By this point in the DBC course, I have had the opportunity to pair program with many different individuals, and a few things have caught my attention.
The first item that has struck me during my pairing sessions is how much of my cohort is composed of women. Figuring out how to increase diversity in tech is all the rage - every organization claims to be doing something towards that goal. How much of that is lip service versus actual action is hard to tell. What I am sure about is that - assuming my cohort is exemplary of the rest of DBC - DBC is certainly helping to level the playing field for gender diversity in tech. The numbers are there.
Another of my noticeable experiences from pairing has been how quickly my peers seem to have caught up. I entered the program worrying about how much I would know relative to my class mates. I knew some would be better, but in a fit of delusion I also thought I'd be "better" than average. That might have been true when the program started, but it no longer is. Through my pairing sessions, through the questions my class mates are asking on our Google Plus community, and through a myriad other subtle ways, I have experienced our collective knowledge grow. It has been an inspiration to witness this change in my classmates. The smarter we are collective, the better the opportunities that will be opened to use individually. I am proud of what is happening here.
That is not to say, however, that there have not been some disappointments. I have had two pairing sessions now (a relatively small number) where the individuals were not prepared. I try to give the benefit of the doubt to my pairing partner when that happens. After all, we are all struggling how to balance the demands of DBC with our other responsibilities, and it doesn't always work out exactly right. What does worry me is when I see a pattern of excuses. I believe there is one individual in particular who has gotten off on the wrong foot, and it struggling to catch up with the rest of us. I hope this changes, because as I said before, the better we all are coming out of the program, the better opportunities that DBC graduates will have.