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Director, Professional Services @RightBrain_Net - 50% engineer, 50% entrepreneur. Former: CTO @Wantify, @agilesoftware, @grasshopper

Eric Polerecky

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When we work in an environment that offers us the ability to practice agile development its easy to forget that pair-programming is not the norm. We are a small minority and we need to put our best foot forward. Not only to our external customers but our new members.


Not long ago you were just waking up.


In an open work environment a pair is struggling to solve their problem. Neither of them are experienced with the tech stack. One of the pairs is the primary driver while the other is passive.

*Sidebar: I’ve always found that the passive person is the one responsible for flow, syntax, review. The passive actor is a very important part of pairing. Knowing when to interject and when to let the driver wonder take a long time to master. *

Anyway; back to our story.

After a while, a long while….and a third set of eyes..the team realize the issue is an incorrectly configured route. Simple.

At this point the passive pair speaks up with this amazing insight about a common, I’ve done it a thousands times before, routing is dark magic based on regex problem and calls the driving pair partner “Dumbass”


Alright; there are so many problems with this story but I can only stop shacking my head long enough to focus on one.

Programming is not easy and there is no place for this type of attitude towards another developer. I’ll nitpick your implementation,  your reason, your logic, the value and 1000’s of other things I think you could do better but this has no place in our community. In all of the places I’ve worked I don’t think I can say I’ve heard one developer “put down” another developer in this way….most of the time we are wittier than this :)


My workplace is nothing like this. I just hope we, as a community, don’t end up here: