PPIG 2010 - 22nd Annual Workshop
Project Kick-off with Distributed Pair Programming
Edna Rosen, Stephan Salinger, Christopher Oezbek
Abstract: Background: More and more software development companies decide to share their workload between teams which are geographically distributed. One of the biggest challenges is to start up work when new team members are introduced at a distant site of a global cooperation. Usually existing development processes do not cover integrating distributed collaboration, hence there is a need to adjust them to make project starts comfortable, easy and fast. A field study was conducted to introduce distributed pair programming (DPP), a derivative of pair programming (PP) in a distributed context, as a new development method to support communication and enhance knowledge transfer right from the beginning of the project. Objective: The objective of the study was to uncover relevant procedures and problems of establishing DPP and to collect supporting procedure steps for future project starts in distributed collaborations. Methods: A variation of canonical action research (CAR) was used to both establish DPP, gather insights and allow feedback from the developers involved. Results: This paper describes the establishment of DPP in a corporate project kick-off. It also reveals some benefits and major problems about distributed collaboration like conflicts in role fulfillment, ambiguity about session goals and missing awareness. Limitations: The validity of this study is threatened by the small number of participants and their particular cultural backgrounds.