A couple weeks ago, Patrick and I got ourselves into a mental rut. For a few days, Patrick was slaving away on server configurations. I was trying to figure out how we were going to charge credit cards on a monthly basis without storing customers’ credit card information. I started to get in trouble when attempting to merge two unaccepted patches for the Active Merchant Ruby library into something workable. Patrick and I like just about nothing worse than configuring servers and trying to fix unacceptable code. It was eating away at our morale; we could feel it; and it was slowing us down.
One night I wrote an email to Patrick explaining my despair and suggested we work together for a few days. Within minutes Patrick replied admitting that he was just about to write the exact same email.
The following day we pair-programmed our way through the Authorize.Net Automated Recurring Billing patch for Active Merchant. Not only did we see a task drop off our to-do list, we got the morale boost we needed to go back to individual work.