Enable Pair Programming Rotation

Hi guys, few weeks ago I wrote a couple of blogs about pair programming: “Intro Pair Programming” and “Ping Pong programming“, I believe these techniques are extremely useful to share a knowledge within a team.

This week I will explain how you can enable Pair Programming rotation. This idea was taken from the book Agile Coaching from Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley as well as the picture below. I believe pair programming is not enough, we need to enable pairs to change within a team, otherwise we will end up in a situation where only some pairs know a part of a product.

A trick is to work with the team to design a “big visible chart” to increase a visibility of what they want to track; in this case partners with whom they paired. This makes it easy for the team to see whether they are improving or not.

In this case team can use a pairing ladder to show who is paired with who and how often. Below you can find an example of this pairing ladder.

photo (1)

This was a short post to give you some ideas how can you enable/track pair rotation within your team.

Hope it´s useful.

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Enable Pair Programming Rotation
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Leave a Comment

  1. Pingback: Transparency Within Your Team - Adaptagility

  2. Reply

    Luis, this is very good, thanks for sharing! Have you thought of a way of color coding it to make the next pair choice more obvious and trigger pair reflection?
    I was thinking about using a traffic light scheme and decide after how many times 2 people work together trigger changing from green to amber and amber to red. You could use this to trigger mini pair-retrospectives at each color change on how well the pair worked and what can be improved.

    Excellent idea, I am going to suggest it on Monday!

    • Pedro Gustavo Torres
    • September 11, 2013

    This one is really really good. Maybe with 4 devs is a little bit over kill (there are just a few possible combinations) but with 6 or more devs it is definitely a must have!
    Great tool! :)

  3. Reply

    It doesn’t look like Mike can work with anyone, is that correct? How can this chart track who Mike has worked with?

    • Bob
    • September 10, 2013

    So explain the blacked out boxes. It appears Van and Steve will never work together.

    • Reply

      Sorry I really did not get your question :) There is a blank space between Van and Steve so of course they can work together :)

      Could you explain better what you mean?


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