One of the most important parts of Epicodus is pair programming, which we do every class day except for days where students are working on independent projects, which you'll complete on your own without assistance.. 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. Pairing online is very similar to pairing in person. Here's how to pair online at Epicodus:
Every class session, you'll need to find a pair or group of three from within your dev team. Dev teams help our students get organized each week and encourage students to build community and help each other solve problems. You can find a pair from your dev team in the following ways:
- During your dev team standup, you can plan who will pair up for the day. This is usually how students get organized during the very first week at Epicodus.
- Dev teams often have a group direct message set up. Instructions on how to set up a group direct message are located in this lesson about direct messages in Discord. Once a group direct message is set up for your dev team, you can send text messages saying that you are looking for a pair for the day. If anyone in your dev group has already sent a text message stating that they are looking for a pair, we recommend checking in with them first about pairing for the day before sending out a text message of your own.
- Alternatively, you can join a dev team voice channel and wait for a pair, or find a dev team 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.
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. We will be using VS Code throughout the program and you'll also have a chance to practice using VS Code with your pair before we start using it for writing code. 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.