Home > Pair Programming, Test Driven Development > Ultimate Pair Programming Setup might not be so ultimate.

Ultimate Pair Programming Setup might not be so ultimate.

Jeff talks about some of our new ideas and options for improving the old “Ultimate Pair Programming Setup”. Some of the obstacles we are trying to overcome are:

  • VNC lag (why is VNC so slow on a local network?)
  • VNC disconnects
  • Single workstation to ensure complete focus on current task
  • No access to email or IM should force us to take more breaks

Our current thinking as Jeff describes is to somehow configure the hardware to allow the opposite of a KVM switch – in other words – a hardware style VNC – allowing you to connect to any workstation in the pack with your pair. I think some simple moving people around the workspaces woulddo the trick but not every wants to move around.

How do you pair? What is the best configuration you have found?

  1. http://
    February 23, 2005 at 2:05 pm

    why use vnc at all ? a workstation with dual monitors setup to be clones, with 2 usb mice and 2 keyboards.

  2. Darron
    February 23, 2005 at 2:45 pm

    Peter Provost has a good post on the setup he likes. http://www.peterprovost.org/archive/2005/01/25/2607.aspx

  3. Jeff Atwood
    February 23, 2005 at 3:43 pm

    If you do use VNC, you *MUST* use a version of VNC that has a video hook driver to capture video updates at the driver level. It’s easily 10x faster this way.

    I recommend TightVNC, but again, be sure you install that optional video hook driver!

  4. Jeff Schoolcraft
    February 23, 2005 at 4:00 pm

    Daren – we have two Dell workstations with dual head cards 1 Analog and 1 Digital out. We have 4 17″ LCD’s each with 1 Analog and 1 Digital in. We have eight inputs and 4 outputs, which is why I’m looking for DVI Y Cables as they’ve got to be cheaper than $300 DVI splitters (http://tinyurl.com/6gfdh). Also in my post you’ll see we do use USB mice and keyboards.

    Jeff – I’ve been using TightVNC client and server (the others here have been using plain old WinVNC) I’ll have to look into that optional video hook driver. We’d love to see the lag drop out of VNC but that’s only half the problems, continual “de-ViNCing” (dropping VNC connection) is no longer just a minor inconvenience but a major annoyance.

  5. Darren Oakey
    February 24, 2005 at 10:37 am

    We found another solution very useful, especially as we had to pair program across multiple sites.

    We used MSN Messenger, the remote assistance feature. One of us requested assistance, the other responded. We also had headsets and webcams.

    This means we could talk to each other in our own little world, see the expressions as someone says something, and both have equal control over the computer, both having our own monitor, keyboard and mouse, and not having the feeling someone is watching over your shoulder. It works really well.

  6. Java Utilities
    March 5, 2005 at 9:39 pm

    When we do pair programming one person always goes over to the others cube. Seems easy enough to me. I guess it would be harder offsite, but I think offsite you would lose a lot of the advantages of pair programming anyway.

  7. Sebastianos
    September 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm


  8. Ivan
    September 19, 2007 at 4:56 pm


  9. Ivan
    October 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm


  10. Athanassios
    November 3, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Sorry šŸ˜¦

  11. Dighenis
    November 5, 2007 at 9:01 pm


  12. Skyros
    November 9, 2007 at 4:59 pm


  13. Marios
    November 10, 2007 at 1:33 pm


  14. Sebastianos
    November 10, 2007 at 5:23 pm


  15. Lambro
    November 13, 2007 at 4:40 pm


  16. Charalampos
    November 13, 2007 at 5:57 pm


  17. Athones
    November 14, 2007 at 2:22 am


  18. Polyvios
    November 14, 2007 at 7:37 am


  19. Ivan
    November 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm


  20. Anaklets
    November 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm


  21. Moris
    November 19, 2007 at 1:14 am


  22. Titos
    November 19, 2007 at 10:53 am


  23. Costas
    November 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Sorry šŸ˜¦

  24. Ivan
    November 19, 2007 at 1:25 pm


  25. Harrys
    November 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm


  26. Ivan
    November 21, 2007 at 11:16 am


  27. Dino
    November 25, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Sorry šŸ˜¦

  28. Ivan
    November 29, 2007 at 2:39 am


  29. Miltos
    November 30, 2007 at 2:05 am


  30. Vasilis
    December 6, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Sorry šŸ˜¦

  31. Halu
    December 25, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Sorry šŸ˜¦

  32. Anninos
    January 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm


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