EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF MOB PROGRAMMING ON THE WELL-BEING OF DEVELOPERS: INSIGHTS FROM A SOFTWARE COMPANY

Authors

  • Philip Björklund
  • Jacob Fridebo
  • Fisnik Dalipi

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that software engineering teams nowadays face numerous challenges that revolve around the well-being (happiness) of the developers. One way to address these challenges can be through Mob Programming (MP). Mob programming represents a novel software development practice where a whole team works together on the same coding problem, at the same time, in the same space and on the same computer. In this study, we investigate the impact of using MP on the well-being of software developers. A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews and observations was applied for its ability to extract in-depth and valuable information. The participants selected for this study derived from four different development teams who worked at Fortnox AB in Va?xjo?, where one of the four development teams used MP on a daily basis and the three other teams practise MP on an occasional basis. A total of 13 interviews were conducted at the company's offices. Thematic analysis is used to organize and create a structure regarding the information from the interviews. Two themes with specific sub-codes are created based on the thematic analysis: Team dynamics and Individual dynamics, which are derived from the interview questionnaire. The study found that the majority of software developers were impacted in a positive way regarding well-being while practising MP. Reduced stress and individual work pressure, and increased social interaction were two of some prominent factors that contributed to this result. However, stress was also found to have negative effects on some developers, which was associated with the constant attention and overlooking by others during the coding process.

Published

2020-11-22