Closet Coder

I work in my closet. I code. Yep.

Practical Pairing


As developers, we often find ourselves alone. Keyboards lend themselves to single users. Screens, ideas, and configurations are all difficult to share. But ‘Pairing’ has been shown time and time again to improve the quality of code written and the skills of those involved more so than doing it alone.

But you may not be at a place where you can pair easily or readily. What if you’re a remote worker? What if your company doesn’t see the value and discourages such ‘wastes of time’? What if you aren’t even a professional developer yet… you’re just trying to learn? Where do you start?

It can be intimidating, frustrating and difficult to remote pair. This talk addresses the following issues to help everyone experience the awesomeness of pairing, no matter what situation they are in.


Issues Addressed

  • Technical
    • Editors
    • Screen Sharing
    • Networking
    • Audio/Video
  • Logistical
    • Finding a Pair
    • Scheduling a Session
    • How long
    • What to work on
    • Who should drive/navigate
  • Attitude
    • Feeling inadequate
    • Feeling superior
    • Feeling frustrated
    • Establishing Empathy
  • Benefits
    • Learning a new technology
    • Leveling up
    • Learning to teach
    • Finding like-minded developers
    • Experiencing different cultures (programming and otherwise)
    • Finding future coworkers


I hope after this talk, everyone walks away prepared and exited to go learn by pairing.


Mark has been a professional developer since 1999 and a full-time Ruby developer since 2008. He has been the technical lead at two different companies and currently works at Upworthy as a Senior Engineer. He works from home full-time. Mark enjoys playing drums and guitar and hanging out with his wife and 4 kids.