No, the worst single experience I ever had as a developer was three hours of pair programming at Microsoft. I quit my job the next morning, effective immediately, tossing the halves of my cardkey on my manager’s desk. Anyone who orders others to pair program should get a mob beating, the “six months in the hospital” variety.
The months of overwork leading to nervous breakdowns … were distributed over time. Pair programming is the purest sadism. Mentoring, OK; design discussions, definitely; trying to write code with someone close enough for sex, ghastly. Trying to do so with a condescending prick with a quarter my experience, he’s lucky to be alive. I’d eulogized my father two days earlier.
Anyone who says pair programming is OK is someone I will no longer take seriously. Period.