Psychology in IT. The Human Factor in Pair Programming

Psychology in IT. The Human Factor in Pair ProgrammingThe sphere of IT is full of paradoxes and contradictions. We often expect mathematical accuracy of computer software and forget about the fact that such software is created by people. And software inherit all the same “character traits” as their developers possess, such as pedantry, accuracy, flightiness, inconstancy, reliability and many other features. A perfect team is working like a single coherent body, and the product of its activity appears solid, well-proportioned and harmonious. And of course, there is minimum of defects in such software product. Per contraction, if a software product is developed by poorly organized team in which members are in constant conflict with each other, the quality of such software usually leaves much to be desired.

Help newbies to adopt

That is why it is so important to spend time for special work with staff, to organize team building trainings and to help newbies in adaptation in a new project team. The important aspect is that it is required to pay attention to the specialists of all levels and directions, because on their coordinated work depends the general success of the whole project.

Consider psychological compatibility

There is a widespread delusion, that if there is a team of professionals with huge experience, a software product created by such team will be perfect. And such aspects as psychological compatibility and type of thinking are often ignored in this case. But it is necessary to remember that the human factor in the broadest sense can “pull” the project and likewise “bury” the project. At the initial stage issue tracking programs such as Comindware, can increase the cohesion, but afterwards the special work over improvement of the psychological compatibility of specialists in a team is required for success.

Let’s do it in pairs

psychology in IT

So, let’s look at the process of correct formation of pairs for pair programming. Within pair programming developers solve all problems through joint efforts working side by side. Pair programming will not work in case if a manager does not understand the importance of transition to the new system. A manager should also understand the fact that people are not just vessels with a set of functions but alive persons who are emotionally unstable, might have bad or good mood and so on. It is necessary to take into account such factors when choosing a pair of programmers for execution of joint tasks. According to qualification, there can be formed the following types of pairs:

1. Beginner – Beginner

2. Beginner – Expert

3. Expert – Expert


If pairs of developers are chosen properly, the likelihood of success of the project increases. And the special task management tools will help to coordinate the work of several pairs of programmers within one project. Read more about collaborative workflow management software if you are interested.

Author’s Bio: Hi, my name’s Steward Copper and I am the owner of Project Management Insights. Follow me on Linkedin.