Munawar Hafiz (munawar) wrote,
Munawar Hafiz

The end of pair programming ?!

Scott Ambler is looking at agile practices in companies, hundreds of them, and identifying what works and what does not. His talk can be seen at,

"Agile in Practice: What Is Actually Going On Out There?"
Scott Ambler  

The big surprises are pair programming and test driven design (TDD). According to Scott, the number of programmers, who think that pair programming hurts user productivity, is consistently on the rise. Many organizations are also starting to harbor their reservations against it. As for TDD, Scott shows numbers that people are doing more modeling up-front than ever and they are getting less and less interested about the very un-organized test driven design approach. They don't want to feel like a bunch of hackers; instead they want to model design with (in decreasing order of popularity) high level diagrams, detailed diagrams, detailed documentation and acceptance tests.

Things like UI refactoring and database refactoring are also becoming out-of-practice, but these changes are easier to grasp than pair programming or TDD.

His talk also has some interesting numbers, that highlight the dichotomy between theory and practice. Perhaps, there are loopholes in his studies that produce some surprising results, but his work guides towards empirical studies and finding factual numbers, something that software engineering is badly in need of.
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