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Joe Wright Technical person at Arnold Clark

Tackling 16 years of legacy code with mob programming and Lego

You've inherited a legacy codebase and a fearful team. Somehow the answer to solving this problem is playing with Lego.

Picture the scene. You've joined a new team that work on the most important product in the company. There's just one catch. The code base is using 2002 technology and the attitude has been "get it done" since then.

Things need to change fast. To reduce the amount of work in process you adopt mob programming and start building a culture of safety over fear. Things start to feel better but you can't help but feel that your being distracted from your goal.

In this case study you will learn about how a team can go from individuals to a mob. You'll also hear how the most powerful improvement tool the team found was to use Lego to represent time spent. After this you'll know about mob programming, making problems visual with Lego and how that combination doubled the productivity for this team in six months.


Hello! After spending the last year keeping a record of how mob programming has worked in one of the harshest environments I've seen, I'm ready to speak about it in public.

I'm hoping to share what mobbing is about with attendees from a real world perspective. There's also bits about improving and tracking efficiency using Lego blocks. In this case study it resulted in a team going from releasing hardly anything, to being stable to being hyper performing.