Friday, January 19, 2018

A Triple Mob Achievement

If you've followed my blog so far, you know that I'm an ever-growing fan of the mob approach. Today I have three achievements to share, all related to mobbing.

#1 - Getting Invited to Mob Programming Conference 2018

Yes, exactly! Two days before New Year's Eve, Llewellyn Falco contacted me and asked me whether I would be interested and available to be a "moberator" at the Mob Programming Conference in April 12/13 in Boston. This opportunity absolutely intrigued me! Not only that I'm really convinced of this whole-team approach, this was also the first time someone invited me to a conference as a person, without even discussing potential sessions beforehand. I was (and still am) really feeling honored to get considered. So I checked the conference page and saw that the selected guest mentors were really experienced in facilitating mob sessions. In my case, however, it would be my first time doing so outside my company. This made me uncertain whether I would qualify; however, I told Llewellyn I'd love to learn by doing. And what did he do? He instantly referred me to the other organizers Nancy Van Schooenderwoert and Woody Zuill, who officially invited me. After having a first call with them, discussing potential sessions, I finally believed that this was really happening so I made it public myself.
I'm so looking forward to this event and would love to see you there as well!

#2 - Feedback from My Team

Throughout the last months, my team had and still has frequent mobbing sessions. We currently work on a huge topic where this approach is invaluable for us. We have to make sure that everybody is aware of everything and shares the knowledge to avoid bottlenecks in the future. Last week my team had a retrospective. We were talking about things we want to do better in the new year and also brought up the desire to further improve our mobbing sessions. In the course of presenting ideas what we can try, the following discussion came up. I was so happy about the reaction of my developer colleagues that I had to share this with one of my Slack teams, the Women in Testing group, where we have a special #brag_and_appreciate channel to practice bragging in a positive way and to celebrate each other's achievements.
Furthermore, my teammates stated that mobbing might be expensive, but for learning it's the best way they've seen. I cannot agree more.

#3 - Mob Testing Workshop with My Community

Maaret Pyhäjärvi gave a wonderful mob testing tutorial at last year's Agile Testing Days. It really inspired me to try this with my company's testing community as well, in a shortened form focusing on exploratory testing only. Yesterday I finally had the chance to introduce our testers to the mobbing approach.
It was a lot of fun to facilitate this session and I learned a lot again. We had a tester joining from remote, and another one who had to skip the middle part of the workshop, only being able to attend the beginning and the end. Still, we managed to integrate both well without causing too much disruption.

Before yesterday, we testers already worked together on several topics, like recruiting, building a career path, hosting meetups, and so on. But this workshop was the very first time that our testers actually tested an application together. This made it really obvious how different our ways of approaching a task are. As an example, after getting past the initial practice round, we had to spend quite some time to find an intermediate working agreement just on how to document our findings.

You can imagine that I was all the more happy to receive the following feedback from some of the testers attending the workshop.
I'm absolutely looking forward to our next testing sessions together! We can learn so much from each other this way and help each other grow. And last but not least, whenever we face real-life testing challenges concerning our products, we now have a great approach at hand to get the best out of everyone.

If you'd like to learn more about how mobbing can benefit your testing efforts, make sure to check out Maaret's recently published Mob Testing: An Introduction & Experience Report.

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