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Why Every Development Manager Should Pair Program With Their Direct Reports

Why Every Development Manager Should Pair Program With Their Direct Reports
Photo by Tyler Nix / Unsplash

Development managers today don’t understand the outputs of their teams. And too often the answer is another status meeting.

But there’s an easier way to stay close to what your team is doing.

Frequently working with members of your team

Pair programming with individuals on your teams is the easiest way to understand:

Understanding #1 – How they’re doing the work

It’s easy to assume – or hope – that your team is following best practices.

But you need to see how individuals are applying their skills to solve specific problems. It’s an opportunity to identify areas of improvement or proficiency. And it helps you understand the subtle differences between members of the team.

Pairing with your team will help you deeply understand the skills of your team.

Understanding #2 – The challenges they’re facing

You probably recently resolved a problem that could have been easily fixed if caught early on.

So many developers run into tiny little problems that are easy to ignore. But over time they compound and become like boat anchors for productivity. That’s why managers benefit from identifying (and solving) problems early and often.

Pairing with your team will help you uncover these time-wasting problems,

Understanding #3 – The outputs they are producing

There’s more to a software team’s output than stories and tasks.

Behind the user stories there’s a whole system being created with each new line of code. And that system has to be maintained, changed, scaled, secured, and delivered to users. So how can you manage all of the risk and help make decisions when you don’t understand what’s being produced?

Pairing with your team gives you the key insights into the overall system to understand what needs your attention.