You’ve probably heard of pair-programming — it’s where two developers work on the same problem to learn from each other, and solve difficult problems faster. According to Wikipedia, some of the reasons more unique answers can be derived from pairing are:
the programmers bring different prior experiences to the task; they may access information relevant to the task in different ways; they stand in different relationships to the problem by virtue of their functional roles.
These are the same reasons why diverse engineering teams are more productive (read: profitable).
I’ve found my personal projects also benefit from others being involved. Apart from bringing another perspective to the project, having another person working with you makes you more accountable, and more likely to continue working on the project/product.
How many side projects have you started and didn’t finish? For me, it’s definitely more than I care to mention. I have a hundred ideas, and only a few hours a day to work on them (if I get lucky). Having a project partner helps you to scope dow those ideas and stay on track. You’ve got someone you’re working with who is also dependent on your participation.
And its also just more enjoyable to get to work with your friends. Think of it as an additional opportunity for bonding and staying in touch. While both me and my podcast cohost moved out of Austin, TX where we met and started the show, we still get to catch up at least every other week. I really value our personal conversations surrounding the content preparation, and it makes the project more enjoyable to work on, giving it longevity. It’s been over 2.5 years since we started the show! And I know there’s no way I would have been able to keep it going that long if I was working on it alone.
I know this as evidenced by my many projects that had a good run but of course ended, and that’s also okay. If you can find some peers to work with, pair-projecting can be really fun and educational all at the same time. I know I always learn a ton from doing it.
Some pair-projects I really enjoy:
Data Sketches by Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu BaseCS Podcast by Vaidehi Joshi and Saron Yitbarek Regina Black Typeface by Design Duo Charles&Thorne