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SEB tests mob programming

SEB tests mob programming

Sweden's SEB has begun experimenting with mob programming - putting an entire team of developers at the same computer at the same time to work on the same thing.

An increasingly popular technique, mob programming aims to foster more agile IT development, with greater collaboration and competence sharing and lower dependence on individuals.

Having used the principles in some of its development teams, SEB recently brought together 70 coders to test the approach over an afternoon.

The staffers were split into teams of six to eight people. Then one member sat at the keyboard, flanked by the others, working together on an issue. After a few minutes, a signal was sounded and a new person took their place at the keyboard.

Åsa Liljegren, developer at consulting firm Aptitud, who spoke to the SEB employees, says: "The result is better and more thought-out quality of code, since the team members can analyse, design and test the code all at the same time. There is more focus on creating simple solutions that can last a long time.

"Fewer meetings are needed - questions can be addressed immediately by the mob team. There is less downtime, and the team rarely gets stuck."

SEB is keen to experiment further with mob programming, with a similar event already slated at the bank's site in Vilnius, Lithuania, and another two in the pipeline.

"Mob programming is a natural part of a learning culture and agile work approach. It is also a vital tool for competence-sharing and our ability to quickly onboard new employees,” says Lena Beijer Granström, digital channels, IT Solution Delivery, SEB.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 May, 2019, 17:151 like 1 like

I can't think of anything worse than this, oh wait, yes, yes I can... but this is bad, so bad.

This is the coding equivalent of voyeurism at its worst - it is fair to say that some of the more talented programmers and architects are on the more introverted end of the spectrum - this kind of setup is likely to have them running to the hills (or more specifically their parents basement).  

I think adopting a more Design Thinking or Domain Driven Design way of approaching problem solving/design and then assigning Sprint Tasks is much better than this - leave Pair Programming only for inexperienced newbies who need to learn the ropes from an experienced senior developer.