Friday, 27 November 2009

My First (Coding) Threesome (AKA “Remote Collaborative Programming”)

Following on from my first post on “Remote Pairing”, last night I took part in my first coding “ménage-et-trois”, without even having other people in the room!

Sara Stephens (@SaraS85) and Johnno Nolan (@JohnnoNolan) were kind enough to join in a 3-way “remote collaborative programming” session – now I am not sure if we are to coin this or try and get it to stick, but let’s see what happens.

Session Overview

We pretty much used the same tools that me and Johnno used in the remote pairing session, primarily:

* Feel free to ping me on Twitter or something if you need an invite, I have some going, just drop us your email and I will get it sent (be warned it takes a LONG time).

The only really difference is Skype, since Live Messenger does not support 3-way/conference “calling” (to my knowledge).

In terms of “the problem” we were attacking, it was actually a programming “challenge” that had been sent to Johnno in the past.

How Did It Go?

I found it to be a bit more productive than the last session, which is great. I still think the format needs some ironing out, but I think these are more “human” issues rather than technical – such as:

  • Confidence (i.e. I don’t want those other nasty coders to mock me!)
  • Chitty-Chat Digression/Off-Topic Discussion.
  • Disagreement on Design/Direction

And to be honest, I don’t have a problem with this (at least not for now).

WHAT?! ROB “HAPPY” BEING UN-PRODUCTIVE!?

Yups indeedy! Recently, I have been feeling a little really burned out. I felt that I had “lost my geek mojo”. Quite frankly, I was just thinking “I don’t want to do this sh!t anymore”.

Last night I genuinely had a lot of fun (at least as much as I could with my clothes on), it was great to talk shop with two great, passionate people. I got off the compy feeling really refreshed and keen to get back to code. So for that – Sara & Johnno, I thank you.

The above “human” issues reminded me of why I love code – software is all about PEOPLE. Last night was about a few geeks getting together and writing some code. We did that and had fun too. #WIN.

But.. “For Now”?

Of course, I/we want to see how much we can get out of this format. It is much more portable and I am sure we are all in agreement that pair (or more) programming is a great way to write software. You get plenty of perspective on the issues at hand, better quality code and greater cross-pollination of knowledge. Therefore, I/we do (at some point) want to get down to some much more intense sessions of focused programming.

We are keeping the discussions going, and we have some stuff in the pipeline (not sure if we can talk about it yet), watch this space ;)

Have you tried anything like this? Know anyone who has? Thoughts? Comments?

Work hard. Play harder.

3 comments:

  1. You suck at spelling my name properly :)

    In other news I left the session happy too and the proof was that couldn't get to sleep as I was buzzing about it much later on. I'd like to think of myself as a social creature and its great to meet people with the same interests that I have. We need to strike a balance if we want to make something and that's where I hope we'll be.

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  2. LOL! My bad! I kept making the same bloody typo! :D

    I think I have fixed them all now (thanks for the heads up)

    I'm sure it will all work out and progress to getting some really good stuff done in future sessions.

    Can't wait for the next! :)

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  3. at the dojo last night we had just 3 people (a fourth turned up later), but I think it worked out well, because we ended up working a bit more collaboratively, so I am beginning to see a bit more how pair/3 programming can work

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