back to article Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

Microsoft and GitHub on Wednesday announced real-time collaboration in their respective code editors, almost as if they'd been collaborating. Microsoft offered a placeholder rather than a product. Said program tools director Amanda Silver: "We’re working on 'Visual Studio Live Share,' which enables developers using Visual …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pair programming: perpetually training uninterested developers.

    Also, if anyone is desperate for such functionality outside of VS/GitHub, see Gobby:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whereas a large number of individuals producing incompatible buggy code is good?

      Whether pair programming works depends on both programmers.

    2. richardcox13

      > Pair programming: perpetually training uninterested developers.

      Then you are doing it wrong (or you have the wrong people as developers).

      > Gobby

      Does it allow me to share a debugging session from one editor (VS Code) with someone else using a different editor (Visual Studio)? Because this is not just shared editing.

      1. Dyson Lu

        >Then you are doing it wrong (or you have the wrong people as developers).

        The same could be said if you can’t write code by yourself and then meet witth your team members to review and discuss about it.

        But “doing it wrong” or “having the wrong people” are fake arguments because you are basically asking for an ideal situation, e.g. that a team have the same kind of people as developers.

    3. a_yank_lurker

      "Pair programming: perpetually training uninterested developers." or too many cooks ruin the pot.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        No, thank you

        > too many cooks ruin the pot

        We tried this idea at one of my previous employers - pair programming. It was all the craze in the late '90's / early 2000's.

        Think of having someone you don't necessarily like breathing over your shoulder while you're trying to think. Because of workspace constraints, he/she is well inside your space. And he/she makes comments. And he/she has suggestions on how to make code that hasn't been written yet better. He/she can read your thoughts ahead of you. He/she knows that you will be wrong 1 minute and 13 seconds from now.

        After two weeks of this brilliant an innovative way of getting on each other's nerves to the point where changing careers and becoming a pest exterminator sounds like a viable option, half the programmers threatened to quit. That was the end of this ground-breaking experiment.

        If I need to ask someone a question, I send them an email, or I RTFM. Not necessarily in that order. RTFM first is always better.

    4. Dyson Lu

      So damn true. Or: perpetually being not responsable for the code you write.

      It’s sign of the times, now they have kids in elementary school all sit together around a large table to learn as a group. Independent learning and thinking (solo flight of thought), is going to be a skill of the past soon.

  2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    This is old, well-documented MS behaviour:

    1. competitor ships product

    2. Microsoft announces they are working on the same, but more expensive and with "Microsoft" written on it

    3. Easily impressed PHBs decide to wait for the Microsoft one because nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft and what's even better the MS salesman might give them a free pen or - if they get really lucky - a key chain

  3. Rob D.


    I really never thought I'd live long enough for that to be announced as an innovative new creation. Time to start drawing the pension.

  4. HmmmYes

    Ah yes. Pair programming.

    Bluddy hell. What a good idea Hmm, I was told. We need to organise development around pair programming.

    OK, I said, you need to double the number of developers then. As it was a tthat time, the org were stretching 1 developer to 2-3 jobs.

  5. no-one in particular

    Been there, done that

    CodeWright added its CodeMeeting feature back in, ooh, 2002? Earlier? And I don't recall that it was claiming to be the first...

  6. teknopaul Silver badge

    been there done that

    Setup a graphic devenv on a remote VM and share destop with Skype.

    One person leads generally, can take over occasionally and when you want you can swap roles.

    Used to do this as a matter of course for non trivial merges, so the author of any bit of code can always merge in their own bit if there are conflicts.

    No magic tools required.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid idea, coding isn't writing a novel!

    It becomes obvious that the commercially exploited development tools have reached their current limit if companies suddenly try to sell us this kind of crap. Because who in their right mind would use anything like this?

    It's already difficult to administrate a larger team project because although you expect every programmer to do their best to send in flawless code, the reality shows us that everyone can make a mistake. The larger your project grows the more important quality checking will become. And even then most project developers prefer that others (so devs. other than the coder(s) themselves) go over the code manually because humans can often spot certain hiccups better than automations.

    This is also one of the reasons VCS can be so extremely invaluable because it allows you to pick out every single commit to check it out, and also apply full control over it. Something tells me that this kind of failsave won't be part of this monstrosity. At least not the first releases because... If you sell people a fully working product then what's left to sell them at a later time?

    Sure; if you use this system to get someone else to go over your code to spot mishaps then I'm confident that it'll work and can become a valuable tool. But that's not pair programming, one person wouldn't be programing but merely quality checking.

    But to actually program on the same thing together both participants would have to know exactly what the goal is. So: the initial programmer would first have to explain the goal, how to reach it, what to do and what not to do (for example: with Java you'd either want getters and setters or not, or you want private's because this will be stand alone or you recon that it might become part of something bigger so lets go for protected instead) and then also you'd have to divide your tasks. Who does what?

    So my dilemma: wouldn't all that time spend on getting the coding strategy explained be much better spent on the actual coding?

    I wonder how long before we can see this scheme used to excuse ones coding mishaps.. "Yes, the code was crappy as heck but it wasn't my fault. My coding pairing buddy made a mess, not me. So you shouldn't be criticizing me (even though I sent in the code in the first place)...".

    I'll stick to vim for now :P

  8. leftside

    Game changer for remote teams when requiring debugging assistance.

    1. no-one in particular

      Game changer for remote teams

      Care to expand on how it is so much better than any existing method of sharing a screen? VNC, TeamViewer ... and we can apply those no matter what the debugging environment happens to be, not just tied to a single supplier's IDE.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like