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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Programming is Continuous Brainstorming

I was talking about pair programming recently with Mike at a company in Everett, WA, and he asked the usual question: "Doesn't having two people working on the same computer mean we lose productivity?" In response, I blurted out a reply: "Imagine that you need to do some brainstorming and you go into a room by yourself." He got the point.

Mike is a business person, not a developer, so I came up with this analogy because I was looking for something that would resonate with a business person. However, while driving home I realized it's actually much more than a simple analogy. Programming is, in fact, continuous brainstorming, which is why two heads are better (and more productive) than one. Or even the same two people working apart.