Two people working on the same machine at the same time? crazy! only, not really. But i'll touch on why pair programming works so great in a different post.
This post is about showing a wholly different style of pairing with someone than I'm used to:
Face to face to pairing (they call it screen pairing)
In the post, Brian gives several reasons why he likes this sort of pairing to "traditional" pairing:
The work is more free-flowing and conversational. It’s easier to note the other person’s body language. It’s easier to stop coding, look up, and talk to each other. I found the switching between people more fluid, with fewer episodes where we were both going for the cursor at the same time.
Working on windows, what sort of software would you need to make this kind of pairing work, though?
Is it better than "normal" pairing? I can't say until I've tried, but I can see the upsides, indeed.
One downside could be that you could easily not pay attention to the other person. I also like to point to pieces of code using my finger rather than the mouse - it feels more natural and phisycal. So I'm not sure yet.
How do you pair today? have you tried this?