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Ping Pong vs. Foosball


Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 28 Jun 2011 at 11:06

 In the Agile Software development world, Ping Pong is somewhat of a meme. There is even an paired programming Test Driven Develeopment (TDD) practice called "Ping Pong". In this practice, two programmers work together on the same software feature; one writes automated tests that pass when the feature has been implemented properly, the other writes the actual code that implements the feature.  
The two compete to some degree to outwit each other, turning a complicated problem into an engaging intellectual game. Whether the game or the development practice came first, one often sees paired programming teams near Ping Pong tables. Pivotal Labs, a Ruby on Rails practice in San Francisco, was one of the first development firms that I noticed doing this, although it was fairly common practice by the time they started.


(Photo Above: Ping Pong played as singles)

I would argue, however, that foosball is more appropriate in practice as a complement to paired programming. In the case of foosball one sees the more common practice where a pair of developers work in co-operation (rather than competition) with each other to "win", although they do win against another pair. Ping Pong can be played with as a "doubles" game, but I very rarely see this done.

(Photo Above: fooseball played in pairs at East Agile)


Table Football is commonly called foosball, fussball or even foozball. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_football.

Ping Pong and Agile Software Development: Search

1 comment
  1. Hieu Le - May 17 2013

    Great environment! If i can use good english i will apply my CV to your company! I love Ruby on Rails but... What a pity!

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