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who do your pair with?

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  • C. J. M. Booth
    Hi folks, There has been quite a lot of recent discussion about pairing, especially over long distances. That led me to notice the following. There are quite
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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      Hi folks,

      There has been quite a lot of recent discussion about pairing, especially over long distances. That led me to notice the following. There are quite a few people who regularly/frequently post in this group who seem to be the only ones who post from their company/domain. For example (not an exhaustive list; just from memory; in no particular order):

      Dossy Shiobara
      Laurent Bossavit
      John Brewer
      David Corbin
      Tom Pardee
      Joshua Kerievsky (sp?)
      Michael Hill
      Ralph Johnson
      Robert Watkins

      As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is. Would any of you care to explain, please. (I suspect that the explanation might make some reference to the difference between introverts and extroverts.)

      Thanks in anticipation of some interesting answers,

      Chris.

      PS Another question: do you folks talk over any of your postings with your pairs?

      Christopher Booth, DERA Malvern, St Andrews Rd, Malvern, WR14 3PS. UK
      Tel:+44 (0)1684 896400 mailto:cjmb@... Fax:+44 (0)1684 894389

      Don't play mind games with a telepath.

      The views expressed above are entirely mine and do not represent the
      views, policy or understanding of any other person or official body.
    • Laurent Bossavit
      ... My explanation is fairly simple - I m still the only programmer in the team, doing XP for one . Incidentally, I m meeting a potential PP partner tonight -
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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        Chris asks :

        > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
        > thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem
        > to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is.

        My explanation is fairly simple - I'm still the only programmer in the
        team, doing "XP for one". Incidentally, I'm meeting a potential PP
        partner tonight - he has interviewed with management already, who
        have a favorable opinion, but they thoughtfully asked me to talk and
        pair with him to confirm that decision. What makes me even
        happier is that what they gave him by way of a job description was
        "we're looking for a PP partner for Laurent". At the very least my
        fears about transitioning from "XP for one" to "as nearly XP as we
        can manage" have been listened to.


        ========================================
        A successful technology creates problems
        that only it can solve.
        ========================================
        Laurent Bossavit - Software Architect
        >>> laurent.bossavit@... <<<
        >>> 06 68 15 11 44 <<<
        >> ICQ#39281367 <<
        Agence Bless http://www.agencebless.com/
        ========================================
      • Pardee, Tom
        ... Way to go Laurent - if he doesn t work out, send me some details on your company s re-lo package....In the meantime, good luck. My explanation is that I
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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          > Chris asks :
          >
          > > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
          > > thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem
          > > to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is.
          >
          > Laurent responds:
          > My explanation is fairly simple - I'm still the only
          > programmer in the
          > team, doing "XP for one". Incidentally, I'm meeting a potential PP
          > partner tonight - he has interviewed with management already, who
          > have a favorable opinion, but they thoughtfully asked me to talk and
          > pair with him to confirm that decision. What makes me even
          > happier is that what they gave him by way of a job description was
          > "we're looking for a PP partner for Laurent". At the very least my
          > fears about transitioning from "XP for one" to "as nearly XP as we
          > can manage" have been listened to.
          >
          Way to go Laurent - if he doesn't work out, send me some details on your
          company's re-lo package....In the meantime, good luck.

          My explanation is that I also don't have a partner. I am primarily an
          eBusiness strategist, technology & methodology evangelist, Architect,
          Proposal Writer, Project Manager - but only a little programmer. I adapted
          some XP practices into a methodology and led a small project team in a demo
          project; it was, however, put on the back shelf when the programmers were
          needed for client work. I have several initiatives for moving projects
          toward XP practices, but am mostly working 'under ground' right now.

          The programmers on the demo project liked PP and other aspects of the
          methodology. They were intermediate programmers, but new to the MS
          technology we were using on that project, so there was a lot of technology
          mentoring and learning going on simultaneously - good in its own right, but
          it obscured some of the benefits/shortcomings of the methodology.

          I will be sharing any useful observations from continuing/future
          projects...one of which is a COBOL maintenance project. For this I am
          espousing a test framework for testFirst, and optimizing the build mechanism
          for frequent integration testing. The PM for this effort has also shown
          interest in PP. If anyone has ideas for this, I'm interested.

