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Mob Programming – Inefficient in Practice
2 points by pts_ 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments
See lots of time being wasted by people standing and looking around. Work distributed across focused, individual devs with delineated goals at the start is more efficient. Your thoughts?

I agree. I've always felt that an individual may be more efficient (productive) than a team. Of course, that depends entirely on the individuals - their experience, motivation, domain knowledge, work environment etc. One efficient, motivated programmer working alone may be more productive than ten inefficient, unmotivated ones working in a team.

To me, this seems like a productivity question. The software industry has the misguided notion that productivity can't be measured and until that changes, it's very easy to argue that mob programming is efficient - because it's impossible to disprove (i.e. it's 'not even wrong'). In fact, because we don't have a concrete definition of what 'efficient' means, it's easy to argue any kind of programming is efficient. Big teams, small teams, work alone, OOP, FP, MVC, Java, Ruby - take your pick. We can all argue the merits of any pet methodology, language etc. In the end, what we really need is a way to measure individual productivity against a set of criteria relevant to a project.

I think this issue should be discussed a lot more.

Of course we need teams since an individual cannot build an entire city in a reasonable amount of time. The issue is of the team members standing around or making small talk, or even taking too much time in face to face. In my view the work plan to be divided has to be communicated once the day begins face to face or through online, and thereafter all communications can happen asynchronously through text and online.

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