idea. This goes for
              other practices as well.

              Doing something because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is
              backwards. Doing something because some manager tells them to do it
              because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is double backwards.

              Metrics are so context-sensitive that they just do not translate from one
              situation to another. They are useful for seeing if a specific team is
              getting better over time, but they are not good for comparing teams or
              deciding if a practice works well in general.

              The expense of taking the context-sensitivity out of metrics is only
              warranted for things like drugs and medical procedures, not software
              development.

              Agile opens the door for each team to take responsibility of using their
              own metrics to improve their own process - promote that. Providing
              guidelines and feedback for how to do that is conducive to agility. In my
              opinion, attempting to do it generally it for all teams is prohibitively
              expensive to do validly and inhibits the long term agility of individual
              teams.

              Steven Gordon

              On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM, MarvinToll.com <MarvinToll@...>wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available
              > are not establishing a strong case for pairing.
              >
              > I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures useful
              > for making the case.
              >
              > _Marvin
              >
              >
              > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Myers" <rob.myers@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by Laurie
              > Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
              > >
              > > She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development
              > time was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
              > >
              > > In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster, for
              > a whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to knowledge
              > work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on
              > average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than separately.
              > >
              > > I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have plenty
              > of hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com" <MarvinToll@>
              > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that
              > there is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not all
              > that useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative measures.
              > > >
              > > > _Marvin
              > > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jeff Langr
              Few people ever quantify things like the true cost of a defect. Here s why I pair: http://pragprog.com/magazines/2011-07/pair-programming-benefits Jeff L.
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 11, 2012
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                Few people ever quantify things like the true cost of a defect.

                Here's why I pair:
                http://pragprog.com/magazines/2011-07/pair-programming-benefits

                Jeff L.

                Langr Software Solutions
                http://langrsoft.com
                http://agileinaflash.com - Agile in a Flash: A top 20 agile book!
                (http://www.noop.nl/2010/08/top-100-agile-books.html)


                On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM, MarvinToll.com <MarvinToll@...> wrote:
                > Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available are not establishing a strong case for pairing.
                >
                > I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures useful for making the case.
                >
                > _Marvin
                >
                > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Myers" <rob.myers@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by Laurie Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
                >>
                >> She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development time was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
                >>
                >> In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster, for a whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to knowledge work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than separately.
                >>
                >> I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have plenty of hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
                >>
                >>
                >> --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com" <MarvinToll@> wrote:
                >> >
                >> > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that there is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not all that useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative measures.
                >> >
                >> > _Marvin
                >> >
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                >
                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
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                >
                >
              • Francis Fish
                ... +1 - the very important point there, which is often missed, is improving your own and other s capability. If you re relatively new and there are idiomatic
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 12, 2012
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                  On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 4:37 AM, Jeff Langr <jeff@...> wrote:

                  > **
                  >
                  >
                  > Few people ever quantify things like the true cost of a defect.
                  >
                  > Here's why I pair:
                  > http://pragprog.com/magazines/2011-07/pair-programming-benefits
                  >
                  > Jeff L.
                  >
                  >
                  +1 - the very important point there, which is often missed, is improving
                  your own and other's capability. If you're relatively new and there are
                  idiomatic ways of doing things that you don't know then you need to pair
                  with someone who does. When you question the idioms you will be helping the
                  more experienced person understand them better too, and maybe even change
                  them if they aren't quite right.

                  I did a talk on YAGNI a while back and one of the things I said was we
                  often go off down rabbit holes and start working on things that don't work
                  or are a bad choice. Pairing helps stop this in its tracks, and it also
                  stops yak shaving. I have abso no idea how you would measure this but I'd
                  bet that this is why it seems much more productive: the code that's written
                  is solving the right problem because it needs two minds agreeing to justify
                  its existence. In terms of lines per day (or some other useless metric)
                  there may well be less, but in terms of *relevant* lines per day quite
                  likely far more. I suppose a metric around defects (or more likely uncaught
                  defects that testers find) might give some indirect indication.

                  If you go down the metrics route, any kind of metric that at least gives
                  you an idea is better than none at all. But you also need to understand
                  statistics and the ineluctable fact that measurements falling within three
                  standard deviations of the mean actually indicate there is little room for
                  improvement without changing the "system" as a whole. I'd suggest people
                  track down a copy of "4 days with Dr Deming" if they want this explained in
                  more detail. For example, Deming ridiculed the idea of performance reviews
                  - if 95% of the variability of anyone's performance comes from the tools
                  and training they've been given and the overall system they're forced to
                  work with, marking them up or down is really unfair. <sarcasm> For some
                  reason the command & control management types don't like this. Probably
                  because the overall system is their responsibility and improving it would
                  mean they'd have to do something other than bully people, like thinking and
                  some real work. </sarcasm>


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Daniel Wildt
                  In my experience, pairing must come together with a purpose. We found that the team is learning much more when doing pairing sessions. We were able to improve
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 12, 2012
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                    In my experience, pairing must come together with a purpose. We found that
                    the team is learning much more when doing pairing sessions.

