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PubMob what to expect

What to Expect

During a PubMob session, expect to stay engaged as you switch between the role of being a driver—creating solutions in the computer—and a navigator, learning as you help other drivers understand where to go. Read on for more information about how to get ready for your PubMob experience.

What are the rules?

PubMob follows a simple, core structure:

    • The navigators are responsible for describing the next increment for a solution to the driver.
    • The driver, who controls the keyboard and mouse, listens to the navigator(s) and translates their direction into an appropriate solution in the computer.
    • Drivers may not navigate. If they have a brilliant idea, they relinquish the driver's seat, then act as a navigator.
    • The driver controls computer input for a short, timed interval.
    • We rotate once through each driver in the lineup before repeating the lineup.

The short rotations keep the session lively and prevent anyone from dominating.

Beyond the core PubMob structure, most everything else is common sense. Show respect for your session lead and fellow PubMobbers, and enjoy the experience. Your PubMob session lead may add a bit of spice to the session with custom guidelines and recommendations for a successful mob.

What does a PubMob session feel like?

Being a driver may sound intimidating at first, but a core reason we promote mob programming is to minimize the fear factor. When you're in the "hot seat" as a driver (typically for a breezy 3-5 minutes), you're not expected to have all the answers. In fact, you're not expected to have any answers—your job is to listen and translate.

You can't quite sit back and relax; it turns out that listening and translating is a valuable skill all its own. But it does mean that you should never feel pressured or intimidated because you don't have the answers.

The feedback we usually hear: Mob programming is fun, it's productive, and it goes by fast.

Read more about mob programming and why we use it.

How to get ready for your PubMob session

Our PubMob session leads are individuals with strong, extensive experience in helping others develop software. As such, they'll have likely settled on a preferred mechanism for facilitating their sessions. When you sign up for a PubMob session, make sure you read the description for the specified mob programming technique, which includes key information about how to get ready for that type of PubMob session.

Currently, our session leads will be using one of the following techniques:

  • Git handover with mob. You'll build software on your own machine and use Git to share your changes.

  • Remote control with AnyDesk. You'll be provided access to a remote desktop that provides fast access and minimal lag.

  • cyber-dojo. You'll work in a simple, web-based development environment that minimizes the need for extensive IDE knowledge.

  • tmate. You'll work in a shared Unix terminal session with the lowest possible latency.

  • Mural. You'll work with a collaboration tool that allows you to interact with an advanced whiteboard.

PubMob what to expect