Pair Programming Administration
Rules and Procedures for Comp 150

Basic Procedures

Remember, you are being allowed to complete your programming assignments and labs with a partner ONLY as long as you do it following the principles of “pair programming” as described in How to Pair Program.  Each partner should “drive” roughly 50% of the time the pair is working together, and at most 25% of an individual’s effort for an assignment should be spent working alone. Any work done by a solitary programmer must be reviewed by the pair together. The object is to work together, learning from each other, not to divide the work into two pieces with each partner working on a different piece.

You are free to select any other student from your class to be your partner. Make sure that both names appear on all work submitted by the pair. 

You should make a reasonable attempt to remain with the same partner for the entire class. Research studies have shown that it can take several weeks for a pair to “jell” and begin working well together. Changing partners interferes with this jelling process.

When Partner Coordination Does Not Work Out Perfectly

If your partner doesn't show up to a scheduled programming session you may try and complete the assignment yourself. If you complete it, there are several options, which depend on what happened with your partner.  IN ALL CASES, you should clearly document what happened both in the program comments and in the comment field of the log you submit.

Case 1: You do not meet up with your partner before it is time to submit the program. In this case you simply submit the program with only your name on it. If the program was partially completed with your partner before the breakdown occurred, make a note in the program comments indicating your best estimate of how complete the program was before you finished it alone, using a percentage. Also list your partner in the programming log only if you had the program at least 75% completed before the breakup. You should also indicate the breakup in the comments section of the log.

Case 2: Before turning in the program, you meet up with your partner but your partner has NOT yet completed the assignment.

  1. You can submit your own solution and your partner can work alone, completing her or his own solution (as in case 1 above).
  2. You can scrap your solution and work with your partner on a pair solution. In this case your partner must drive and you must review until you have a program that is at least as good as the one you scrapped.
  3. Your partner can work alone until he or she has a solution. At this point it becomes Case 3 below.

Case 3: Before turning in the program, you meet up with your partner and your partner HAS also completed the assignment.

  1. You can each submit your own solution (as in case 1 above).
  2. You can scrap both solutions and redo a combined solution. This is referred to as “flushing.”
  3. You can combine your solutions into a single solution. In this case the work incorporated into the final solution must be carefully reviewed by the partner that did not write it.

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