07 March 2018

Mob Programming Anti-Pattern?

One of the teams I'm working on is using mob programming. I think I've identified an anti-pattern here. Mobbing can devolve into something akin to Brook's Surgical Team. 

Sometimes, you end up with one mobster who's driving everything. It's as if nobody else is required. The only way you know it's still a mob is that this mobster isn't typing, they are telling someone else what to type. 

I'm not talking about someone who just provides direction for a short while, I'm talking about 'all day'. What's worse is, at the end of the day it seems like nobody complains. 

Mobbing takes some discipline. You have to push back when someone acts like this; speak up in retro. If they won't change their behavior, leave the mob. Eventually they will just be working on their own.