The Value of Pair Programming in a Coding Bootcamp (and Beyond)

Two people pair programming at their computers.While you can learn to code on your own, there are advantages to learning alongside others. In a coding bootcamp, for example, you learn from professional engineers in a structured, strategic manner while focusing on important programming skills.

As part of that process, you’ll leverage a method known as pair programming. This common practice is used in many professional settings and will help you learn to code, communicate more effectively, and work well with teammates.

In this post, we’ll define pair programming and discuss ways that learning how to do it can benefit your career, both short- and long-term.

What is pair programming?

Coding is often a solo adventure (which many programmers appreciate). Pair programming, however, allows coding to become a more social and collaborative process, which can appeal to programmers who want variation and enjoy combining minds and energy toward a common goal.

How pair programming works is simple: two coders work on the same code at the same time. They work together on designing and testing software to ensure a higher-quality final product with fewer errors, bugs, mistakes, and other problems.

While there are other ways to engage in pair programming, the most common is the “driver/navigator” setup. This is when one person (driver) writes code while the other (navigator) supports their work, provides suggestions, and watches for errors. Pair programming can be done in person or remotely (as we practice in our online coding bootcamps).

Why is pair programming a good way to learn coding?

From a coding perspective, pair programming has many benefits. It creates higher-quality code with fewer bugs and improves team communication so people stay in sync throughout the development process. It also amplifies collective ownership of the code, which can improve overall accuracy and quality.

Additionally, pair programming is known to help people stay on task, as each coder has someone counting on them to maintain efficiency throughout the process. Pair programming can even reduce mental logjams because someone is there to provide suggestions or ideas when the driver is stuck. This lowers frustration and (once again) enhances quality.

Another huge benefit comes during the training phase when you’re still learning to code. This is because programming encourages students to explain their reasons and methods as they move through code. By doing this, they’ll receive real-time supportive analysis from a peer. This helps develop a broader understanding of programming. You and your partner can bounce ideas off each other and learn different points of view. You may even learn a new skill or technique, all while gaining the satisfaction of sharing a new skill with others.

Pair programming won’t teach you to code on its own. You’ll also do solo work and learn in other ways, but pair programming is valuable for learning to clearly communicate your ideas and reasons for doing things. This can be critical to launching and sustaining a new career.

How pair programming prepares you for real-world work environments.

Pair programming can help you develop skills used by companies and organizations around the world. These companies often leverage pair programming to enhance their code and team performance. It’s valuable to learn this method before entering the workforce – and when you attend a coding bootcamp that trains using pair programming, you’ll graduate prepared for whatever fast-paced professional environment you enter.

Get Job-Ready in a Coding Bootcamp

If you’re ready to develop your coding skills and prepare for a new career, learn more about our coding bootcamps for beginners. You can get started today by taking our five-question Aptitude Test!

Margaret Green



Written by Margaret Green,
Technical Skills Development Manager