          Thanks,
          Tom Pardee
          Principal Consultant
          Paragon Computer Professionals, Inc.
          Phone - (908) 653-3089 FAX - (908) 272-2009

          ThinkAhead*
          Think PARAGON
        • Kevin Smith
          ... I m only doing XP-for-one from home. No luck converting work to XP yet. There is some hope in that area, however. I ve done some pairing in the past
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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            > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice,
            > and make thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet
            > we never seem to hear from those that they pair with. I
            > wonder why that is. Would any of you care to explain,
            > please. (I suspect that the explanation might make some
            > reference to the difference between introverts and
            > extroverts.)

            I'm only doing XP-for-one from home. No luck converting work
            to XP yet. There is some hope in that area, however.

            I've done some pairing in the past (before I knew about XP).
            But it's the practice that I've had the least experience
            with, so I tend to listen more than talk (type) when the
            topic of PP comes up.

            Kevin
          • David Corbin
            ... That s me. t ... Thanks much. Yet we never seem to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is. Would any of you care to explain, please.
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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              "C. J. M. Booth" wrote:
              >
              > Hi folks,
              >
              > There has been quite a lot of recent discussion about pairing, especially over long distances. That led me to notice the following. There are quite a few people who regularly/frequently post in this group who seem to be the only ones who post from their company/domain. For example (not an exhaustive list; just from memory; in no particular order):
              >
              > David Corbin

              That's me.
              t
              >
              > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make thoughtful comments based on their experience.

              Thanks much.

              Yet we never seem to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why
              that is. Would any of you care to explain, please. (I suspect that the
              explanation might make some reference to the difference between
              introverts and extroverts.)
              >

              I don't have a pair. There are three technical types in our business,
              and right now only one of them spends the bulk of the day doing
              programming. Two of us are busy trying to drum up business. I WANT to
              try XP, and I WANT to try PP, but we've got to find the right customer
              first.


              > Thanks in anticipation of some interesting answers,
              >
              > Chris.
              >
              > PS Another question: do you folks talk over any of your postings with your pairs?
              >
              > Christopher Booth, DERA Malvern, St Andrews Rd, Malvern, WR14 3PS. UK
              > Tel:+44 (0)1684 896400 mailto:cjmb@... Fax:+44 (0)1684 894389
              >
              > Don't play mind games with a telepath.
              >
              > The views expressed above are entirely mine and do not represent the
              > views, policy or understanding of any other person or official body.
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
              >
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
              >
              > Ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com

              --
              David Corbin
              Mach Turtle Technologies, Inc.
              http://www.machturtle.com
              dcorbin@...
            • Dossy
              ... [ ... ] ... Hi, Chris! Thanks for mentioning me! I guess the short answer is: until recently, I was a closet XP er. For many years, I ve done most of the
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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                On 2000.12.01, C. J. M. Booth <cjmb@...> wrote:
                > There are quite a few people who regularly/frequently post in this
                > group who seem to be the only ones who post from their company/domain.
                [ ... ]
                > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
                > thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem to
                > hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is. Would any
                > of you care to explain, please. (I suspect that the explanation might
                > make some reference to the difference between introverts and
                > extroverts.)

                Hi, Chris! Thanks for mentioning me!

                I guess the short answer is: until recently, I was a closet XP'er.

                For many years, I've done most of the practices of XP. I did them
                because they came naturally. They produced the best results. They
                made the customer happy. I didn't have a name for my methodology,
                which made some people edgy but results speak for themselves.

                I never called it "pair programming" but I've always found working
                closely with someone else (whether it be the customer to determine
                requirements, or another developer to accomplish goals) worked
                better than doing things in a vacuum only to later find out of the
                edges of the two puzzles fit together.

                On the "smart people continuum" I'm somewhere near the bottom - I read
                very little, I barely study, and I can't keep too many ideas organized
                in my head at once. My abilities forced me to adopt a method of
                working that let me accomplish the most with the little resources
                I had: I make lots of small changes, and make sure that after each
                one, nothing broke. If I got sloppy and made multiple changes, I
                usually found myself having to back them all out and then applying
                one at a time until I found what broke, anyhow.

                Because I integrated often, in XP terms, I considered an iteration
                to be a day long. At the beginning of my day, I'd look at the
                outstanding tasks as prioritized by my customer and would figure
                out how many of them I could get done by the end of the day. I'd
                do them, and integrate them - the customer always saw progress,
                and was always happy with this. They felt like every day they
                were paying for has been well spent. (XP talks about iterations
                a bit longer, which probably works better for projects with more
                people - but I wonder if anyone else here uses or have tried
                iterations of one or two days long.)


