Ensemble Programming Guidebook
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Ensemble Programming Guidebook

About the Book

Ensemble programming is a social software development technique where a group of people works on the same problem on the same computer at the same time. It's not typing that slows us down in our software creation, it's waiting for the right information to be available. Groups do better than individuals at that! When we get the best out of everyone into the work we are doing right now, we create a higher quality solution in the moment, and we improve skills and knowledge of everyone involved in the process. Next time we work solo, we benefit from the lessons and shared understanding only a group can generate.

With eight years of ensemble programming (and testing), Maaret Pyhäjärvi collects the wisdom of getting started with ensemble programming to allow more people to enjoy the technique that helps create better software and better creators of software. While we eventually need to adapt to our own specific flavor of ensemble programming that suites our context, this guidebook helps you get started and points you to details that can take a while to figure out.

And in case you wondered about it: ensemble programming is the community rebrand of mob programming to more inclusive language. Since 2020, ensemble programming communities globally have adopted it as a synonym to the software development technique that centers kindness, consideration and respect so that we can bring a diverse group together to create software and have a true bias to action, over worrying about the negative connotations.

About the Author

Maaret Pyhäjärvi
Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a tester and a (polyglot) programmer from Finland. She co-creates products for successful businesses and teaches a new generation of professionals both on the job and as a side job. She prides on being first and foremost a practitioner working in a software team. Her analytical approach to observing both software and human systems gives her a special edge in describing the structures that are beneficial in your success with ensemble programming. With 25 years in the industry and a public speaking hobby, she is an international keynote speaker and has spoken in 27 countries delivering 450 sessions. 

Table of Contents

  • Ensemble Programming
    • An Experience in Ensemble Programming
    • Ingredients for Success
    • What Does It Look Like?
    • Mob Programming?
    • Ensemble Testing
  • Getting Started with Ensemble Programming
    • Choosing Your First Ensemble Activity
    • Understand Roles and Rotation
    • Reserve and Set Up the Space
  • The Driver-Navigator Pair in Ensembling
    • Getting Set Up For Pairing
    • Who Should Drive and Who Should Navigate?
    • Driver: Things to Do
    • Closure Activities
    • Ending this with a word of warning

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