A TechCrunch opinion piece posted yesterday, “Pair Programming Considered Extremely Beneficial,” was very complimentary about Pair Programming, a practice in which two developers work together to build software, one driving (typing) and the other navigating (describing what needs to be done). The author even included an amusing anecdote about Guy Steele pairing with Richard Stallman and how intense that experience was.
Since starting work at Overstock in 2010, I’ve had the opportunity to pair on a lot of user stories. Depending on the team lead pairing was either more or less the norm (less on my current team) but the company does have an inviolable rule when pairing must take place: when you’re working on financially impacting code. I’d extend that to say that you should pair on anything that impacts your core business and could cause the company to lose or have to restate revenue.