                Then, I came across the XP white book and said "wow, validation
                for what I've been doing!" It's given me the courage to, of
                sorts, come "out of the closet" about my XP. I actually refer
                to things as being XP-like now, and have convinced some folks
                to read some of the XP books. I've got one of my "business
                customers" reading the XP green book, and he has since gotten
                copies of it for all of his people. By the middle of 2001,
                I want to make the white and pink books "required reading" for
                all of our developers here.


                Now, to answer your question about why only I post from my
                company? Panoptic Computer Network is a company of one - me.
                It's the company I started to do all my freelance work under,
                and to keep "my stuff" seperate from "my employer's stuff".

                Now, I'm currently employed by one of the world's largest
                educational publishers (I don't want to say which... feel
                free to send guesses to me in private email if you like)
                which is where I've really been applying XP. Until working
                here, I've only done the "informal XP" that I describe
                earlier in the email.

                Why am I the only one posting from *that* company? Because
                everyone else spends their time surfing the web rather
                than subscribing to mailing lists? Maybe they don't
                know about this mailing list, or mailing lists in general.
                Maybe they're all busy forwarding joke emails to their
                friends and family. I have no idea.


                > PS Another question: do you folks talk over any of your postings with
                > your pairs?

                Oh no, never! I wouldn't want them to know that I tell stories
                about them to bunch of strangers! They might not want to pair
                anymore if they knew I was off talking about what we'd done,
                haha.

                I do bring back what I learn on this list to the folks I work
                with, so in the end my organization does benefit, but I never
                mention what comes from my posts vs. others ...

                Maybe I should. But then, maybe they'd realize we were doing
                XP, and would start to resist. I think it's better the way
                things are ... ;-) ;-)

                - Dossy

                --
                Dossy Shiobara mail: dossy@...
                Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
              • John Brewer
                ... Jera Design is currently a 1-person shop, so you won t see my pair partners posting from the same domain. Right now I m working with another 1-person
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 1, 2000
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                  --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, "C. J. M. Booth" <cjmb@a...>
                  wrote:
                  > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
                  > thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem
                  > to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is.
                  > Would any of you care to explain, please. (I suspect that the
                  > explanation might make some reference to the difference between
                  > introverts and extroverts.)

                  Jera Design is currently a 1-person shop, so you won't see my
                  pair partners posting from the same domain. Right now I'm working
                  with another 1-person shop, pairing on some work, and doing some work
                  alone. We've been doing both physical pairing (which involves a 90
                  minute commute for one of us) and remote pairing via NetMeeting.

                  I've also paired with a couple of people at one of my previous
                  clients, although that sort of petered out after a while. My first
                  first-hand experience with pairing by that name was at XP Immersion 2
                  last Feb/March. Before that, I had occasionally paired, but
                  always under the guise of "fixing a really hard bug".

                  John Brewer
                  Jera Design
                • kjray
                  C. J. M. Booth on 12/1/00 2:33 AM wrote: [...] ... [...] One of my team-members is subscribed to the junit mailing list, and complains that he
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 2, 2000
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                    C. J. M. Booth <cjmb@...> on 12/1/00 2:33 AM wrote:
                    [...]
                    >As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
                    >thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem to hear
                    >from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is. Would any of you
                    >care to explain, please. (I suspect that the explanation might make some
                    >reference to the difference between introverts and extroverts.)
                    [...]

                    One of my team-members is subscribed to the junit mailing list, and
                    complains that he gets too many messages. He would NOT be able to handle
                    this XP mailing list, because his reading speed is not up for it. Many
                    of my co-workers would also not be up for 50+ mail messages a day,
                    whether in digest form or not, because they are not native English
                    reader/speakers, or just not fast readers. This is probably more
                    important than introvert/extrovert. Some would not read the mailing list
                    at home, as I do, because they have a life / children / hobbies / etc.
                  • David Corbin
                    ... You raise valid point about people that can t read (English) very fast. But I don t know how any career programmer can ignore the vast sources of knowledge
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 2, 2000
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                      kjray wrote:
                      >
                      > C. J. M. Booth <cjmb@...> on 12/1/00 2:33 AM wrote:
                      > [...]
                      > >As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and make
                      > >thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never seem to hear
                      > >from those that they pair with. I wonder why that is. Would any of you
                      > >care to explain, please. (I suspect that the explanation might make some
                      > >reference to the difference between introverts and extroverts.)
                      > [...]
                      >
                      > One of my team-members is subscribed to the junit mailing list, and
                      > complains that he gets too many messages. He would NOT be able to handle
                      > this XP mailing list, because his reading speed is not up for it. Many
                      > of my co-workers would also not be up for 50+ mail messages a day,
                      > whether in digest form or not, because they are not native English
                      > reader/speakers, or just not fast readers. This is probably more
                      > important than introvert/extrovert. Some would not read the mailing list
                      > at home, as I do, because they have a life / children / hobbies / etc.
                      >

