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Daniel Irvine on building software

Pairing strategy: Don't stop until it's good

20 August 2014

Say you’ve had a bad day pairing with someone. Perhaps you both argued about the right way to solve it, and you didn’t make it any progress. Or perhaps you implemented a solution only to find it didn’t work, and you ended up back at square one.

Don’t leave it like this. Pair together again the very next day. Assuming you’re both not unreasonable people, a good sleep plus time for reflection will help you reevaluate the day. You’ll become more accommodating with your pair, more malleable. The second day will invariably produce much better results: neither of you wants a repeat of the day before, so you’ll know to tread carefully. It’s not that you’ll be compromising or backing down, rather you’ll be listening better, thinking more objectively and you’ll be much calmer as a result.

About the author

Daniel Irvine is a software craftsman at 8th Light, based in London. These days he prefers to code in Clojure and Ruby, despite having been a C++ and C# developer for the majority of his career.

For a longer bio please see To contact Daniel, send a tweet to @d_ir or use the comments section below.

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