Ensemble programming is difficult!

Ensemble programming (aka mob programming) removes many of the communication barriers that are invisibly embedded in a team. By improving internal communication, the team produces higher quality software, reduces knowledge silos, nurtures individual skill levels and solves problems faster.

But it's not easy to master, and I've seen many teams try it, do it badly, and then walk away thinking it's about three people watching one other person programming.

By learning to work well in an ensemble you will unlock significantly higher productivity than you currently achieve by working alone in parallel. Try it with me!

Ensemble programming immersion

In this series of hands-on workshops developers will dive head-first into ensemble (mob) programming, while learning:

  • how ensemble programming feels as a participant
  • techniques to get the most out of your ensemble
  • pitfalls to avoid
  • how ensemble working improves your software development practice

I have been successfully introducing ensemble programming into software development teams since 2016, so you can be confident that all of the programming and discussion exercises are guided by an expert practitioner who is passionate about the socio-technical aspects of modern software development.

Workshop overview

This workshop is for teams of 4-8 developers. It is preferable, but not essential, that you all usually work on the same project. And non-developers are more than welcome to take part or simply observe.

The workshop is fully remote, and comprises two 3-hour sessions:

Session 1

Getting started with ensemble programming. You can expect:

  • hands-on practice coding
  • the role of the "driver"
  • the role of the "navigator"
  • how to set up your environment for remote ensemble working
  • reflection and retrospectives

Session 2

Here you'll be embedding everything you learned in workshop 1, plus:

  • hands-on practice coding
  • when not to work as an ensemble
  • alternative navigation approaches
  • the role of non-developers in the ensemble
  • establishing psychological safety
  • reflection and retrospectives

It is usually best to run these workshops on separate days, leaving time to practice and embed what you’ve learned together before moving on to the next steps. They can be run together on one day, however, if you’re short on time.

Sound interesting? Enquire further or get started here:

What people are saying

This is a thought-provoking workshop that allows developers at all levels to reflect on and improve their practice.

Software development manager

This makes you understand how ensemble programming *really* works!

Software developer

Kevin introduced us to Mob programming in 2016. The techniques and skills we learnt are now a core part of every task/story and project we work on. It's amazing just how well the methodology scales, which allows us to continuously make pragmatic decisions.

Kevin changed our approach and thinking to software development. The results speak for themselves, the quality of our code improved, and a significant improvement with team working and collaboration between individuals, teams and our clients.

I can't personally thank Kevin enough and highly recommend him.

Yogi Valani PhD
Director, Diyena Solutions Ltd

The workshop serves well the purpose of a deep and full immersion into the practice of ensemble programming, and has much to offer to engineers and creatives at all levels of expertise.

Senior engineer

Highly recommended.

Caz Farrell
Principal Agile Project Manager, Zühlke Group

We achieved more this afternoon than in the previous two months of the project!

Senior developer, 7digital

Kevin is an inspirational trainer, as well as coach. He really gets you thinking.

Gemma Cameron
Engineering Practice Lead, Co-op

Satisfied customers