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CS2341 Spring 2001 Final Exam Review: Pair Programming v. Divide and Conquer

See Final Exam Sample Problems/Questions

Comments, answers, questions, criticisms?

Why is Divide and Conquer not effective? I can see how a communication gap can breach, but if you have a solid, defined interface between two modules, I don't see the problem. When I took Game Programming in Spring of 1999, Sanjay and I took our task and divided it into two sections which we pretty successfully completed on our own.

I think Mike's talking about attributes of successful teams. A pure divide and conquer approach inherently separates individuals within a team. What Mike wants you to think about are the differences with this approach and a pair programming approach as it relates to distributed cognition. Most software development teams are larger than we're used to at school, problems are bigger and more complicated. Successful development teams need to think beyond getting things to work. Solutions need to be the best approach, innovative, and futuristic in nature. Pair programming is one approach that enhances sharing thought processes and "distributing cognition over the person AND the person's environment." Kathy Gray
Pair programming is very different from the fundamental team project effort(divide and conquer). One person is the driver and the other is the navigator. The driver does the programming and the navigator looks at the code and tries to develop test cases. After a certain period of time, they switch and the roles are reversed. This aspect of team development has some advantages and disadvantages.

  • The standard of code is very good leading to less time required to test the program.
  • You can figure out the most complex aspects of the projects and tackle them better.


  • More time is required to code the project.
  • Lack of design and planning. Can lead to problems later on.

    Bharath Hemachandran Abbas Mooraj

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