Mob Programming Conference

Mob Programming Conference

Copyright Andrea Zuill 2015

April 6-7, 2017 Cambridge, MA


Mob Programming is a fairly new concept. This conference offers you a good grasp of it with a mix of talks, trying it out, and discussing with your peers.

Join us for two days of workshops and peer learning with talks from the founders of Mob Programming. 

This is “immersion training meets powerful questions”. Learn by doing, then have just the right amount of reflection and talk to fuel another round of immersion learning.

Let’s get “All the brilliant people, working on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.“


Save about 10% if you register for both Agile Games 2017 and Mob Programming Conferences at the same time!

WedneSDAY (APR 5)

6:00 - 8:00 pm  Ice breaker reception at Meadhall, just a short walk from the conference location


9:00 - 9:30 Check-in and breakfast

9:30 - 9:45 Opening remarks

9:45 - 10:45 Keynote: “Turn Up The Good: The State of Mob Programming” by Woody Zuill 

Description:  It has been almost five years since Woody and his team first started sharing the idea of Mob Programming at user groups and conferences, and it continues to spread all over the world.  The original team at Hunter Industries has grown from one to eight teams, and numerous organizations have been trying Mob Programming and developing their own techniques to amplify the benefits of working well together.  

We'll take a look at the foundational ideas behind Mob Programming, the environment needed for it to take root, and the value of "Turning Up The Good". Almost any team can take advantage of these ideas to create an environment where everyone can excel in their work, and in their life.


10:45 - 11:00 Break

11:00 - 12:30 Workshops (Breakout to 5 options):

1) Intro to Mob Programming with Woody Zuill

This is Woody’s full workshop, with exercises to build core Mob Programming interaction skills followed by Mob Programming using Katas.

2) Intro to Mobbing (TDD, Java) - Alex Wilson

For the complete novice - we’ll use Test-Driven Development (TDD) to explore Mob Programming as a technique for Software Development

3) Intro to Mobbing (Integration testing with - Wendy Closson

If you get frustrated with integration testing, you'll want to experience how it can be painless and even fun!  Wendy will use Mob Programming at an introductory level to guide you through it.

4) Intro to Mobbing (Refactoring, Java) - Llewellyn Falco

Many times we have existing code that we aren’t sure how to improve. Let’s explore refactoring for understanding and cleaner code with the combined knowledge, safety and courage of the mob.

5) Ongoing Mob Programming Kata (Intro to Elixir and TDD) - Lennart Friden / Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

An intermediate level session to use Mob Programming as a mechanism for learning a new language


12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:15 Lean coffee discussion 

14:15 - 14:45 Break

14:45 - 16:15 Workshops:

1) Intro to Mobbing (Woody's intro exercises, continued) - Woody Zuill

This is Woody’s full workshop, with exercises to build core Mob Programming interaction skills followed by Mob Programming using Katas.

2) Mob Programming Beyond Software workshop - Alex Wilson

Together we’ll explore how to apply the principles and practices of Mob Programming to other aspects of the Software Development lifecycle such as Planning and Design.

3) Intro to mobbing (Kata) - Wendy Closson

We will work through a single Kata using some of the Mob Programming idioms from her work at CorgiBytes

4) Learning to learn Python (Koans) - Llewellyn Falco

Group learning is a very powerful thing. We will explore learning python together in a mob. This is also a good example of rotations based on task instead of time. It will also consist of many micro-retros (15-30 seconds each)

5) Ongoing Mob Programming Kata (Intro to Elixir and TDD) - Lennart Friden / Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

An intermediate level session to use Mob Programming as a mechanism for learning a new language


16:15 - 16:30 Break

16:30 - 17:00 Closing of the day


Evening activities:  6:00 - 9:00pm   Agile  New England meeting featuring lightnig talks by our conference presenters.  For more information, see

FRIDAY (Apr 7)

8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - 8:55 Opening remarks

8:55 - 9:45 Keynote "Fight Fear, Embrace Change: Run the Experiment - Establishing the Curious Culture" by Rich Sheridan, author of "Joy, Inc."

Description:  Kent Beck began writing about Extreme Programming in 1999. Many are still skeptical of some of its more controversial elements, especially pair programming, while others tout its benefits. How do some succeed in such a transformation while others struggle to have new practices take hold? In this talk, Rich Sheridan, author of *Joy,Inc.* & CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations will explore the culture he and his co-founder James Goebel fostered at Menlo Innovations starting in 2001. In this talk, Sheridan will discuss the "Run The Experiment" attitude within Menlo which allows them to try a wide variety of new approaches without endless debate.  Menlo has embraced pair programming since its inception and now pairs every role within the company. The lessons from Menlo may inform all of our thoughts about running experiments with Mob Programming. Sheridan will touch on why psychological safety is one of the most important elements of a curious culture.


