MORE Topconf Tallinn 2018 International Software Conference
Topconf Tallinn 2018

TRACK: Continuous process / replacing the dot with a comma

Pair and Mob Programming: Secret Weapon for Agile and Continous Software Development

When companies want to become agile, they usually provide some kind of agile coaching for their software development teams. The teams learn about Scrum or Kanban, how to set up and use their boards, when to hold meetings. But all too often, they get stuck when the new process does not yield the expected outcomes. Some more coaching is done, the board is optimized, but still... it feels like there's something missing to become a really agile development team.  

Some years ago in a large e-commerce project, we started offering all the teams additional "pair programming coaching", which focuses on agile programming skills suggested by Extreme Programming. Initially it was just thought to give the developers more fun working together (for developers having fun at work will create better products), but soon it became clear that this technical coaching might be the missing link for agile team collaboration, at least in software development. For some teams, this was the kickoff for finally working together (instead of just working next to each other), many other teams could establish a sustainable agile flow. 
This new approach to support agile coaching by putting the focus on technical skills has proven pleasant to developers who, as techies, often have problems with pure methodical coachings. It helps us staying agile long-term, and a growing number of teams is making use of this technical coaching - not only in frontend development teams, but also in BI and classic enterprise backends.  
This talk will give an overview of why we started with "pair programming coaching", how the coaching is implemented. And of course what we learned from the feedback of many teams - for example that more and more teams are keen on trying "mob programming" for working together efficiently in larger groups.

Thomas Much

Agile Developer & Coach








Room 1




Agile, XP, Software Development, Teams, Coaching