The collaborative nature of pair programming

Bryant, Sallyann, Romero, Pablo and du Boulay, Benedict (2006) The collaborative nature of pair programming. In: Abrahamsson, Pekka, Marchesi, Michele and Succi, Giancarlo (eds.) Extreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering: 7th International Conference, XP 2006, Oulu, Finland, June 17-22, 2006, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (4044). Springer-Verlag, Oulu, Finland, pp. 53-65. ISBN 9783540350958

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This paper considers the nature of pair programming. It focuses on using pair programmers’ verbalizations as an indicator of collaboration. A review of the literature considers the benefits and costs of co-operative and collaborative verbalization. We then report on a set of four one-week studies of commercial pair programmers. From recordings of their conversations we analyze which generic sub-tasks were discussed and use the contribution of new information as a means of discerning the extent to which each pair collaborated. We also consider whether a particular role is more likely to contribute to a particular sub-task. We conclude that pair programming is highly collaborative in nature, however the level of collaboration varies according to task. We also find that tasks do not seem aligned to particular roles, rather the driver tends to contribute slightly more across almost all tasks.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Ben duBoulay
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 10:59
Google Scholar:13 Citations
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