Lesson Weekend

One of the most important parts of Epicodus is pair programming, which we do Monday through Thursday every week. Pairing online is very similar to pairing in person. Here's how to pair online at Epicodus:

  • After standup, you'll need to find a pair. You can do so in one of the following ways:

    • Send a text message in your cohort pairing channel that you are looking for a pair and wait for another student to reach out to you. The text pairing channel for your class combines an abbreviation of the month your class started with pairing. For instance, if your class started in March, you'd go to the mar-pairing text channel to find pairs to work with.
    • Find someone who has already sent a text message in the cohort pairing channel and make arrangements to pair. At that point, find the lowest numbered open voice channel and join that channel together. For instance, if both mar-pair-2a and mar-pair-3b are open, take the mar-pair-2a channel. You can join the voice channel by clicking on it. If you need to switch to another voice channel, just click on that channel to move over to it.
    • Alternatively, you can join a voice channel or find a voice channel where one person is waiting for a pair. In this case, either text the person in the channel or check in via the voice channel to confirm that you can pair for the day.
    • We require that students pair with each other. If we have an odd number of students, we’ll ask you to work in a group of three. You can find pairs in the cohort pairing channel and then move to an unclaimed pair channel to complete daily work together.
    • Each channel has a letter appended to it. For instance, mar-pair-9e and mar-pair-10e. In addition to you and your pair, you will also work with another pair as your first line of defense when you have questions or need help debugging. Your group includes everyone pairing in a voice channel with a matching letter (such as e, g and so on). You are welcome to ask other students questions as well but it's recommended to always check in with the other pair in your group first. This way, you can collaborate with each other throughout the day.
  • Next, one of you will start a project and share it through VS Code with your pair. You'll each be able to type on the same file at the same time, similar to Google Docs. To share your screen in VS Code ("Start a Collaboration Session"), follow the instructions below:

    • Click "Live Share" on the bottom menu bar and select the "Sign in through GitHub" option at the top of the window. You will be redirected to GitHub.
    • Click the big green button, allowing VS Code to use your GitHub login. Say yes to any pop ups.
    • This will begin a Collaboration Session. A window will pop up in the bottom-right corner indicating your session has begun and that its link has been copied to your clipboard.
    • Send that link to your pair (you can send a direct message in Discord).
    • To join a Collaboration Session from your pair, simply click the link they send and sign in through GitHub. Say yes to any pop ups.
    • Note that you can't share an unsaved file, so make sure to save the file that you're working on before you start the a sharing session.
    • Make sure to communicate with each other regularly about who is "driving." (The driver is the one typing code.) If you are not driving, make sure you check in with your pair before you start typing. Each student should drive for about the same amount of time each day - regardless of skill level. We recommend changing drivers every 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Use voice chat in Discord to talk with your pair. If you have an accessibility issue or need accommodations other than voice chat, please let your teacher know.

  • Teachers will join your Discord pairing channel and check in periodically. You can post questions in the #questions channel. Teachers will monitor this channel and you're welcome to answer other students' questions there as well!

In the next lesson, we'll discuss online pairing etiquette and steps you can take to make sure you and your pairs have positive pairing experiences.

Lesson 4 of 12
Last updated August 14, 2020