9:55 - 11:35 Workshops:

1) Consultant entry workshop - Woody

What you need to know when you try to facilitate a new mob as an outsider to the company

2) Intermediate Mobbing Kata - Alex

We’ll use Mob Programming as a vehicle for tackling some typical Software Development katas as a group

3) Intro/Intermediate to Mob Programmbing With TDD - Wendy

TDD is a fundamental practice both for coding well and for learning mob programming.  In this session, you'll experience first hand how mob programming is a catalyst for learning new concepts even without an expert present. We'll do this by leveraging and the problem solving skills of everyone in the room.

4) Mob Testing - Llewellyn

Let’s use mobbing to do some exploratory testing to a software target. We will explore, create models and maps for understanding & collect bugs. Come see what happens when you add the Tester's Mindset as the focus.

5) Ongoing Mob Programming Kata (Intro to Elixir and TDD) - Lennart / Nancy

An intermediate level session to use Mob Programming as a mechanism for learning a new language


11:35 - 12:35 Lunch

12:35 - 13:00 Open Space opening - Facilitated by Llewellyn Falco

13:00 - 13:50 Open Space 1

13:50 - 14:00 Break

14:00 - 14:50 Open Space 2

14:50 - 15:00 Break

15:00 - 16:40 Workshops:

1) Advanced Mobbing Kata - Woody

Emulate real work using an “Incremental Kata” style where the requirements are handed out one at a time, tests written, code completed and tested

2) Intermediate Mobbing Kata (Java) - Alex

We’ll carry on using Mob Programming as a vehicle for tackling some typical Software Development katas as a group (a different Kata to the previous session)

3) Intermediate Mobbing Kata done remotely (Ruby) - Wendy

In this all-remote mobbing session, you will get a real world understanding of how mobbing works for a distributed team. All you need to participate is Zoom videoconferencing software installed on your laptop or handheld device.

4) Facilitation Workshop: Dealing with problems in a mob - Llewellyn

Sometimes personalities and circumstances show up that cause problems in a mob. In this workshop we will role play problems and solutions. This will actually be 2 mobs. A mob creating the problems, and a mob of Facilitators solving the problems. Come learn to handle people problems in a safe environment.

5) Ongoing Mob Programming Kata (Intro to Elixir and TDD) - Lennart / Nancy 

An intermediate level session to use Mob Programming as a mechanism for learning a new language


16:40 - 17:00 Closing of the conference



Woody Zuill & his team at Hunter were the originators of the Mob Programming approach to teamwork in software development.

Over the last 15+ years he has worked as an Agile Coach, Application Development Manager, Trainer, and Extreme Programmer.

He believes that code must be simple, clean, and maintainable so that we can realize the Agile promise of Responding to Change, and that we must constantly "Inspect and Adapt".

Twitter: @WoodyZuill


Menlo Innovations CEO Rich Sheridan had an all consuming thought during a difficult mid-career in the chaotic technology industry ... 

things can be better. Much better. He had to find a way. His search led him to books, authors and history, including recalling childhood visits to Greenfield Village every summer. The excitement of the Edison Menlo Park New Jersey Lab served as his siren call to create a workplace filled with camaraderie, human energy, creativity and productivity.

Ultimately, Rich and his co-founder James Goebel invented their own company in 2001 to "end human suffering in the world as it relate to technology" by returning joy to one of the most unique endeavors mankind has ever undertaken:  the invention of software.

Their unique approach to custom software design, they named it High-tech Anthropology® has produced custom software that delights users rather than frustrating them. The programming team creates the software that works every day without the emergencies that are all too common in the tech industry. The process itself is so interesting that almost 4,000 people a year travel from around the world just to see how they do it. Many spend a week or more studying "The Menlo Way" being taught by the Menlonians who love to share their experience and knowledge.

In 2013, Rich and his publisher Penguin Random House took a chance that a business book with the words joy and love on the cover might have impact. They had no idea how the world yearned for such a message. His best selling book, Joy, Inc. - How We Built a Workplace People Love now has Rich traveling the world speaking about joy, creativity, and human energy in the workplace.

Twitter:  @menloprez


Wendy Closson

Wendy Closson is an expert software developer with over a decade of experience immersed in coding. After a run-in with cancer, she expanded her expertise to practices that calm chaos, create clear communication, and nurture intuitive decision-making. Fusing her expertise together, Wendy brings an uncanny efficiency to software projects. She shares her insights at conferences, in podcasts, through blog posts, and on her personal site.

Wendy has extensive experience using Mob Programming for "remodeling" legacy code, which is their specialty at CorgiBytes.  Everyone there works remotely, so she is also an expert in remote Mob Programming practices.

Outside of work, you can find her living on Long Island with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @WendyPClosson



Llewellyn Falco introduced Woody to the Randori technique and Strong Style Pair Programming  which is the base for Mob Programming.

He is an agile technical coach, specializing in legacy code and test driven development. When working with teams he uses mob programming with the programmers to foster continuous improvements.

