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What is Mob Programming?

Mob programming is a software development practice where a group of people work collaboratively on the same task, using one computer and one keyboard. In a mob programming session, the entire team is gathered in the same physical or virtual room, and they take turns sharing the keyboard and the mouse.

The idea behind mob programming is to leverage the collective knowledge and expertise of the entire team to solve complex problems, create high-quality code, and improve overall productivity. Mob programming enables team members to share their ideas, perspectives, and approaches to problem-solving, leading to better decision-making and faster problem resolution.

Mob programming sessions typically involve a facilitator or a moderator who helps guide the team and ensure that everyone is involved and contributing. The facilitator also helps manage the process of rotating the keyboard and ensures that the code is being written in a consistent and maintainable way.

In mob programming, there are typically four roles: the driver, the navigator, the facilitator, and the observers.

  1. The Driver: The driver is the person who is actively typing on the keyboard and implementing the code. The driver should follow the instructions of the navigator and should not make any changes to the code without the approval of the navigator and the rest of the team.

  2. The Navigator: The navigator is the person who guides the driver and directs the coding process. The navigator should have a clear understanding of the problem being solved and should be able to provide clear instructions to the driver. The navigator should also work closely with the rest of the team to ensure that the code being written is of high quality.

  3. The Facilitator: The facilitator is responsible for managing the mob programming session and ensuring that everyone is participating and contributing. The facilitator should encourage team members to share their ideas and perspectives and ensure that the session stays on track.

  4. The Observers: The observers are team members who are not actively participating in the coding process but are observing the session. Observers can provide feedback and suggestions to the team and can help identify potential problems or issues with the code being written.

It's worth noting that the roles in mob programming can be rotated among team members, and each team member should have an opportunity to take on each role. This helps ensure that all team members are engaged and involved in the process and that everyone has a shared understanding of the code being written.

Mob programming is not only a powerful technique for developing software but also a way to improve collaboration, communication, and team-building among team members. It can also help reduce knowledge silos and ensure that all team members have a shared understanding of the codebase and the business domain.

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