Quite a few people have asked me:
- What special editor or tool we use for remote pairing?
- How effective is the pairing?
- How much time is spent in setup each time?
- How long does it take for one to get used to remote pairing?
Here is my answer:
The most important part of pairing is free flow of ideas between the 2 individuals. Its about the brains of the 2 individuals being at the same wavelength so communication can truly take place. Tools can certainly disrupt or get in the way of this flow. But IMHO the individuals contribute 80% towards the success of the pairing experience, tools contribute 20%. Skype with Video Sharing lets us achieve 80%. Better tools might improve that. We’ve experimented with some Eclipse based plugins, all of them have their trade-offs. There is no clear winner. Also on our team since we’re all used to Skype for conference calls, the threshold to get started is very low. So my recommendation is to get started with simple tools, something that you are already familiar with. When starting anything new, focus on the crux and not on the peripheral stuff.
For a more introductory material on pair programming refer to Pairing FAQs.