Wanting to Remote Pair in a Team of One

Wanting to Remote Pair in a Team of One

If you've ever tried pair programming you may have found it a challenge to start but reaped the benefits once you got used to coding alongside another...

But if you work remotely or on your own then it gets harder to do.... As this is my current situation I thought I'd look at what your options are!

Three Challenges

If you're a freelancer, working on an open source project or an a side project and want the benefits of pair programming then the three things you'll need to do Remote Pairing are.

  1. Someone to Pair With Easy if you work in a team, we'll take a look at options if you don't
  2. Project to Pair On You'll need something you're both interested in and proficient in.
  3. Tools to Pair Together This will vary dependent on machine setup and project with many options. We'll tackle these in a follow up post or take a look at the Resources.

Someone to Pair With

Outside of a team or already having a coding buddy you'll need to find someone to pair with. Preferably someone interested in the same problems, someone you can communicate with and someone within 5 time zones. Consider

  • Someone working on the same github or other open source project as yourself
  • http://www.codermatch.me/, a dedicated site for finding pair programmers
  • Reaching out to other coders in your social circle, be it via a Slack channel, Twitter, Meetup Group or even where you work
  • Find something you want to pair On first, and then work out who might be able to pair with you.

Project to Pair On

If you've found someone to pair with then this might already have solved it. Or you might find this and then find someone to pair with

Look at - A side project you're working on already - A new idea, which you want the input of someone else to get started. Or need someone else's encouragement to get started! - An open source project

Remote Pairing Resources

For more information take a look at

  1. https://www.pairprogramwith.me/, which gives a badge to say you welcome pairing requests and has an excellent list of remote pairing resources.
  2. A video (48 minutes) about Remote Pairing at https://rietta.com/blog/2014/01/07/why-and-how-we-remote-pair-program-2013/
  3. A book on remote pairing at https://pragprog.com/book/jkrp/remote-pairing . It's on my read list now.

Next Up

We'll do a follow up with tools at a later point. Share your remote or pairing experiences and get in touch if you're interested in pairing!


Duncan Thomson

A Remote Software and Database Contractor specialised in Umbraco, Duncan works from wherever he finds himself. He is the co-organiser of the Python Exeter and Data Science Exeter meetup groups and speaks about Remote Working, Umbraco, Python and .NET Outside of work he is keen on travel, random generation, foreign languages and good food.

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