Tuesday Morning Pairing on Caffeinated Code

by Joe Sak
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Photo courtesy of Dave Hoover

Every Tuesday morning at 6:30am, you'll likely find me on my bike, headed downtown to gather with Chicago developers for Code & Coffee. It's an open, informal meetup at the Starbucks on Chicago & Franklin from 7am until about 9am. We sit down, set up, plug in, and code through bleary eyes and weary minds. Anyone interested in coding at any level is welcome and encouraged to join. Props to @mikelikesbikes for being the catalyst to this favorite Chicago event. In fact, I just found this website for information on more Code&Coffee meetups in other cities: http://codeandcoffee.info/

This morning, I had the honor and distinct pleasure of pairing with Chicago's own Corey Haines.

What is pairing? I take it you don't mean wine and cheese.

Pairing is a programming methodology where two programmers work together on the same set of features in a given codebase. Sounds expensive, eh? Well, it has a lot of benefits. It's great for newer programmers to learn from veterans. It's also an opportunity for seasoned developers to sharpen each other, learn from the other's style, and to help the person who's driving (writing the code) avoid mistakes and fix unseen typos. It places one person in charge of maintaining the bigger picture while the other focuses on small chunks at a time.

Corey was the veteran while I drove this morning. He shared his insights with me on true test-driven development techniques in a Ruby on Rails application, specifically with how it can be done with RefineryCMS attached. The time required to load an entire Rails app (let alone RefineryCMS on top of it) before every test run tends to be a huge barrier to our happiness when we're testing our code. Corey helped me remedy that issue today, and I couldn't be happier with our findings. Neoteric's dev team will level up in the coming weeks once again.

So, thanks again to Corey and Mike for making this next level possible for us. Cheers!

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