From Peer Review to Pair Programming


Introducing a peer review or pair programming practice into an organization (or project) can be an effective way to improve quality while minimizing culture change. Peer reviews in the form of a code review can be effective way of identifying defects and therefore improving application quality. When establishing a peer review practice, the following can help to ensure success: establishing coding standards; identifying appropriate level of peers; establishing a closed loop defect system to ensure corrective action; and providing requirements and/or defect records to understand why a particular code artifact is being created, changed, or fixed. Pair programming can also be an effective way of identifying defects and in solving problems, thereby improving application quality. When establishing a pair programming practice, the following can help ensure success: identifying appropriate level of peers; finding people that work well together; and focusing on problem solving work. Once you have started either (or both) practices, continually monitor its effectiveness with both metrics and feedback from the people involved for continuous improvement.


1. Peer Reviews in Software: A Practical Guide, by Karl E Wiegers, Addison-Wesley, 2002

2. Strengthening the Case for Pair Programming, by Laurie Williams, Robert R Kessler, Ward Cunningham, Ron Jeffries, IEEE Software July/August 2000 (




About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

Mario Moreira is a Columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an Author, an Agile and CM expert for CA, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the Agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “Software Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at

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