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Pair programming sucks. was Re: [XP] Pair programming vs. Mentoringin a pair

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  • Kevin Smith
    ... Yes, if you ll accept my definition of peer review . I have been the technical lead on several non-XP projects where I reviewed every line of code that
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2001
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      Jiva DeVoe wrote:
      >Which brings me to the MAIN reason I think pair programming is
      >important. And that is PEER REVIEW. I honestly want to know here,
      >does ANYONE know of ANY cases when Peer Review of code *outside* of
      >pair programming *actually* works?

      Yes, if you'll accept my definition of "peer
      review". I have been the technical lead on
      several non-XP projects where I reviewed every
      line of code that got checked in. There were 2-5
      developers, and I felt strongly enough about the
      importance of code reviews that I just did it.
      Fortunately, I'm pretty quick at this, but even
      so it did take large amounts of time. I felt that
      my time was better spent reviewing than coding.
      It's also an activity I happen to enjoy.

      Almost every developer really appreciated my
      reviews. Many were shocked to find someone who
      actually cared what their code looked like. Many
      (especially those less experienced) were thrilled
      to have their code critiqued so they could learn.


      Ok, there were a couple contractors who thought
      they knew everything about coding and didn't like
      my ideas. One seemed to strive for complexity,
      not simplicity. We cut him and ended up rewriting
      almost everything he had done. We should have cut
      him sooner, since his net output was worse than
      zero. But I wanted to give him a chance to
      embrace simplicity.

      Another was well-intentioned, but just couldn't
      grasp our coding style. Again, I wanted to give
      him a chance to succeed, but ended up keeping him
      around longer than I should have. He didn't seem
      motivated to adapt his ways.

      I've sometimes tried to get entire teams to do
      code reviews, but that has never lasted.

      From what I've seen, pairing is a very difficult
      adjustment for many developers, but when it works
      it is really awesome.

      Kevin
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