While I Compile

… I compile my thoughts about programming

A very simple Pair Programming IP Rights Agreement

Once in 1998, I sat down with my manager (the only manager I’ve ever had who could program), and we banged out some code for about 2 days. It was a very fast paced synergistic activity where one idea fed another and at the end of 2 days our initial idea morphed into something completely different and a heck of a lot better.

Well, tonight 11 years later, I’ve convinced my colleague Ben Alabaster to come over and pair program. I don’t know how it will go, I’ve got high hopes, but I am confident at the end of the night both Ben and myself will be a little better as programmers, and might have even started something worth finishing.

But two things I do know: 1) if we come up with something good, we’re both going to want to use it. And 2) if we ever get to the point of needing an agreement outlining our IP rights, it will be too late to draft one. So, Ben & I threw together some basic rules yesterday. Frankly, I’m surprised I couldn’t find any on the net already, maybe I over think this stuff more than most people, or perhaps it’s because I just didn’t look that hard.

So here’s what we agreed to:

  1. Each of us, individually, is free to use any programming concept shared, discovered, or created.
  2. Each of us, individually, is free to use anything we cocreate as part of a larger project with a significant amount of additional functionality. This can be a personal project, business project, or consulting project.
  3. Each of us must agree to release any code or binaries either as a commercial product or open source. Each of us will share any credit and/or financial profits equally.

I’d love to hear other people’s perspective and comments about this.

Copyright © John MacIntyre 2009, All rights reserved

June 23, 2009 - Posted by | Career, Programming, Team Dynamics | , , ,


  1. It will likely make us better programmers if we can both remain focussed long enough to get anything done 🙂

    Hopefully we won’t kill each other in the process. I reckon it’d be the first pair programming session that ended with a 911 call though, so that could be amusing, HAHA 😀

    Comment by Ben Alabaster | June 23, 2009

  2. I think we should quantify item 3 a little more. We should discuss licensing and sale of the end product as …. [snip]

    Comment by Ben Alabaster | June 23, 2009

  3. In that case, perhaps we should revise it for personal injury. 😉

    Comment by John MacIntyre | June 23, 2009

  4. No problem revising Ben. But we should do it privately.

    Comment by John MacIntyre | June 23, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: