Quit Working with the Same Person and Switch Up Your Pair

As one of the newer developers at Atomic Object I pair a lot with my teammates. I value the pairing time that I get from each of them and the lessons that I have learned while working together.


Time to Switch

As we work sprint to sprint, sometimes we get stuck pairing with the same partner, and I don’t say that as a bad thing. It can be nice to learn how someone else works through problems, takes advantage of different tools, and helps their pair understand the content they’re working with. After a week or two, it feels that the learning starts to slow down, and this is usually a good time to make a switch to a new pair. Another natural time to switch can be at the completion of a story or task.

Switching up who you work with is great for knowledge sharing throughout the team. During one of my pairing sessions, my pair and I tried something new for in-person pairing. Previously we either looked at the same monitor or started a Tuple call to screen share. Sharing a monitor can make it difficult for both people to get close enough to see effectively. Using Tuple, even on the same network, has some significant latency.

We decided to try Apple’s built-in Screen Sharing, and it was game-changing. There was practically zero latency, and it had the ability to control the other user’s screen if needed. I have started to use this with my other teammates for a more effective pairing experience.

New Pair, New Lessons

Changing who I work with has also given me a chance to learn what is important to focus on in a pull request review. I have noticed that each of my teammates focuses on different things when they work through a pull request. Whether it’s being a stickler on spelling, naming, and other syntactic criteria or ensuring that the code can’t be broken with incorrect input, there’s definitely value in working through these tasks with my teammates.

As a newer developer, I feel very lucky to be able to tap into my team’s wealth of knowledge, and I feel it will make me a more effective developer and consultant. Working with different team members allows me to build a stronger connection that makes working more enjoyable and communication more effective. Besides the social events and pair lunch program that Atomic offers, pairing is one of the most common ways I get to interact with my team so I try to share the time and build a connection with each of my teammates.


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