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We are looking for a new way of doing pair programming. It's looks like best way of programming, it is faster and you push out great tested code. But there are some downsides.

Ad hoc items that pop up.
crashing.
back ups.
there is only ever one driver.

What we thought might be the best possible environment is that we have a server running a VM. Both myself and my programming partner SSH inside and run some sort of VNC, or teamviewer locally between so that we can both work on files simultaneously and say one person works on the views and the other works on setting up apache.

So we are looking at working on the same system from two different computer simultaneously. This way we could then when needed link to our other branches and have pairing "systems" that we could like to. Or if someone needs to jump out and work on something else the other person can carry on without him.

What do we need to learn to set up such an environment, or accomplish something like this?

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The point of pair programming is having 2 people work on the same code at the same time. It sounds like you're talking about something different here... –  Baqueta Jan 10 '13 at 14:36
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What you are trying to do isn't pair programming, this is two people working on the same system, which has been done since the stone ages. –  Ryathal Jan 10 '13 at 14:37
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2 Answers

if you use Visual Studio you can use Visual Studio Anywhere https://vsanywhere.com

Has support for Visual Studio 2010/2012, the feature set is great, you can share Solutions, Projects, or isolated project items, both code and Visual Designers for WinForms, XAML, HTML and Entity Framework

Allows to synchronize projects before start working

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For a short time I did some programming on the Eclipse plugin Saros which in their terms allows Distributed Collaborative Editing and Distributed Party Programming.

It synchronizes projects and currently edited documents between up to five participants of a session in real time and does that quite good. Additionally, it provides an integrated chat solution which works over XMPP, allowing you to chat with the other participants.

While it still has some rough edges it mostly does what it should. At the very least it should be much easier to set up than your current envisioned solution with VMs, as it just requires Eclipse and the plugin being installed.

As a benefit, it is open source and thus freely available.

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thanks for the link i am reviewing it now :) –  rob_the_legend Jan 11 '13 at 8:00
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