Pair Programming > Edward Hieatt Bio
As Chief Operating Officer, Edward Hieatt oversees all operational aspects of Pivotal Labs’ consulting business including engineering, client services and the company’s open source product strategy. In this role, he drives revenue growth and performance, and is responsible for managing all regional offices across the US and overseas.
Edward holds a degree in Mathematics from Oxford University, England.
The secret to our growth and success is pair programming
Pivotal Labs is a software consultancy famous for our uncompromising views on Agile Software Development, our open source contributions and our ability to deliver high quality software. We’ve been writing software together with our clients for over 20 years. During this time, we’ve shipped hundreds of complex software applications across every industry vertical, evolved and grown as an organization, and pushed the envelope of the software development process.
A few years ago, we were acquired by EMC, a multi-billion dollar enterprise company, and recently spun out into Pivotal, an exciting new startup creating the next-generation enterprise PaaS platform. We’ve grown to over 400 consultants, with an office presence in nine major tech hubs in the US and now internationally in Toronto and London. We’re also famous for creating Pivotal Tracker, one of the most popular agile project management tools used by over 500,000 people worldwide to help create software.
How pair programming builds great teams and great software
Despite the continual evolution and all the growth, there is one thing that’s at the very core of the Pivotal Labs ethos that has not changed about us. It’s our mission statement and it’s something we value very deeply: to transform the way the world builds software. We love to share what we’ve learned with the community through blog posts such as this one, public speaking engagements, and contribute content to software engineering books and studies. But, most of all, we love to pair program with our clients and “teach by doing.”
Pair programming is Pivotal Labs’ biggest value add
Our flavor of the agile software engineering process includes test-driven development (TDD), continuous integration, daily standups, weekly iteration meetings, and, most importantly, pair programming, all 100% of the time. Pair programming is a software engineering technique in which two engineers work together at one computer, write code, and collaborate on solutions to problems.
Pair programming is one of the most important ways we add value to clients and is perhaps the most common reason clients choose to work with us. The explanation for this is that pair programming enables an incredible amount of knowledge to be transferred between individuals and across entire teams within a relatively short amount of time. Our clients come to us not only to get software written, but also to–simultaneously–train their engineering teams on good software engineering practices, the modern tech stack, and the actual codebase of the application we create together.
A typical project at Pivotal Labs will have 2+ client engineers and 2-6 Pivotal Labs engineers (Pivots). Each day, new pair assignments are created, and, in the course of a project, every engineer ends up pair programming (pairing) with every other member of the team. Doing this every day, 8 hours a day, allows the less experienced members of the team to learn very quickly from the Pivotal Labs experts. Many client engineers describe their time at Pivotal Labs as an intense, transformative experience, akin to getting a graduate degree.
"Discussing problems and solutions with a pair means that bad ideas die quickly, good ideas get reinforced, and maybe ideas have a chance to bloom into their full potential. It’s like full-time, real-time code review with someone you trust."
Pair programming is a big deal at Pivotal Labs. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to attract and retain such a high caliber set of consultants on our staff. It’s how we’ve been able to keep our distinct culture even as we’ve grown past 400 employees. It’s perhaps the most common reason our clients choose to work with us.
"Pairing is beneficial to clients because their developers are the ones writing the code with us, which makes sense, since they’ll be the ones working on it a month from now."
Ultimately, pair programming is what enables us to execute on our mission statement: to transform the way the world builds software. Pivotal Labs shares this philosophy with AirPair and we strongly recommend pair programming as a way to upskill your knowledge, either by becoming a Pivotal Labs client, pair programming with a knowledgeable friend, or with an AirPair expert.