Blog 2 - Group programming

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I have noticed many benefits to programming in groups. The first is it forces the team to do a good job of organizing the project up front and have clear, defined goals. Having a well-defined structure and goal is a key to any successful programming attempt. As an individual, however, there is often a temptation to jump right in to coding the project. With others involved, this is not possible, as the code would take many spurious routes.
Another advantage is people often have trouble finding bugs in their own code. It looks so natural when they look at it themselves, but a fresh set of eyes can ask the question "why is that line of a different form?" and expose a simple typing error. More sets of fresh eyes can help eliminate painful errors that are difficult to trace.

Team programming also allows us to get the best of multiple skill sets. If, for example, there is an individual talented at pointer manipulation and an individual good at algorithms, they can combine these to create a strong program that is better than either of them could have achieved on their own. This is a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

One of the things that I think is good about team programming but may initially appear as an obstacle is differences in how individuals format the structure of a code. At first, this could appear to be an obstacle in the readability of code. However, it is important to get used to working with other peoples' code, as no large projects are taken on individually. Also, it has helped expose me to new styles that I have adopted or incorporated into my own, as they can feel natural to me.

8 Comments

Partner can help you fix your code when it is buggy, I strongly agree with that because I cannot find any bug in my own program even the bug is a syntax error or a missing parentheses. It's also true that programmer will take each other's advantage when they program in a group.

I feel the same way that partners do help us with fixing errors, especially syntax errors. Fresh viewers often get the point where we miss to check or we take for granted. In addition, I totally agree with the your idea that when program in a group, each of our expertise combine together, that provides a more efficient programming experience.

Han Lu

I can totally relate with you when you talk about the temptation of jumping right into code. I feel very uncomfortable when I spend a lot of time thinking about the problem rather than doing it. Having a team really helps alleviate my fear. I also like what you say about a fresh pair of eyes. When programming in a group I never have simple syntactical errors that I would normally get individually. As for code readability in group work, I think it is all dependent on how you implement it. If much of the work is blocked off and done individually the code might look patched together without much consistency. However if the group sets up coding standards or does much of the coding together, I feel like the code is very readable.

Nicholas Ellis

When can learn from each other when working group. That's great! My partner and I are also good at different things. I have learned many useful skills from my partner, like some useful command utilities, quick computer operations and thinking in different ways. That's why I really like to work in group.

Fangzhou Xu

I agree that formatting the code in different ways can affect readability. Coding standards should be set in place such that the code looks consistent. The naming of variables should be done in a similar way. For example, member variables for data in a class might all start with "m_". In terms of the structure of the code though (i.e. if the "{" goes at the end of a line or on a new line) there are often formatting preferences that can be set in IDEs. Developers can then share the same preferences so that all code written has a more unified style.

-Kevin Mehlhaff

I have to agree with everything that you said. Not being able to just jump right into code without collaborating with a partner is one of the greatest advantages to having a partner. Having clearly defined goals before starting really helps speed up the development process. I had first hand experience with troubleshooting the last code. Having both me and my partner looking at the code helped us debug our segmentation fault and get our iteration 1 up and running.

Jackson Spencer

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This page contains a single entry by pippx005 published on October 13, 2011 1:05 AM.

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