A few weeks back, a team lead from a completely different business line and product than I work on pinged me on our messaging system. They had heard that I did this thing called Mob Programming, and someone in the team was convinced enough that they should try it, so what then should be the practical steps? They knew they wanted to mob on test automation, and expressed that a challenge they were facing was that there was one who pretty much did all the stuff for that, and sharing the work in team was not as straightforward as one might wish for. Talking with three members of the team including the team lead and whoever had drawn me in, we agreed on a time box of two hours. For setup, one would bring in the test setup (which was a little more than a computer as we were testing a Router Box) and ideas of some tests we could be adding.
It took a little convincing (not hard though) to get the original three people to trust me with the idea of not having first a session of teaching and introducing the test automation setup, and that we would just dive in. And even if we agreed on that in advance, the temptation of explaining bits that were not in the immediate focus of what the task drove us towards was too much to resist.
The invitation for the team of 7 included “test automation workshop”, without a mention of mechanism we would be using on this. And as we got to work on adding test, I asked to figure out who knew the least and made them sit in front of the keyboard first, just saying the rule of “no thinking on the keyboard”. I also told them we’d be rotating on 3 minutes, so they would all get their chance on the keyboard and off, except for the one automation expert. Their rule was to refrain from navigating unless others did not know (count to three before you speak).
Asking around in retro, here’s what I got from the team: This was engaging, entertaining. We expected to cover more. The result of what we did was different than the first idea of what the test would be, and the different means better in this case.
My main takeaway was to do this with my team on our automation. If I booked a session, they would show up.