Paul Sobocinski

Software Engineer 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.

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

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

Elenchus: Use and misuse of the Socratic method

Strategic influence: Sales models for effective organizational influence

Constructivism: How Software Engineers learn

  • Work
    • Connected / Thoughtworks
  • Education
    • Queen's University