Luke Melia


September 13, 2006

Choice words from Mike Hill

My old friend Mike Hill is teaching in place of Joshua Kerievsky here at SD Expo. Yesterday, I attended his session on the risks of solo programming and the rewards of pairing. My team pairs near 100%, so I wasn’t attending to be converted but rather for some nuance.

Mike talked about the natural ebb and flow of energy when programming solo. With pairing, he contended, energy tends to stay near peak as each member of pair steps up to the task. I’ve found this to be true, and I agree with Mike that this pretty much equalizes the efficiency of the two methods.

Another gem gleaned from the session was this: XP says that ACT -> MEASURE -> DECIDE is better than THINK -> DECIDE -> ACT. This is a good thing to remember when you have two big egos pairing and they disagree about the approach to a particular problem. One might say to other, “OK, we’ll go with your idea for two hours and see how things look.”

Today, I was in his Code Smells and Refactoring class. He had some other gems here, too:

“In code, simplicity and mastery are the same values.”

“Increase clarity by reducing scope.”

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