Wednesday Afternoon, Half Day
Pair Programming: Experience the Difference
Convention Ctr — Room 15
Laurie Williams, North Carolina State University
Robert Kessler, University of Utah

Pair programming is emerging as an important technique for developing higher quality code, faster. With pair programming, two software developers work on one computer, collaborating on the same design, algorithm, code, or test. This tutorial examines pair programming research results and anecdotal experiences of programmers who have transitioned to pair programming. It will discuss what works and what doesn’t and will also explain techniques for fostering support in making a transition to pair programming, support from management, and support from peers. Hands-on activities will be used to demonstrate pair programming benefits. Participants will experience the difference between working alone and working in pairs. They will understand the research results that show pair programming works, learn how to pair program, what not to do when pairing, and how to transition to pair programming.

Attendee Background: This tutorial is targeted toward software developers and technical software development managers who are interested in transitioning to pair programming.

Presenters: Dr. Laurie Williams is an assistant professor at North Carolina State University. In 2000, she completed her dissertation which demonstrated statistically that pair programmers were able to produce higher quality products in essentially half the time when compared to individual programmers. Prior to her recent academic career, Laurie worked at IBM for nine years. Laurie and Bob are collaborating on a book entitled, Pair Programming Illuminated, to be published by Addison-Wesley in 2002.

Dr. Robert Kessler is a Professor of Computer Science and served as the last chairman of the University of Utah, Department of Computer Science (the department is now known as the “School of Computing”). He has founded several companies and served on the board of directors of others. Bob is an award-winning instructor having recently received the 2000 College of Engineering, Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2001 University of Utah, Distinguished Teaching Award.

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