Talk Title

Mob Programming, a Learning and Contributing Mindshare


Mob programming is about a group coming together and collaborating by working on a shared task through a single computer. It is experimenting with new ways of working together by actually working together. Both learning and contributing are valuable. A lot of our knowledge is tacit—it’s in our heads, built from our years of experience. With the combined experience of everyone in the group, we get the best possible approaches to the task at hand. Our mobs mix non-programming roles such as business specialists and testers with the programmers. Results from increased empathy, understanding and timely sharing have been magical. In this talk, I will share how I have come to programming through learning programming by osmosis, contributing in a mob as an exploratory tester. We’ll look at the dynamics of a mob, and my lessons on various types of activities from writing production code to refactoring, and from introducing test automation to manual exploratory testing. Lessons specific to skillsets rub in both ways, leaving everyone better off after the experience.

Speaker Biography

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is feedback fairy with a day job at F-Secure, where she works as Engineering Manager. She identifies as empirical technologist, tester and programmer, catalyst for improvement, author and speaker, and community facilitator and conference organizer. She was awarded as Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person 2016 and has spoken at events in 25 countries delivering close to 400 sessions. With 25 years as exploratory tester before stepping into a role to manage developers, she crafts her engineering manager job into being a mix of leading a team of 12, doing hands-on testing and programming. She is a serial volunteer and organizing powerhouse contributing to European Testing Conference and Speak Easy, as well as Finnish non-profit scene. She blogs at, posts articles on Medium, and is author of three LeanPub books: Mob Programming Guidebook,  Exploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming. Her web page is  

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