Jeff Langr talks about his experiences in Pair Programming Observations. Some interesting perspectives on pairing developers of different skill levels, the benefits to different stakeholders and best practices when pairing.
At Thycotic, we practice pair programming on a daily basis. I have also used pair programming as an interview technique as Jeff describes - this actually ties in well with Nick Corcodilos' philosophy on job interviews, where he emphasizes to 'do the job' in the interview.
The benefits of pairing as an interview tool:
- Verify the person's experience (How well do they know the development tools? Do they know the quirks? Can they setup a new project?)
- Lots of opportunities for informal questions as you work through some code. You can also dig deeper to determine their level of understanding in critical areas.
- The code being worked on provides context for any questions that come up. This gives the candidate a better understanding of the question you are asking. Nothing worse than crazy interview questions that make no sense!
- Get a feel for their personality when coding ... are they team compatible, etc.
- Requires a strong developer (interviewer) to lead the pairing session.
What is your experience with pair programming as an interview technique?
Blog spam sucks but being hosted on weblogs.asp.net doesn't leave a lot of options at the moment. Blog spam could seen as a personal attack on your good nature and an attempt to mess with your small expression outlet to the rest of the world? Wiki spam on the company wiki however, is outright war! :-)
Thanks to Jeff for pointing me towards Miguel Jimenez's Clearscreen SharpHIP HIP-CAPTCHA Control. (More on Captcha technology here).
Miguel's Captcha code takes the form of a custom WebControl which should make it very easy to integrate into most ASP.NET applications. Add it to a form, simple validation and the post doesn't go through without the right Captcha response.
Problem: Browsing the FlexWiki code base I realised that it doesn't really use the WebControl/Postback/Validation model. The entire page is rendered by the DoPage method. Does this strike anyone else as odd, since FlexWiki started as an internal Microsoft application?
Solution: My attempts at dynamically loading the control or placing it on the .aspx all failed since FlexWiki doesn't use a server side <form>. Finally I gave up on the control and used the HIPCodeGenerator class directly.
- Follow Miguel's installation instructions in readme file of the 1.1 release (the readme isn't in 1.2)
- Download my modified FlexWiki wikiedit.aspx code behind here.
- Note the new AddHipCodeToPage and IsValidHipCode methods.
- There are also some small changes to the processing of DoPage to ensure the Captcha is enforced.