#PivotalVoices is a series where we talk about how and why people came to technology. This week we feature Matthew Kleiman, an engineer in our New York office.
“One learning disability that I have is dysgraphia, which is the inability to handwrite things. This was when I was younger, before I could type effectively. My mom would help me — I would dictate to her in order to write an essay… I look back, and it’s kind of a form of pair writing. I would work with her so it wasn’t just like she was writing just what I said. No, we were bouncing ideas off of each other. If I made a grammatical error, she would catch it as she was writing it. It’s very similar to the way pair programming is a form of peer reviewing in the moment of the work.
My mom passed away when I was in high school, but had she not paired with me like that, I wouldn’t have been able to continue in college, and in life. For some reason I never thought to bring those coping mechanisms that worked so well when I was younger into my daily life as an adult…
In my most recent job search, I stepped back and really thought about all the things that I needed to succeed in a career. That’s when I realized, hey, here are things that used to work for me — where can I find them in the real world? Is that even possible? I didn’t necessarily know it was possible. By doing some research I found pair programming; and then I thought if pair programming is something that I think is a good idea, and I want to validate that, where should I go? Pivotal is the number one place for pair programming, and that’s why I chose to work here.”