                    We were able to improve much faster our business knowledge doing pairing
                    sessions. Same thing happened with technical knowledge creation where
                    people with more experience paired more often with people with less
                    experience.

                    The "ramp up" process had also a big benefit from pairing. Every new person
                    on the team is asked to try to pair 100% of the time when touching
                    production code. Which they start doing on day 1.

                    Pairing was also very important integrating business analysts and
                    developers.

                    And everything started with Coding Dojos. Where developers could practice
                    programming and also pairing, test automation, respect, they learn that
                    they can learn and teach other people. They learn how to create knowledge
                    while delivering a feature.

                    -- Daniel Wildt - @dwildt <http://twitter.com/dwildt>


                    On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...> wrote:

                    > Agile teams should try pairing because they have a problem with quality
                    > and/or knowledge silos and believe it may help them address their problem.
                    > And then they try it and retrospect on it to see if it helps and if not
                    > whether they should try to do it better or abandon the idea. This goes for
                    > other practices as well.
                    >
                    > Doing something because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is
                    > backwards. Doing something because some manager tells them to do it
                    > because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is double backwards.
                    >
                    > Metrics are so context-sensitive that they just do not translate from one
                    > situation to another. They are useful for seeing if a specific team is
                    > getting better over time, but they are not good for comparing teams or
                    > deciding if a practice works well in general.
                    >
                    > The expense of taking the context-sensitivity out of metrics is only
                    > warranted for things like drugs and medical procedures, not software
                    > development.
                    >
                    > Agile opens the door for each team to take responsibility of using their
                    > own metrics to improve their own process - promote that. Providing
                    > guidelines and feedback for how to do that is conducive to agility. In my
                    > opinion, attempting to do it generally it for all teams is prohibitively
                    > expensive to do validly and inhibits the long term agility of individual
                    > teams.
                    >
                    > Steven Gordon
                    >
                    > On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM, MarvinToll.com <MarvinToll@...
                    > >wrote:
                    >
                    > > **
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics available
                    > > are not establishing a strong case for pairing.
                    > >
                    > > I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures useful
                    > > for making the case.
                    > >
                    > > _Marvin
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Myers" <rob.myers@...>
                    > > wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by
                    > Laurie
                    > > Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
                    > > >
                    > > > She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development
                    > > time was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
                    > > >
                    > > > In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster,
                    > for
                    > > a whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to
                    > knowledge
                    > > work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on
                    > > average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than
                    > separately.
                    > > >
                    > > > I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have plenty
                    > > of hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com"
                    > <MarvinToll@>
                    > > wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that
                    > > there is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not
                    > all
                    > > that useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative
                    > measures.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > _Marvin
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                    >
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                    > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                    >
                    > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ian Mitchell
                    My experience has led me to the following: 1. The biggest source of errors is not understanding the problem before inventing the solution. Not understanding
                    Message 9 of 12 , Oct 13, 2012
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                      My experience has led me to the following:
                      1. The biggest source of errors is not understanding the problem before
                      inventing the solution. Not understanding includes not thinking deeply
                      enough and not spotting ambiguities. Two people discussing a problem often
                      help clarify it and ensure that they understand its true width. Defects
                      like this survive into production and hence are the most expensive.
                      2. Always enforce pre- and post- assertion approaches.
                      3. Then write the test harness so the criteria for a correct solution is
                      agreed before much code is written.
                      4. Another major factor is that if we make a typo we often do not see it
                      [if it is compilable] because we see what we knew we wrote whereas someone
                      else immediately sees that that is not what they would have written.
                      5. Personality impacts pair programming - sometimes two people work
                      effectively together but sometimes one person effectively just watches the
                      other person - particularly if one is experienced and the other a newbie.
                      6. Also if the code follows a familiar pattern the second member of the
                      pair cannot contribute much.

