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Pairing is caring

Par Syamala Umamaheswaran et Virginie Caplet

Conférence (50 mn) :
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Le sujet

“It takes 2 to tango!” This could be the motto of pairing: 2 for thinking, 2 for daring, 2 for learning, 2 for growing. One navigator who asks questions, challenges ideas, and anticipates the upcoming journey; one driver who generates ideas, and executes. Our universe is full of successful pairings: Chewbacca and Han Solo, Mulder and Scully, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Lennon and McCartney, Holmes and Watson, you name it…

Pairing is a great way of encouraging various combinations of styles and perspectives, and mutually vulnerable behaviors. Through shared ownership and active collaboration, team members can practice and grow their hard and soft skills together. Pairing brings back humanity in the art of building software product and exits the super hero mindset. While becoming more humble and having more empathy towards each other, we become more comfortable sharing ideas, trying things together, and learning inside out.

Specialized literature and studies mostly promote the positive impact pairing can have on quality, knowledge sharing, individual growth, empathy, and team morale. However, the practice doesn’t have a similar positive reputation in the field: opinions about pairing among engineers are pretty mixed, and very rare in the product community.

Shyamala and Virginie, respectively Software Engineer and Product Designer at the Volkswagen Digital:Lab where pairing is a by-default working mode, want to share with you their experiences –good and bad, the best practices they discovered or validated along the way, and some tips to get you started or to improve your pairing. Whether you are engineer, designer, product manager, or team lead, we got you covered!

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