I tried it today with someone over IRC (their connection wasn't good enough for Skype) and a shared screen session. Effective. They quickly got me synchronised and we worked wastelessly.
Yeah, I was the other party with genjix, very effective.
I think there is a lot of talk in this thread about master/apprentice coders, I think this would work well but thats not the only use cases(I don't think it was in our case, genjix correct me if I'm wrong).
My problem is I'm a slow developer, I think that I'm quite good at getting the overall picture, while at the same time able to get down into the details of code with no problems, I'm just slow when writing(genjix opinions on this, how would you describe our working roles in this exercise?).
I think more so than being master/apprentice style relationship, it allowed the both of us to get onto the same page very quickly. The communication, the feedback was instant, which made taking action on them really easy and fast. This turns into a kind of feedback loop of fast feedback->fast changes ->fast feedback..... until it's done.
We made a lot of progress on the command line client for the stock market, genjix was pretty much brought completely up to speed on 2-3 frameworks for the server and the server itself, he got me up to speed on bitcoind's json-rpc.
I think that one of the things that sped things up was that genjix was pre-occupied with the implementation, the very small details, getting lines of code to work. While I was thinking about what needs to be done, whats better etc.
Genjix never had to take time out to stop and think "whats the best way to do this?" because I had already done that. Once he'd done one thing, I was ready to give him what we were to move onto next. He had nothing to interupt his flow.
I think pair programming over the net works, as long as both parties are capable, not nessisarily master/apprentice.
We used ssh+gnu screen+vim and irc which worked fine. I think gobby, ssh+gnu screen & irc would work great. If both parties have a good enough connection and a headset then skype would probably be able to replace irc for the better.
genjix, a more in depth analysis of your experience would be great.