Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why many of us dislike Pair Programming

From Extraversion and introversion on Wikipedia:

An extravert is energized when around other people. Extraverts tend to "fade" when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. Extraverts tend to think as they speak. When given the chance, an extravert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think...

An introvert is energized when alone. Introverts tend to "fade" when with people and can easily become overstimulated with too many others around...

Acting, teaching, directing, managing, brokering are fields that favor extraversion...

(Introverts) often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, and using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer and inventor are all highly introverted...

Some careers such as computer programming may be more satisfying for an introverted temperament, while other areas such as sales may be more agreeable to the extraverted type.

6 comments:

William Mitchell said...

Agree regarding pair programming, but some of the other categories are altered by new technology.

For example, outsourcing allows introvert designers to manage, because they can bid out, negotiate and track largely by email.

So until global salaries equilibrate, we have a weird situation in which the US-based introvert manages (for love of design), and the India-based extravert programs (for love of money).

Eric Rollins said...

The affects of technology on extraversion and introversion are interesting and complicated. It isn't clear what sub factors make extraverts fade when alone and introverts fade in groups. The wiki article mentions "warmth, affiliation, positive affect, excitement seeking, and assertiveness/dominance seeking", to which I would add physical or vocal presence, and constant interruption. The telephone enables remote vocal presence (salesmen seem to thrive as cold callers :-), and text chat can provide constant interruption. Technology can also asynchronously provide some of the benefits of pair programming. An example is the Google Mondrian web-based code review system.

Others have commented on the desirability of the management skills of World of Warcraft guild leaders. Should spending hours in WoW be considered extraverted or introverted behavior? What about differences between questing alone, and participating in guild raids using text or voice chat? And technology like the unmanned predator aircraft is turning many non-computer jobs, such as air force pilot, into video games.

Eric Rollins said...

The Wikipedia entry on Flow in Psychology is also interesting. I have always thought of flow as a solitary phenomena, but it asserts that "a group could work together so that each individual member could achieve flow."

William Mitchell said...

It's true. Persistent introversion notwithstanding, I have experienced "group flow" twice: broomball and rock band. Note that neither requires talking. :-)

Eric Rollins said...

Of course there's always 2-player Flow on the PS3...

William Mitchell said...

I won't discuss my other 2-player flow experiences.