Maaret Pyhäjärvi & Llewellyn Falco Bring Strong-Style Pairing to Agile2016 and the World

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a tester and Llewellyn Falco is a developer, and they have been pair-programming wrong… or have they? They call it strong-style pairing. It’s common in pairing for the one with the idea to drive, grabbing the keyboard and running with their idea. In other words, the person with the idea is the driver, while their pair is the navigator. But if you don’t know where the driver is going, you can’t navigate. Strong-style is kind of a role reversal where the person with the idea lets their pair drive and instead takes on the navigator role. This way both people in the pair actively contribute. The problem with the traditional driver-navigator model is that the “navigator” doesn’t have anything to do if the driver is also the ideator. The navigator can get bored or disengaged. What’s more is that strong-style pairing can help pairs build trust more quickly and to help each other with new dev tricks and techniques.

This concept can also be used in Mob Programming.

John Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of DZone, SolutionsIQ partner, hosts at Agile2016 in Atlanta, GA.