I work with one other person on a project. We are both new and inexperienced, and we feel our output will be more efficient by working together.

By working collaboratively, I feel we spend too much time in one area of the project, as one of us may be slower at understanding this new component/technology.

Is there a way to increase our output capacity while allowing both of us to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to understand each piece of the project?

As we use different approaches in studying a topic, we feel each one's stuck on a thing as a diversion to another. There are no missed deadlines, I just find it frustrating. I am an embedded software engineer.

  • 1
    What is a fresher? Jan 16, 2013 at 11:38
  • 2
    @PaulBrown it's a (primarily Indian) term for a new and inexperienced employee, I believe. Jan 16, 2013 at 12:07
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    i edited the question so it is understandable. Please feel free to roll back the changes if you think I missed your point
    – squeemish
    Jan 16, 2013 at 13:22
  • ya.. Fresher implies inexperienced employee. Thanks for the edit. (What have i missed in asking this question? In essence, How can i improve to ask a nice question like the one u edited?) Jan 16, 2013 at 15:46
  • your initial question was good substance, I only assume English is not your first language from the original posting. Just more practice :)
    – squeemish
    Jan 16, 2013 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


Given that in your profile you list yourself as "Engineer" and that you have accounts at Stack Overflow and at Programmers I assume you're in .

I think you need to consider that the speed of the development probably isn't the most important thing here.

By working together, you will both improve, you'll get used to collaborative working and you'll both end up with a better understanding of the overall project than you would if you picked sub-topics each.

Your question isn't clear if there are actual hard deadlines or if you find it frustrating - my guess would be you find it frustrating but how to deal with these situations re exactly the kind of soft skills that you need in the workplace so I'd take advantage of any collaborative effort you can.

  • +1 - and if you're constantly being delayed with making many decisions, alternate days on who gets the deciding vote.
    – user8365
    Jan 16, 2013 at 14:00
  • "speed of the development" hm. There is nothing in the question that indicates OP is in software industry or "develops" something, whatever this could possibly mean
    – gnat
    Jan 16, 2013 at 14:36
  • Fair point - this answer is aimed at the software industry.
    – Michael
    Jan 16, 2013 at 15:34
  • There are no deadlines. Am an embedded engineer. Jan 16, 2013 at 15:49

There are two ways I have used in the past to get around this problem (particularly when my team has been lumped with a new software package and we’ve all had to get ourselves up to speed quickly):

Pair programming / buddy working is a great way of learning if you are both able to spend time simultaneously on the task – this enables a live review of each other’s work and anything that comes up which is unexpected can be addressed immediately. As problems are identified immediately and addressed at the same time, there is less wastage in terms of resource, and tasks will typically be finished to a superior quality.

Knowledge share / learning library: this is better if you are not able to work together on the same task as the same time. The key benefits of this approach are that by documenting wat you have learned in a way that can be easily understood by others, you become more comfortable with the key concepts. If you are going to use this approach, setting aside some dedicated time to run over what you have learnt that week with your colleague can be incredibly useful as discussing concepts is usually a better way for the other person to learn than simply by reading a guide. This reduces wasted time as you can both learn independently but still have access to learning that you might not have done yourself.

  • As we use different approaches in studying a topic, we feel each one's stuck on a thing as a diversion to another. So I think I go with the second approach where we share our learnings at the end of the day (last two hours) :) Jan 16, 2013 at 16:08
  • @Dibstar now that question is clarified as software related, have to admit your original version gave some really good insight for this clarified context, with the references to pair programming and codinghorror.
    – gnat
    Jan 16, 2013 at 17:07
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    @gnat - agreed: I should learn to not presume that everyone here has arrived from stackoverflow! :)
    – Dibstar
    Jan 16, 2013 at 19:15

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