The importance of pairwork in educational and interdisciplinary initiatives

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Goldberg, David E.
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An early and prominent employee of Google, Georges Harik, recently made the assertion that pairs working together in startups are 20 times more productive than individuals working alone. The author has also personally experienced the boost of what is here termed pairwork in a university setting during the startup phase of several educational and interdisciplinary initiatives. The paper briefly explores pairwork in the history of technology and constructs both qualitative and little quantitative models of pairwork. The quantitative model under reasonable assumptions easily recovers Harik’s 20x boost. The paper also briefly examines the author’s recent experiences with pairwork in four interdisciplinary and educational initiatives.