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I love pair programming. However 2 out of the 3 major pair programming exercises I have had were a disaster. Both were with people who were way advanced in the craft of what we were working on, but also unfortunately had piss poor communication skills. This meant that they would either mumble to themselves and then write a stream of code which I would struggle to follow. Alternatively, when I took over the keyboard, I could sense the impatience that they really wanted to pull the keyboard away from me and it would end up them dictating code to me rather than us discussing through the whys of a potential solution. The point I am trying to make is that some people just can't pair program, they either need to be trained to pair program or rather need to be helped to do this in a way that their productivity is not hampered.

how did this turn out in the end? Are you still with the team? And if yes, how did you cope with the knowledge difference?

I didn't pair program with those specific people again, instead we just split up chunks of work and I learnt more faster. Upon reflection, I still believe the failure is specific to how those people think and work through solutions.

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