Where Should Pair Programmers Sit?

One common agile software development technique — pair programming — requires two developers to sit together at one workstation. Usually, the two developers sit next to each other, side-by-side, so that both can see the same screen. However, a growing number of development shops are experimenting with face-to-face arrangements, where each developer has an individual screen.

“It’s a lot more comfortable, we both get a better view of the screen, and it’s great being able to see each other so easily while we are working together,” says Josh Susser, who has used the face-to-face arrangement. “We are seated close enough that it’s easy to hear each other without raising our voices at all. And after a day of working in this arrangement I feel a lot better and my neck doesn’t feel out of whack.”

Davis W. Frank adds, “I can confirm that this setup is less awkward for high-fives when your tests go green.”

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