                      On 13 October 2012 11:47, Daniel Wildt <dwildt@...> wrote:

                      > **
                      >
                      >
                      > In my experience, pairing must come together with a purpose. We found that
                      > the team is learning much more when doing pairing sessions.
                      >
                      > We were able to improve much faster our business knowledge doing pairing
                      > sessions. Same thing happened with technical knowledge creation where
                      > people with more experience paired more often with people with less
                      > experience.
                      >
                      > The "ramp up" process had also a big benefit from pairing. Every new person
                      > on the team is asked to try to pair 100% of the time when touching
                      > production code. Which they start doing on day 1.
                      >
                      > Pairing was also very important integrating business analysts and
                      > developers.
                      >
                      > And everything started with Coding Dojos. Where developers could practice
                      > programming and also pairing, test automation, respect, they learn that
                      > they can learn and teach other people. They learn how to create knowledge
                      > while delivering a feature.
                      >
                      > -- Daniel Wildt - @dwildt <http://twitter.com/dwildt>
                      >
                      >
                      > On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...>
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > > Agile teams should try pairing because they have a problem with quality
                      > > and/or knowledge silos and believe it may help them address their
                      > problem.
                      > > And then they try it and retrospect on it to see if it helps and if not
                      > > whether they should try to do it better or abandon the idea. This goes
                      > for
                      > > other practices as well.
                      > >
                      > > Doing something because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is
                      > > backwards. Doing something because some manager tells them to do it
                      > > because somebody else "proved" that it work for them is double backwards.
                      > >
                      > > Metrics are so context-sensitive that they just do not translate from one
                      > > situation to another. They are useful for seeing if a specific team is
                      > > getting better over time, but they are not good for comparing teams or
                      > > deciding if a practice works well in general.
                      > >
                      > > The expense of taking the context-sensitivity out of metrics is only
                      > > warranted for things like drugs and medical procedures, not software
                      > > development.
                      > >
                      > > Agile opens the door for each team to take responsibility of using their
                      > > own metrics to improve their own process - promote that. Providing
                      > > guidelines and feedback for how to do that is conducive to agility. In my
                      > > opinion, attempting to do it generally it for all teams is prohibitively
                      > > expensive to do validly and inhibits the long term agility of individual
                      > > teams.
                      > >
                      > > Steven Gordon
                      > >
                      > > On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:05 AM, MarvinToll.com <MarvinToll@...
                      > > >wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > **
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Thank you Rob... my impression was that the quantitive metrics
                      > available
                      > > > are not establishing a strong case for pairing.
                      > > >
                      > > > I remain hopeful that some day we might have qualitative measures
                      > useful
                      > > > for making the case.
                      > > >
                      > > > _Marvin
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Myers" <rob.myers@...>
                      > > > wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > The only quantitative metrics I recall reading about were done by
                      > > Laurie
                      > > > Williams, and were taken in an academic setting.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > She found that the defect rates were much lower, but the development
                      > > > time was a little higher. It was shown to be a net win.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > In my experience, paired development time is not slower, but faster,
                      > > for
                      > > > a whole list of qualitative, behavioral reasons. When it comes to
                      > > knowledge
                      > > > work (surgery, flying an airliner, writing production-ready code), on
                      > > > average, two people will complete two tasks faster together than
                      > > separately.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I'd love it if someone could fund more industry research. I have
                      > plenty
                      > > > of hypotheses that need testing. ;-)
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "MarvinToll.com"
                      > > <MarvinToll@>
                      > > > wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Has the dust ever settled on this topic? My understanding is that
                      > > > there is some consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not
                      > > all
                      > > > that useful... however, there may be more validity to qualitative
                      > > measures.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > _Marvin
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ------------------------------------
                      > >
                      > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                      > >
                      > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                      > >
                      > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >



                      --
                      Regards
                      Ian Mitchell, FIITP ITCP
                      ICT and Management Consultant
                      2/40 Sylvia Road
                      St Heliers
                      Auckland, New Zealand
                      0064 9 5851580
                      http://www.Mitchell.co.nz
                      http://www.AboutIT.co.nz
                      http://www.SoftwareAsAService.co.nz


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Tim Ottinger
                      ... I don t quite understand the question. Are you asking about studies that suggest pairing is more effective? Or whether it s good to measure pair
                      Message 10 of 12 , Oct 15, 2012
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                        > Has the dust ever settled on this topic?  My understanding is that there is some 
                        > consensus that quantitative metrics in this area are not all that useful... 
                        > however, there may be more validity to qualitative measures.


                        I don't quite understand the question.

                        Are you asking about studies that suggest pairing is more effective?
                        Or whether it's good to measure pair programming as it happens? 



                         
                        Tim Ottinger <tottinge@...>
                        http://industriallogic.com/
                        http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
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