Incorporating Pair Programming in a Meteorological Computer Applications Course

Wednesday 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET Online


Casey Davenport, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

In addition to the extensive topical content requirements in a bachelor of science degree in atmospheric science, one of the key skills and competencies that the American Meteorological Society recommends for undergraduate students lies within scientific computing and data analytics. Accordingly, many atmospheric science programs require a computer programming course, taught either "in house" or in a computer science department. Though computer programming may stereotypically be considered a solitary activity, prior work in engineering and computer science have demonstrated the numerous benefits of collaborative programming, otherwise known as pair programming. This approach involves two programmers working together to create a single program; one serves as the driver, writing the code, while another serves as the navigator, leading the driver and reviewing the code as it is written. These roles are switched frequently, and often result in higher quality code completed in less time.

To the author's knowledge, the incorporation of pair programming in atmospheric science computer programming courses has yet to be documented. This presentation will outline the logistics involved in delivering and managing pair programming in a meteorological computer applications course fully online during the Spring 2021 semester, along with its benefits and challenges. Student feedback and student performance compared to prior iterations of the course will also be described.

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