Ask HN: Would you like to join a mob programming group?

27 points by mac_was 16 days ago

I've been thinking of setting up a fully remote mob programming group and looking for a few people to join.

We could meet on zoom or use some other tool and tackle together some interesting issues from GitHub or pick an interesting project and work on it. I'm a full stack dev and that is a sort of project I'm interested in working on.

I'm UK based and would love to meet during the week after 8 PM as I have kids and want to put them to bed.

If you're interested reply with an email or ping me on telegram - username is mac_tele

Want the first meeting to happen next Thursday at 8:30 PM UK time

I'll set up a mailing group where we will agree on the tools to use and pick the first task to work on.

I'm not interested in opinions about mob programming, I have very positive experience with remote sessions :)

setr 16 days ago

> I'm not interested in opinions about mob programming, I have very positive experience with remote sessions :)

Well, I am. Wtf is mob programming and who’s got hands-on-keyboard?

Pair programming makes sense because a discussion can be held — mob programming makes me imagine twitch plays Pokémon

  • mac_was 16 days ago

    Sure, you can check out more here: https://www.remotemobprogramming.org/

    Basically, one person writes the other discussion, and we switch every 20 minutes, so everybody can take part.

    • terminal_d 14 days ago

      > Typist and the Rest of the Mob

      >We adopted the terminology from Code with the Wisdom of the Crowd by Mark Pearl:

      >One person controls the keyboard, this is the typist. The rest of the mob discusses the problem, agrees on the solution, and instructs the typist. The typist follows their instructions, puts them into code, and may ask clarifying questions to understand the solution. The rest of the mob guides the typist as needed.

      >We value the typist as they allow the rest of the mob to focus on solving the problem.

      >The typist must not code on their own. This balances the participation of all team members and it reduces the dominance of strong characters.

      That sounds horrible!

    • onionisafruit 16 days ago

      This sounds like a lot of fun for people who have personality traits I don’t posses. I think I would end up quietly stewing that I keep getting talked over and nobody listens to my ideas. Nevermind that my ideas turn out to be wrong in the end.

    • autotune 16 days ago

      It takes me 20 minutes just to stop being distracted and focus on the task at hand.

pablo24602 16 days ago

Very interesting concept, as I understand it from the material on https://www.remotemobprogramming.org/.

From the name "mob programming" I thought it was something more akin to those mob dances- ie. a large group of technically savvy people organize around an issue and focus their willpower on it for a few hours (like, from 6-9 PM on a random Saturday, 50 programmers coordinate solve all the open issues on a random open source project, out of nowhere.)

  • mac_was 16 days ago

    I think it's a very interesting concept, comparable to brainstorming. Devs share lots of knowledge during sessions and learn from each other ways of solving issues. I thought about it more as a learning exercise.

  • sdwr 16 days ago

    Your idea sounds great, like a programming speedrun.

culopatin 16 days ago

Would you accept having a fly in the wall? Doesn’t help you at all, but helps me tremendously!Can’t think of any better way to experience a bunch of “ooooh that’s how you do that” moments. As a solo programmer without formal education I often wonder how could I do X better

deterministic 16 days ago

Mob programming seems to be a super inefficient way to develop software. Basically programming by committee?

  • mac_was 16 days ago

    It's like saying basketball is inefficient, when I pass the ball to a team mate I can loose it, better if I run the whole field on my own. Programming is mostly a team sport as well, involving backend and frontend engineers, qa, design, product owners.

    • gameman144 15 days ago

      > It's like saying basketball is inefficient

      I mean, I would say basketball is inefficient: having one person run the ball or maybe two reliable players pass it across the whole court definitely seems most efficient.

      The only twist in basketball is that there's another team trying to stop you from achieving your goal (which would also add to the appeal of mob programming greatly!)

mikewarot 16 days ago

This is my first hearing of the concept. I'm not sure I'd have anything to add, as I've only programmed solo, with most of that being in the 1980s with DOS and early windows.

  • mac_was 16 days ago

    I think everybody has got something to add. It is a bit of a social exercise where people share how they think, how they solve problems

moralestapia 16 days ago

It sounds fun, I'd like to give it a try to see what it's like (mail in profile).

ushercakes 16 days ago

I would be interested in watching recorded YouTube sessions of this, to see how it works

bsldld 16 days ago

I am interested, but initially could I participate just as an observer?

Metalic 16 days ago

Sound like an interesting concept, count me in, see email in my profile.

cowboynwf 16 days ago

I'm totally down. I'm a verse developer.

  • mac_was 15 days ago

    Hey, can you drop me a line on telegram or leave your email? I'll send you an invite to our discord server

mr_o47 16 days ago

How can we get involved

  • mac_was 15 days ago

    Hey, can you drop me a line on telegram or leave your email? I'll send you an invite to our discord server

sayanimondal 16 days ago

I received a great question and wanted to explore the ideas that I have on the subject. A team that has successfully started Mob Programming is experiencing " " a loss of personal satisfaction and a desire to code solo.

I was in the same place when we first started mobbing. Although I couldn't pinpoint the cause, I felt something was missing when I was programming my own programs. I did a lot soul searching in the beginning of mobbing. I felt like there were two main problems I was having in staying happy with my circumstances. The first was the feeling of triumph over adversity that I experienced when I solved code-related problems myself. The second was boredom I felt when writing code that seemed "easy".

We all realized that we were able to produce more software than production every time we practiced Mob Programming. This meant that I had to find out what was bothering and how to overcome it, regardless of how I felt. Mob programming will never be solo coding. So, was the joy I experienced programming alone the result of the fact that I was not surrounded by others?

Joy in a Mob

There are many ways to find personal satisfaction. During my mobbing introspection, I was able to identify some of the issues. These problems disappeared over time. I was a solo developer and had those moments when I solved a problem and then cheered because I did it. It was also satisfying to help another developer solve a problem that I was responsible for. I felt better about myself the more complex the system I worked on.

Jane McGonigal's book Reality is Broken was the first place I heard the term Fiero.

The definition of fire is: "Fiero" is what we experience after we overcome adversity. It is what you feel and see. It's because almost everyone expresses fiero in the exact same way: We throw our arms above our heads and shout.

This feeling is something I get all the time when programming by myself. It seemed less frequent when I was first in a mob. It was clear that the team needed to have a baseline of technical skills. We all began to discover what we knew and how we could each contribute. Software developers feel fiero when they get stuck on a problem and then find a solution. It feels less like this happens when a new mob is formed. I believe the reason is that there is a technical Satir model. The most technical people who form a mob will be spending the majority of their time teaching, while the less experienced will spend much of their time learning. This feeling of fire comes back once we have reached the technical norm for our teams. You will only now have people with whom to shout and high-five!

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