The Collaborative Nature of Pair Programming

  • Sallyann Bryant
  • Pablo Romero
  • Benedict du Boulay
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4044)


This paper considers the nature of pair programming. It focuses on using pair programmers’ verbalizations as an indicator of collaboration. A review of the literature considers the benefits and costs of co-operative and collaborative verbalization. We then report on a set of four one-week studies of commercial pair programmers. From recordings of their conversations we analyze which generic sub-tasks were discussed and use the contribution of new information as a means of discerning the extent to which each pair collaborated. We also consider whether a particular role is more likely to contribute to a particular sub-task. We conclude that pair programming is highly collaborative in nature, however the level of collaboration varies according to task. We also find that tasks do not seem aligned to particular roles, rather the driver tends to contribute slightly more across almost all tasks.


Computer Support Collaborative Learn Collaborative Nature Extreme Program Agile Process Verbal Protocol Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sallyann Bryant
    • 1
  • Pablo Romero
    • 1
  • Benedict du Boulay
    • 1
  1. 1.IDEAS LaboratoryUniversity of SussexFalmerUK

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