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Pair Programming Experiment

Lessons Learned

We ran an experiment with 42 seniors at the University of Utah. Fourteen of them worked alone. The rest worked in pairs doing pair-programming. All students completed the same assignments.
 Pair-programming definitely does not cost twice as much! In their first assignment (I call the "jelling-assignment") the pairs spent 60% more programmer hours than the individuals. In the second assignment, they had gotten used to this pair-programming thing. The pairs spent only 20% more total time than the individuals. By the third assignment, the pairs spent only 10% more time - so if an individual spent 10 hours on the assignment, the pair worked together for 5 hours and 15 minutes.
 In all cases, the pairs passed about 15% more of the post-development test cases. And,
Laurie Williams
over 90% say they enjoy programming more and they feel more confident in their work when pairing.
 As a post test to the experiment, all students worked individually to complete one assignment. One student said of going back to solo programming, "Without my partner, I feel like I lost half my brain."Lessons Learned

Laurie Williams
North Carolina State University

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