Contrary to popular belief, coding is not a solo endeavor. Software engineers are problem solvers, and collaboration is key to solving problems quickly and efficiently.
While most coding schools equip students with enough coding know-how to land an entry-level role, many don’t emphasize the technical and interpersonal communication skills needed to level up in the software engineering industry. That’s where coding school Codesmith comes in. Codesmith incorporates pair programming into its core curriculum to produce mid- to senior-level software engineers with a diverse mix of technical and interpersonal skills.
What Is Pair Programming and Why Does it Matter?
Pair programming is precisely what it sounds like—two programmers working together remotely or in person to write and review code. One programmer serves as the “driver,” taking control of the keyboard and writing the actual code, while the other programmer acts as the navigator, vocalizing the code and planning the next steps.
Not only does this shoulder-to-shoulder approach produce cleaner coding solutions in a shorter time frame, but it also helps programmers develop technical communication, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.
Let’s take a closer look at how Codesmith residents learn through pair programming.
Pair programming has been proven to improve one’s skills in coding, communication, and collaboration. Codesmith integrates pair programming into its immersive programs and free workshops to produce well-rounded software engineers.Try pair programming for free!
How Pair Programming Works at Codesmith
Because pair programming is central to Codesmith’s teaching style, it is incorporated into their Software Engineering Immersive programs as well as their free weekly workshops and introductory programs. In fact, many Codesmith residents encounter pair programming for the first time at Codesmith events.
Pair programming gives learners new ways to collaborate, and simulates what it’s really like to work in the software engineering field. Plus, problem-solving with others helps Codesmith residents establish the skills and mindset they need to succeed in Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive Program.
According to Hernandez and Battelino, pair programming at Codesmith benefits residents in several ways.
It teaches residents to remain open to perspectives beyond their own.
Software engineers need to be lifelong learners, constantly adjusting to new software updates and team changes. Pair programming is an excellent way to learn how to collaborate with your team while developing new problem-solving skills and technical communication chops.
Pair programming at Codesmith cultivates this lifelong learning mindset by giving residents a chance to recognize the importance of learning from others and developing a growth mindset. “It’s a chance to learn, either from your partner or as you work through problems together,” says Hernandez.
Battellino also says that he gained new perspectives through pair programming. “Beyond technical benefits, pair programming has taught me the importance of empathy or the capacity to understand the feelings and motivations of other engineers,” he shares.
It sharpens their communication skills.
Technical and non-technical communication skills are among the five qualities of a top-tier software engineer. Pair programming helps cultivate these skills since it requires residents to clearly explain their thought processes while coding. The more Codesmith residents experience pair programming, the more comfortable they become with articulating their work and ideas with others.
“Pair programming has really brought new light to the importance of communication,” affirms Hernandez. “You need clear communication to describe solutions to your programming partner. You need to be an active listener to capture your partner’s ideas and translate them to code, and you need to be able to communicate your questions or needs for clarification.”
It strengthens the Codesmith community.
Working closely with another programmer is a great way for residents to get to know others in their cohorts and for any engineer to build their network through Codesmith’s free, weekly workshops. For Battellino, regular pair programming has allowed him to “meet and connect with incredibly interesting engineers, which, in turn, helps me build and stay engaged with the community.”
Hernandez adds: “As I’ve worked with more folks, I’ve also been encouraged by the amount of passion and drive from everyone around me. It’s been a great motivator during some of the tough points in the curriculum.”
Become a Better Software Engineer at Codesmith
As the saying goes, “two heads are better than one,” and this rings true in software engineering. Building coding solutions requires collaboration, technical communication, and problem-solving—all skills enhanced by pair programming.
Hernandez shares: “When I first started pair programming, I was so nervous and clumsily tried to talk my way through what now seem like simple bits of code. I’ve grown a lot in my ability to technically communicate, read and understand large amounts of code, and partner with others in the process.”
Do you want to experience pair programming and become a better software engineer? Then, join Codesmith’s free remote pair programming workshop!
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