The Problem with Pairing

October 2, 2012

Look, I don’t want you to be offended, but I just don’t want to pair with you. No, I fully understand the benefit of pair programming, and have paired successfully quite a bit with other people. The problem isn’t with pair programming as a concept — the problem is you. I just don’t want to pair with you. You know how people say, “Don’t take it personally?” This isn’t one of those times — you should take this personally. Fundamentally, I am less productive as an engineer and less happy as a person when I pair with you. As a result, I’m not going to.

Well look, you can get into a huff if you want to, but if you’ll calm down a moment, I’ll explain. First, it’s your personality — it annoys the sh*t out of me. Shut the f*ck up, focus, and lets get some work done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about keeping things light, but jokes have to in the context of getting work done. I don’t want to hear a knock-knock joke your 3 year old daughter told you this morning that has absof*ckinglootly nothing to do with figuring out the best way to test this method. Keep your eye on the prize; this is work — not play. While you’re at it, keep your attitude in check. Here’s a tip: say it once, it’s venting; say it more than once, it’s whining.

Second, you and I don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to the discipline of software engineering. I take this sh*t very seriously. I’ve worked extremely hard to get the knowledge that I have, at great personal sacrifice, and for as much as I know, there is still vast amounts that I do not. I worked my ass off to get here — seems like you just got lucky. You wouldn’t know what an object was if it was sticking out of your ass. You think layering is something you do to keep warm in the winter. You are f*cking clueless and a waste of my time. So no, I’m not going to pair with you. Instead, I’m going to pair with that guy, and we’re going to get some sh*t done. You? How about you go get us some coffee, catch up your personal email, and leave us the hell alone.

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I would like to point out that if we work together today, or have in the past, my opinions may or may not have been influenced by working with you. Most likely they have been, but I have to say that to avoid offending people. You're so vain. I bet you think this site is about you.