Pair Programming Chairs

by Joey deVilla on August 28, 2008

The development tool company Cenqua have a cute gag ad for a pair programming chair called the “PairOn” — an Aeron built for two:

Cenqua's "PairOn" chair

They list the PairOn’s “key features” as:

  • Fully unit-tested in our ego-free ergonomics lab
  • Essential office furniture for any eXtreme XP Pair (XXPP)
  • Fully adjustable via individual or pair control
  • Can be levered to standup-meeting height
  • 40-hour-week alarm buzzer built in
  • Available in a range of attractive colours

Here’s a pair programming chair that really exists: it’s a set of drawers that doubles as a stool:

TSOT's "Pair Programming" filing cabinate/chair

These are drawer sets mounted on some very good wheels and topped with well-padded upholstery. If you wanted to pair program with someone, you’d simply pull the drawer unit out from under their desk and sit on it. These things were surprisingly comfortable; I’ve spent upwards of two hours sitting on one of these with nary a complaint.

Alas, these aren’t available in stores. They were custom-built for a startup for whom I briefly worked, whose CEOs was more in love with the idea of running a start-up than actually running a start-up. Their last programmer recently ditched them, and I’m hoping to pick up one of these in their bankruptcy sale.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wes August 28, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I think that “the other company” is using the office space, so I’m not sure if there will be a bankruptcy sale. :(

It’s nuts that they had those custom made though.

2 Carsten Nielsen August 28, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Pair programming is good? Ok that’s it everyone we are now ditching the custom made stool-drawers for 30 PairOn chairs. What’s that, they don’t actually exist? Well we will just get them custom made then won’t we. I haven’t felt this right since we bought that load balancer.

3 Ollie Saunders August 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Joey, if that sale does happen.. please, let me know!

4 Julien March 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

They had these same “file cabinet / stool” in the SAP offices of Palo Alto and I loved them.
I keep searching for such a combination for my home office so my kids can sit and do their homework while I keep an eye on them. No success so far …

5 Thea January 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm

I have several of these with a grey body and orange cushion.
They’re used but in good condition. (It would be easy to change the color of the cushion with cool pillow cases since it’s really a tuck under kind of upholstery job)

If anyone lives in NYC and wants to purchase them let me know!

Ps mine are made of heavy duty steel so the body is nearly indestructible and will withstand frustrated kicks, many moves and bumps from other furniture.

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