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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Applying Pomodoro technique during Pair Programming


What is Pomodoro ?
Recently I learned a technique to improve the productivity and efficiency of my day to day activities. This technique called Pomodoro technique is not a new one, however I have rarely come across people practicing it. It has been two days since I learned this technique and started practicing it, trust me, it is a life changer.

The 5 minute overview of this technique could be found here. Interesting thing I found about this technique is, it has some of the characteristics of Agile methods.

To name a few,
  • Time boxed Iterations
  • Review at the end of the day and feedback to improve for next day
  • Sustainable pace
Applying it on Pair Programming
I also found that this technique could be used while pair programming. As we know, during Pair programming, one of the recommended practices is to change the pair's role once in a while. By applying Pomodoro during pair programming, one could change the roles every 25 minutes with 5 minutes break after that. Even though 25 minutes rule is just a recommendation, I felt that to begin with 25 mins time boxing is really optimal. More information about applying this on pair programming could be found here

The Challenge
During the initial pomodors, I found it really hard to work continuously without getting distracted, either mind comes with new thoughts , some work, etc or some one comes to disturb.

Software influence
The author recommends using Pencil, Paper and the kitchen timer (pomodoro) for tracking the sessions. However being a software person, it is tough to keep your eyes off the spreadsheet/word doc. I don't have a kitchen timer at home, however I am using a software timer to keep track of the time.

4 comments:

Jim Remsik Jr said...

Can I recommend http://tomatoist.com?

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks for sharing the link Jim. Tomatoist is a very simple and elegant tool for pomodorists.

paircoaching said...

I refer a real kitchen timer, because people that want to disturbe me can see how long I'm still busy.

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks PairCoaching(http://paircoaching.wordpress.com/). I am assuming you are trying to say "Prefer" in your comment instead of "refer". It could be a typo.