Breaking the communication barrier: guidelines to aid communication within pair programming

Zarb, Mark and Hughes, Janet (2015). Breaking the communication barrier: guidelines to aid communication within pair programming. Computer Science Education, 25(2) pp. 120–151.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08993408.2015.1033125

Abstract

Pair programming is a software development technique with many cited benefits in learning and teaching. However, it is reported that novice programmers find several barriers to pairing up, typically due to the added communication that is required of this approach. This paper will present a literature review discussing the issue of communication, and through a series of observations with industry-based pairs, will derive a set of guidelines which aim to help novice pairs experience better communication within their pairs. An evaluation of the guidelines with undergraduate students is then reported, showing that exposure to these guidelines improved the self-perceived communication experience of novice pairs.

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