Thursday 1 September 2022

How pair-programming brings down knowledge silos

One of the proven ways of eliminating knowledge silos is pair-programming (or pair-testing for QAs). A team of researchers from Pivotal has concluded that a flavour of pair programming with overlapping pair rotation described in “Sustainable Software Development through Overlapping Pair Rotation“encompasses principles, policies, and practices aiming at removing knowledge silos and improving code quality (including discover-ability and readability), hence leading to development sustainability.”

They note that “Conventional wisdom says that team disruptions should be avoided, and that extensive documentation is needed to prevent knowledge loss during team churn. Unfortunately, documentation often quickly becomes out-of-date and unreliable. The theory positions team code ownership with overlapping pair rotation and knowledge pollination as an alternative and potentially more effective strategy to mitigate against knowledge loss”.

From our experience gathered with Traffic Parrot customers, we can confirm these findings and that pair programming can be used as an effective way to eliminate knowledge silos and prevent critical knowledge loss. We have seen pairing developers with testers work equally well at sharing knowledge and helping bring down silos between QA and Development.

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