Twitter: @LlewellynFalco


A proponent of mob programming ever since meeting Woody a few years ago, Lennart is a software craftsman and polyglot programmer hailing from Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2015 he embarked in on a journeyman tour. During the voyage he was increasingly asked to facilitate and participate in mob programming sessions with the many and diverse teams he visited.

He is especially keen on emphasising the knowledge sharing portion and takes profound pleasure in using mob programming as a trojan horse for kickstarting real teamwork.

He is also an avid fan of tea which Boston just happens to be known for.

Twitter: @DevLCSC


Nancy was among the first to apply Agile methods to embedded systems
development, as an engineer, manager, and consultant.

She taught Mobbing to several Agile teams beginning in 2014 and found it to be unlike any other Agile practice in the way it spread through pure team enthusiasm. The teams then created Mobbing variations of their own.  Nancy initiated the first Mob Programming conference by Agile New England in 2016.

Nancy also has done extensive work in hardware development, and in
safety-critical industries - aerospace, factory automation, medical
devices, and defense systems.

She coaches Agile teams that are taking Agile practices to hardware work and high-reliability applications.

Twitter: @vanschoo


Alex Wilson pioneered the adoption of Mob Programming across all Product Development teams at Unruly in the UK.

Now amongst the most experienced practitioners of Mob Programming in the world, our teams blend eXtreme Programming practices in an environment where we switch fluidly between working in mobs and pairs.

Alex published his experiences around adapting Mob Programming for lean product development at the 16th International Conference on Agile Software Development (XP2015) in Finland, where he won a prize for Best Experience Report.

Currently Alex fills a unique role as Lead Research Developer bridging Engineering and Business Development, carving out exciting new areas for the business.

He is also founder and organizer of a popular meet-up for eXtreme Programmers in London.

Twitter: @pr0bablyfine



Every member of the Corgibytes team is a consummate problem solver. We love tinkering, testing, and turning frustration into relief. Some call us craftsmen. Others, code whisperers. We just have a knack for identifying problems and building solutions. Spaghetti code? We love it. Or, at least making it better.

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Agile Alliance supports people who explore and apply Agile values, principles, and practices to make building software solutions more effective, humane, and sustainable. We share our passion to deliver software better every day.


Find out what initiatives The Alliance is supporting and how you can get involved. Initiatives are proposed by members to the Board of Directors, who ensure that they fulfill the vision, meet the mission, and support the values of Agile Alliance.

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Vistaprint, a Cimpress company, empowers millions of business owners worldwide to market themselves professionally. Our wide range of quality products and affordable prices, along with design tools suited to every skill level and need, mean everyone can create the customized materials they need to get their message across. And it all started the way most businesses do, with one entrepreneur’s ambitious goal.

About 20 years ago, Robert Keane wanted to give small business owners access to the same high-quality, custom-printed products that bigger companies (with bigger print budgets) enjoyed. He developed a patented technology that delivers professional-quality printing in small quantities, affordably. Next, he took a process that was traditionally only available offline and made it possible for business owners to create and order their custom materials online – from the convenience of their own computers.

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Training videos.

With personality.

For software professionals.

Clean Coders is the leading producer of instructional videos for software professionals, taught in a way that both educates and entertains developers. Founded in 2010 by Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin and Micah Martin, Clean Coders has expanded to include a myriad of authors teaching an ever-increasing array of subject matters pertaining to clean code. Our training videos have inspired countless viewers to become the best developers they can be.


We provide services built on modern software delivery practices and techniques. These practices from the lean and agile communities lead to software that is clean, simple and effective. Whether we build your project or provide learning services to your team, the result is code that is clear, expressive, tested, and valuable.

These services include:  is an in-kind sponsor of this conference by sending Woody Zuill to be a speaker and mentor.


Microsoft New England

The Microsoft New England Research & Development Center is a research and software innovation campus located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

With teams of the most dedicated people in the industry, events that showcase the latest ideas in technology, and a true sense of communityworking here is more than a job — it's all about the experience.


Agile New England

What is Agile New England?

Agile New England (formerly Agile Bazaar) is the leading community of Agile enthusiasts, practitioners and learners in New England. Based in Boston, we are committed to fostering a greater knowledge of the Agile values and practices. Serving the Agile community since 2002, our goals are to broaden the understanding and professionalism of our members, and to increase the effectiveness and competitiveness of software development organizations in New England. 

Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of every month 6:00pm - 9:00pm at Constant Contact in Waltham, MA. Agile 101 and Kanban 101 courses are held from 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM. The main presentation is generally from 7:05 PM - 8:20 PM. There is food and networking before the main presentation, then announcements and more networking after.


Agile New England is hosting the 2nd Mob Programming Conference April 06-07, 2017. Mob Programming is a fairly new concept. This conference offers you a good grasp of it with a mix of talks, trying it out, and discussing with your peers.

Join us for two days of workshops and peer learning with talks from the founders of Mob Programming. Conference sponsors will have the opportunity to connect face-to-face with an unusually sophisticated audience. Sponsors will also have their name promoted to over 1,900 Agile enthusiasts on the Agile New England mailing list.