Using Screenhero for Pair Programming Remotely

Before coming to work for Automattic, I pair programmed a lot.  Developers who pair learn from each other in a symbiotic sort of manner.  It’s definitely a good way to get a project off to a fast start and to come to consensus on design and intent.  Once I started working at Automattic, I realized pair programming is less of a reality since we’re all in disparate locations across the globe.  We tend to use code reviews as our way of pairing together on code and making sure the design we discussed in chat came through properly.  We’ve also done screen sharing but never really felt it was effective.

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I recently discovered Screenhero and it’s not much different than screen sharing with Skype or Hangouts except for some simple, but significant differences.

  1. I can see the remote cursor.
  2. The remote can see my cursor and in addition the direction I’m scrolling.
  3. Dead simple to install and connect with people.

The HD video and audio also add to the awesomeness of Screenhero.  I’ve only used it a handful of times and I can already tell you it’s in my arsenal of tools.

The price for individuals is free but there are some team-based features coming like group calls.  Prices aren’t set yet but they’ve mentioned $20/user/month.  Can’t say it’s worth it yet for that price – team sharing might indeed be worth it.

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