Paul Sobocinski

Engineering Director in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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People over process.
Creativity beats efficiency.
Habits before goals.

Me in a nutshell

I support professionals in their pursuit of technical excellence in Software Engineering practices. I believe in fostering professional growth through skills-based learning; I also believe that Technical Coaching plays a crucial role in unlocking our full potential as Software Engineering professionals.

Selected writings

Here are some of my recent articles organized by topic. You can find more of my writings on Coder Spikes, my personal blog.

Pair Programming

Maximizing Pair Programming Flow: Using the four conditions of Flow to improve pairing effectiveness

Flow in Software Engineering: Should we avoid it or embrace it?

The Enigmatic Navigator: What are they actually supposed to do during a pairing session?

Pairing with a Subject Matter Expert: How doing so can address the root causes of technical debt

Strong-Style Pairing: Overview, benefits, and usage contexts

Pairing Themes: Demystifying pair programming for novices

Ping-Pong Pairing: The foundational pairing style

Pair Programming Misunderstood: How I thought it wasn't for me, until it was.

Product Teams

Silo-ball, Async Fixation, and Deep Work Obsession: An emerging set of anti-patterns in the age of remote work

The "Hero" Anti-pattern: And how to prevent it on product teams

Product Team Anti-patterns: And how pair programming may help

The Importance of Creativity on Product Teams: How creativity can apply to team retrospectives

Test-Driven Development and Specification by Example: Change-resilient alternatives to phased planning approaches

Planning in Phases: Intuitive, yet wrong for software development

Coaching and Teaching

Learning Archetypes: A learning and facilitation aid for skills-oriented workshops such as coderetreat

Collaboration in the Problem Space: Using the CEDAR model for effective one-on-one feedback

Lessons from an Education Revolutionary: How both software and education can thrive in the face of change

Learning Frameworks for Skills Acquisition: Avoid habits that lead to progression plateaus

Habit-based Goals: A goal-setting approach for Software Engineers

  • Work
    • Thoughtworks
  • Education
    • Queen's University