Remote Pair Programming: Impossible or So Possible?

Location: E145 - E146 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.57, 7 ratings)

Joe and Michael will kick off the session with descriptions of the tools and techniques they use to remain productive, write great code, and stay engaged while pair programming with developers who are as far as a thousand miles away.

Michael works with developers in San Francisco, Rochester NY, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale, and has been obsessed with having the challenges associated with remote pairing simply melt away – even if the solutions are wildly strange or include video game consoles.

Joe works with team members at EdgeCase, LLC, where he and developer-extraordinaire Jim Weirich use mature tools like screen, ssh, and emacs to code together. See why simple things like yelling out “tag” might help smooth out your process (even if it strengthens suspicions of growing insanity spouses and kids might already have of you).

And well before we’ve used up the entire session we’ll want to hear what works for you. It seems that wherever Joe or Michael go and mention remote pairing, people respond with a lot of excitement coupled with ideas and solutions that work that are a lot different than our own. We want to encourage you to share your experiences during the session, good or bad.

Photo of Michael Buffington

Michael Buffington

Grasshopper Labs

Michael Buffington is the co-founder of Grockit Inc, a company building a massive multiplayer online learning game using Rails and agile development practices.

Michael also an author and speaks frequently about technology. He’s worked on several well known Rails projects including Stikkit, MeasureMap, and the once famous but now poorly neglated Rails based game

He works remotely from his home office in Portland Oregon with Grockit teammates in San Francisco, Rochester New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale. When not starting interesting projects, he can be found enjoying time with his wife and two painfully brilliant children, skateboarding the glorious concrete Oregon skateparks, illustrating, and saying embarrasing things about himself on his personal site (

Photo of Joe O'Brien

Joe O'Brien

EdgeCase, LLC

Joe is a father, speaker, author and developer. Before helping found EdgeCase, LLC, Joe was a developer with ThoughtWorks and spent much of his time working with large J2EE and .NET systems for Fortune 500 companies. He has spent his career as a developer, project manager, and everything in between. Joe is a passionate member of the open source community. He co-founded the Columbus Ruby Brigade and helped organize the Chicago Area Ruby Users Group. His passions are Agile Development in the Enterprise, Ruby, and demonstrating to the Fortune 500 the elegance and power of this incredible language. Joe is currently working on a book for the Pragmatic Programmers on building DSL’s with Ruby.

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