                      You raise valid point about people that can't read (English) very fast.
                      But I don't know how any career programmer can ignore the vast sources
                      of knowledge such as this list provide. OTOH, Junit has had about 70
                      messages in 3 weeks. If you can't keep up with that, I think you're in
                      the wrong business. And I too have a life/hobbies/wife/etc. Sorry for
                      the rant. This is a pet-peeve of mine.

                      --
                      David Corbin
                      Mach Turtle Technologies, Inc.
                      http://www.machturtle.com
                      dcorbin@...
                    • kjray
                      David Corbin on 12/2/00 10:59 AM wrote: [...] ... The one who complained about the JUnit mailing list is one of the best programmers
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 2, 2000
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                        David Corbin <dcorbin@...> on 12/2/00 10:59 AM wrote:

                        [...]
                        >You raise valid point about people that can't read (English) very fast.
                        >But I don't know how any career programmer can ignore the vast sources
                        >of knowledge such as this list provide. OTOH, Junit has had about 70
                        >messages in 3 weeks. If you can't keep up with that, I think you're in
                        >the wrong business. And I too have a life/hobbies/wife/etc. Sorry for
                        >the rant. This is a pet-peeve of mine.

                        The one who complained about the JUnit mailing list is one of the best
                        programmers I've worked with. However, when he read the book "Extreme
                        Programming Explained", he used a English-Korean dictionary to help him,
                        and sometimes asked me to explain idioms.

                        Unlike almost all of the not-very-good programmers I've worked with, he
                        _will_ read books to expand his education.

                        And he reads the bits I select from the XP mailing list. I try to pick
                        the best and most-relevant messages from the XP mailing list, which
                        average about 2 or 3 messages a week, and forward those to my co-workers.
                      • Robert Watkins
                        ... Well, in my case, we don t do XP. A small group of us are trying, and we re getting quite a few of the XP values and practices adopted, but
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 3, 2000
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                          C.J.M. Booth writes:
                          > Robert Watkins
                          >
                          > As far as I can tell, all these people give sound advice, and
                          > make thoughtful comments based on their experience. Yet we never
                          > seem to hear from those that they pair with. I wonder why that
                          > is. Would any of you care to explain, please. (I suspect that
                          > the explanation might make some reference to the difference
                          > between introverts and extroverts.)

                          Well, in my case, we don't do XP. A small group of us are trying, and we're
                          getting quite a few of the XP values and practices adopted, but
                          pair-programming in particular is one our management doesn't want to
                          swallow. We get around it by pairing informally, especially senior-junior
                          people under the label of mentoring.

                          There were a couple of other guys here that posted intermittently, but
                          they've moved on. Another couple read the list. We've got a division of
                          labour, as well... monitoring the XP groups is one of my "tasks".

                          > PS Another question: do you folks talk over any of your postings
                          > with your pairs?

                          No, not usually. I frequently highlight messages on the list to the group I
                          work with, though.

                          Robert.

                          --
                          /\\\ Robert Watkins | Email: robert.watkins@...
                          ( ))) Software Engineer - Tech Dev | Ph: +61 7 3303 3432
                          \/// MINCOM Ltd | Fax: +61 7 3303 3232
                          Mincom

                          This transmission is for the intended addressee only and is confidential
                          information. If you have received this transmission in error, please
                          delete it and notify the sender. The contents of this e-mail are the
                          opinion of the writer only and are not endorsed by Mincom Limited unless
                          expressly stated otherwise.
                        • Dossy
                          ... Wow, I wish my company would hire someone to sift through the XP mailing list and send me only a few relevant emails a day! - Dossy Excuse me while I
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 3, 2000
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                            On 2000.12.02, kjray <kjray@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > And he reads the bits I select from the XP mailing list. I try to pick
                            > the best and most-relevant messages from the XP mailing list, which
                            > average about 2 or 3 messages a week, and forward those to my co-workers.
                            >

                            Wow, I wish my company would hire someone to sift through the XP
                            mailing list and send me only a few relevant emails a day!


                            - Dossy
                            Excuse me while I remove my tongue from my cheek.

                            --
                            Dossy Shiobara mail: dossy@...
                            Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
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