Mob programming with Playgrounds

Last updated: 7 months ago

Three or more people sitting in front of a Macbook and developing a feature via the Read-Eval-Print-Loop (REPL)? That's Mob programming with Xcode Playgrounds!

The talk shows how to use mob programming during the development of an app. What technical and organizational challenges there are and how we have solved them, among other things, with playgrounds.

Instead of developing a feature alone on your own and getting late feedback via pull request comments, why not getting direct comments and suggestions? And instead of getting only one response from a team member during pair programming, why not getting support from multiple involved developers? With mob programming, a whole team works on one task at the same time. The entire time there is only one active keyboard and one screen. During development, the role of each team member changes from writing code to advise and back. But it sounds more accessible than it is in reality. E.g., how to manage different environment setups, beginning at the keyboard layout, and ending at different Dock positions?

Besides the organizational challenges, we didn't want to wait too long for compiling and starting the app. The focus should be only on the critical feature, and not at the surroundings. Therefore we use playgrounds as REPL editor to implement the feature at first and then integrate it into the app code. It will be shown how the playground is integrated into the development cycle and which problems we faced.

To sum up, insights are given, how the development pace of features is by using mob programming.