Changelog Interviews Changelog Interviews #488

Mob programming deep dive

We’re talking with Woody Zuill today about all things Mob Programming. Woody leads Mob Programming workshops, he’s a speaker on agile related topics, and coaches and guides orgs interested in creating an environment where people can do their best work. We talk through it all and we even get some amazing advice from Woody’s dad. We define what Mob Programming is and why it’s so effective. Is it a rigid process or can teams flex to make it work for them? How to introduce mob programming to a team. What kind of groundwork is necessary? And of course, are mob programming’s virtues diminished by remote teams in virtual-only settings?


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2022-05-07T03:10:19Z ago

Found this podcast super interesting and unexpected. I had never heard of Mob programming and thought I’d learn some interesting new ideas and lo and behold it turns out we’ve been doing this at our company since pretty much the start.

When I joined the company it was basically a brand new dev team that was building a SaaS product as an ad-on to a small but already successful consulting company. I had worked with these devs at my previous gig and we already had the same background and ideas of what we liked and didn’t like from our previous company. We reported directly to the CEO at the time and he allowed us to basically mold the team and processes as we saw fit. As time went on we added a product manager, a QA (our CEO was our UI/UX person for a while) but we all formed what you basically consider one team. We employed a lot of what you covered in this podcast. Definitely not 100% but my key takeaway was that the team decides what the team needs or should be… and we are very well supported in those decisions.

As our team has grown and added a couple more SaaS products, we’ve spun off team members to different teams but we still have quite a bit of cohesion between the teams. Each team continues to have devs, QA and a product manager that functions as one team that is responsible for their particular product. We’re all remote now but we collaborate as we see fit and each team decides that for themselves. The team I’m on has a Zoom audio only call that we keep open all day and create breakout rooms for any side conversations. Having instant access to our product manager, QA and devs has worked out very well and allowed us to go from start to (almost) MVP in a relatively short time.

We’ve been very successful and a lot our practices are starting to bleed into other parts of the organization based on the success that we’ve had.

Anyways, just wanted to share my experience with you. Great show, keep up the good work.

2022-05-09T14:11:29Z ago

Thanks again for the shoutout, Jerod, and kudos to you all for another excellent episode.

Mob programming truly can be such an excellent way for teams to collaborate; even for loose consortiums of people within open source, I’ve found it a valuable tool for knowledge-sharing, rapid prototyping and iteration.

Would highly recommend which Woody referenced in the show (the light git wrapper which makes handoffs a breeze). Additionally, for people & teams interested in mob programming: it’s a very flexible undertaking! Try it, as Woody said, once or twice a week if there’s interest, and more if that interest grows. As a full-time mob and TDD practitioner, I can say with confidence that our team would be nowhere near as proficient with making changes to, nor as knowledgeable about our products, if not for mob programming.



Ruby Developer aka Joy Developer

2022-05-23T15:12:06Z ago

He made me laugh when he said:

You’ve asked a little bit, and I gave you too much.

Because in my mind it sound like:

You ask, you get hurt.


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