Are you using pair programming to learn from your peers, write better code and save time spent on code reviews? In that case, you might want to make it visible on your digital issue board too. However, in Azure DevOps, you can only have a single assignee per task. Through customizing your process and board you can still show who are working together on a task. Here is how to do it.

The result

Prerequisites

You will need the permissions to change the process that your Azure DevOps project is using. If you don’t have the appropriate permissions you will have to ask an administrator to follow the steps below.

Adding a field to the work item types

  1. Go to “Project Settings” for the project you want to adjust. In the “Overview” click the process associated with this project.
Click the process of your project

Click the process of your project

2. Select the work item type you want to pair on then click “New Field”, choose the “Create a field” radio button. Set the type to “Identity” and give it a name. I suggest using “Paired” or “Pairing with”. Click “Add field” to save.

3. Repeat step 2 for each work item type you want to be able to pair on.

Showing the field on the board

  1. Go to the board on which you want to show paired tasks and click “Configure team settings”.

2. Find the work item type you just changed and click “+ field”. Select the field name from the dropdown.

3. Repeat step 2 for each work item type you changed

4. (optional) Decide if you want the “Show empty fields”-checkbox on or off, this can clutter your board if left on for unpaired tasks, but when off requires more clicks to add a pairing partner.

Show everybody that you are pairing

Now that you have the “Pairing with”-field available, you can set it to whoever your partner is on your next task.

This small change allows you to increase the transparency in your teams: “who is working on what?”. Small customizations like this can make life easier for everyone. What are your favorite tweaks to Azure DevOps?