Technology Solutions for Everyday Folks

Armchair Pair Programming

This past Friday, somewhat out of the blue, I was pinged by a friend about helping him work through implementing what I'd done to date with Certbot...with the additional twist of his own unique configuration challenges.

And so it happened: Saturday afternoon and evening was spent on a multi-hour Zoom call, doing some "armchair" pair programming of sorts. The reality is it was two friends talking through a challenge, speculating about lots of things, and ultimately pinging ideas off each other. Along the way I discovered some Certbot commands I'd overlooked in the past, and so became inspired to make modifications to my existing process for automating with Certbot. I took some notes, and committed to making my own process even better...which is documented in a post that will go live in January 2021.

I didn't tag this post as a technical one, because it's not my intent. The awesome and inspiring bit here is that quite randomly the two of us got together and chatted over an issue. Sure there was an abundance of technical content in that chat, but there was also plenty of other conversation that I've come to really enjoy throughout this pandemic and new world order of sorts.

The goal of our chat wasn't necessarily to solve the problem in question (though my friend did tell me he got it working around the midnight hour following our conversation—hooray!—and the next day I also made improvements related to our shared time), but to chat and share experiences. Ours in this case happened to be technical, but it doesn't have to be. Through this winter season, take the opportunity to talk through your experiences with other folks; help each other with a problem or work through a situation...or even just complain about something. Use the opportunity to connect.