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5 Tips For Pair Programming With Junior Developers

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Many tech teams hired their first junior developers last year. Many more are now considering it, and debating how to go about it. Looking at the community chatter on this topic, it’s clear that onboarding junior devs into a team of mid- and senior-level folks is not a solved problem.

Hackbright mentor Sarah Mei has paired with dozens of junior developers over the years. She is a Ruby and JavaScript programmer, and currently Chief Consultant at DevMynd.

You may recognize her as a frequent Ruby conference speaker, or perhaps you’ve been to a Railsbridge workshop (a non-profit organization that provides free Ruby coding workshops for women, which Sarah founded in 2009).

She shares 5 tips for pair programming success on DevMynd’s blog

“Many tech teams hired their first junior developers last year. Many more are now considering it, and debating how to go about it. Looking at the community chatter on this topic, it’s clear that onboarding junior devs into a team of mid- and senior-level folks is not a solved problem. Hell, my company is heading into its sixth cohort of apprentices, and the question of how to structure their time still provokes passionate debate internally.

The problem is that it all goes wrong so easily. The typical interaction patterns of a more experienced team are mystifying to someone new to all this, and it’s easy for a junior developer to feel unprepared, overwhelmed, and disconnected. Under those circumstances, they can hardly do good work, and your investment in their growth is unlikely to pay off.

I see a lot of teams combat this with pair programming…”

➠ Read Sarah’s full blog post on DevMynd here – “Pairing With Junior Developers”

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Sarah has written a number of blog posts on topics like “Programming Is Not Math” and “Why You Should Never Use MongoDB”. She has also taught Ruby to high school girls and speaks at conferences.

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