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#juniordevlife: Why pairing matters

Published July 20, 2017

Since I’ve started interning at Ten Forward, I've developed many skills that have helped me become more confident with writing code. Of all the facets that have contributed to me becoming a better programmer, there’s one in particular that keeps me motivated: pairing with a senior-level developer.

Here’s why I think it’s important for senior developers to pair with junior developers.

1.  It helps us build confidence.

Every day, I watch senior developers' fingers run across the keyboard as they write code for team projects. I tune in to our Slack channel, and observe how senior devs troubleshoot a problem and come up with a solution that is, at times, easily fixed for them - though I know it wouldn’t be for me. 

It’s important for senior devs to realize that junior devs are still working to get to this level, and that without some one-on-one time, it can be easy to miss out on (and therefore, not learn from) those solutions.

2. We can add new perspective.

Junior devs understand that that they are not yet highly skilled programmers, we still are working towards getting to that high level. We understand that we’re still learning, but we want you to know that we have good ideas to share that could make things better for the team, and maybe even for the client.

For example, we can help locate bugs within the code, make UX/UI suggestion for client applications and even weigh in on planning for client projects. 

While pairing on a recent project that I’ve been working on, I found not one, but two, bugs, and was able to fix them. This might seem minor for more experienced developers, but on that day I felt as if I could conquer anything.

3. We learn more quickly (and efficiently) when paired with more experienced developers.

My goal in learning programming is to be able to understand how everything in the code is connected. Pairing with senior developers has helped me better understand how sequences of events happen within the code, and this, in turn, has made me more confident in my skills. Thanks to these pairing sessions, I’m catching on a lot more quickly, and have a better understanding all of the moving parts.

Author details

Charielle McMullan

Junior developer