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Pair Programming: Doodling

Another interesting pair programming ‘technique’ which I rediscovered while pairing with Priyank is that of doodling or drawing various parts of the solution when your pair is writing code.
I find that this helps to stop my brain wondering off and lets me reflect on what we’re doing from a higher level.
As an added bonus it also seems to allow me to listen more effectively to my pair.


From what I’ve noticed it works most effectively when the other person is reasonably comfortable with the code base and language which was certainly the case when I was pairing with Priyank.
I guess they also have to be reasonably comfortable with the idea that you’re still listening even though you’re not necessarily looking at everything that they type.
It doesn’t work quite as well in other situations where you’re playing more of a coaching role because you need to be more focused on the code that’s being written and provide help with respect to syntax, libraries or context on the code base.
I don’t remember noticing many other people doing this so though maybe this is just a solution for my ADHD.
Reference: Pair Programming: Doodling from our NCG partner Mark Needham at the Mark Needham Blog blog.
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