Remote Pair Programming: The Specificities

Using remote pair programming (also known as distributed development) allows developers to collaborate in real time and on the same codebase regardless of their location or physical distance from each other. Remote pair programming provides many benefits over more traditional ways of working, such as reduced overhead costs, improved code quality, better coordination and communication between developers, improved employee satisfaction and retention, and more flexible scheduling options. But remote pair programming can also present some challenges that you’ll need to be aware of if you want your team to reap the benefits without encountering any problems...

What is Remote Pair Programming?

In short, remote pair programming is having two programmers collaborate in real time through one computer. One person writes code while another reads it, giving feedback and tips on how to improve code. Remote pair programming helps you get more work done because it’s less isolating than coding alone. But before we can talk about remote pair programming, let’s first talk about regular pair programming. (Regular pair programming is where two programmers are sitting side-by-side working together to solve a problem.) Regular pairing has many benefits: both people are typing away at their own computers; they’re reviewing each other’s work; they can jump on any problems that pop up; and they can bounce ideas off of each other constantly. There are drawbacks as well—they aren’t necessarily saving time because they have to run back and forth for questions or help; not everyone works best when paired up with someone else all day; some companies don't think its cost effective for every programmer to be paired; etc... If you want to learn more about why pairing is beneficial, check out our article on reasons why pair programming rocks! 

What are the Benefits?

The biggest advantage of remote pair programming is that it greatly expands a team’s flexibility when considering where people work. If an employee has a family emergency, or if they simply want to move closer to relatives, there’s no need for them to relocate; most companies provide laptops and a good internet connection, so employees can stay at home and keep working remotely. Remote workers also typically cost less than in-office employees; they don’t have an office or parking space to pay for. Additionally, many find that they prefer telecommuting—it gives their family a break from interruption and allows them to focus on getting their job done well. There are some disadvantages to telecommuting as well: company culture can be lost, especially if your company relies on day-to-day interactions between coworkers. A pair programming tool like Drovio solves some of these problems! Despite these potential issues, more and more companies are going remote because it allows them to expand without having physical limits—there is no longer a requirement for everyone's office/workplace being co-located.

How Does it Work?

The two developers are connected through a pair programming tool (such as Drovio, of course!). The developers can see each other’s screens, get their own mouse cursor on it, and use voice chat to talk about and resolve issues in real time. This process is very effective, because it allows for quick feedback loops and improves overall programming efficiency. Depending on team members' personalities, one developer might be more comfortable with pair programming while another prefers solo work. By giving both types of personalities an opportunity to try remote pair programming, you will likely find that your team likes using remote pairing or they don't. You may even find that after getting a taste of pairing remotely, they want it all of the time! If so, make sure you have at least 2 monitors per person working in pairs or set up a second screen available specifically for remote pairing. 

Who Should Use It?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in an office or working from home, remote pair programming has a number of benefits and can be very useful if you have a developer who doesn’t work with anyone nearby. It also helps facilitate communication between colleagues when there are time zones between them. This technique is often used when developing complex software like operating systems or large-scale applications that require constant attention to detail. Remote pair programming allows one engineer to lead while another follows along; it encourages transparency and rapid feedback so mistakes can be caught quickly and fixed easily. Since errors are noticed as they happen, bugs aren’t allowed to hide until released into production at which point they could cause widespread issues for your clients or company.

Things to Look Out For

In a remote environment, it's easier to miss some of those subtle cues that you'd normally get from being in a face-to-face meeting. For example, when someone asks you to repeat yourself or doesn't answer your question directly; these things usually give away a bit more about their thoughts. It is important to be aware of these little clues and adjust your attitude towards communicating with them accordingly. For example, if they ask you to repeat yourself, it might mean that you are talking too fast or not speaking clearly enough; they might not be catching all of what you're saying so try slowing down. If they take a long time answering your question or avoid answering altogether, it may be because they feel like you didn't really understand their point - try asking for clarification on what you don't understand. All these micro adjustments will start to build over time as you work with people remotely and make sure that everyone is feeling more comfortable working together remotely every day. The bottom line: no matter how well you know each other, communication can always be improved - just pay attention!

Tips For Success

If you’re just starting out with remote pair programming, there are a few things you should know. First of all, remote pair programming can be incredibly rewarding; however, it does take some time to get used to. Here are some tips for successful remote pairing: Face-to-face conversations about your screen and code require patience, understanding and mutual respect. It is particularly important to agree on when you both need to talk or if it's okay not to say anything at all. Make sure you can trust your partner by seeing them in action during short pairing sessions before trying longer ones over a distributed network. Remember that working remotely means people need more time, which makes effective communication even more critical than usual. Don't expect miracles from yourself; as Albert Einstein said If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research. Also mind your posture: sitting for too long causes back pain and neck strain so try getting up regularly.