Our project’s bus count was two, until I broke my wrist on a snowboarding trip. I was left needing someone to help me with life’s basic necessities: putting my coat on, opening a bottle of red, and typing on a computer.
I can’t think of any programmers who wouldn’t be frustrated at not being able to physically code, I was certainly no different. My tried and true methods of throwing together some pseudo code, writing a failing spec, or just jumping on Github, weren’t options anymore. I had to turn to talking and expressing my opinions in spoken words, like I was in a play or something.
We got through it and ended up finding a nice rhythm. I learned to communicate more effectively and would spend more time thinking about the long term impact of stories instead of keeping my head in unspoken or unwritten implementation details.
I’ve since regained use of my hand and I’m writing this blog myself (the plan was to have my long suffering pair Meskers do it for me). Even though I’ve started catching myself going for the keyboard when I “know the solution”, I try to stop myself and remember that it can be more effective to talk things through.
I encourage you to give up the keyboard when you next find yourself pairing, see what you learn from it.