A guide to pair programming best practices Last updated on May 4, 2019

Pair Programming

A guide to pair programming best practices



  • Agree Scope (Pairing for two hours? Until the ticket is complete? Just get past the bug?)
  • Agree Physical/Virtual Location (“Will we both be comfortable here?”)
  • Agree Working Environment (Two keyboards? Text editor and other tools)
  • Agree Pairing Style (Time-based? Ping pong?)


  • Keep the chat going (Think aloud. Encourage/support)
  • Keep switching (Follow the pairing style)
  • Keep both involved (“Could we do this another way?”)
  • Keep breaking (Have a break, have a…)
  • Keep checking in (“Could we search for a guide separately?”)


  • Ask for Feedback (What did we do well? What could we have done better? It’ll feel weird, do it anyway)


Adapted from thoughtbot’s guides repo on GitHub, which is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.