Giovanni Asproni

Giovanni Asproni

Principal Consultant at Zuhlke Engineering Ltd


Giovanni works as a Principal Consultant for Zuhlke Engineering in London. He has been helping software companies and teams become more successful for many years by providing consulting, training, and advice, as well as coding, to projects of all sizes. He is an expert in Agile development and a longstanding member of the London Extreme Tuesday Club. He is both a frequent conference speaker and organizer. He is a past Chair of the London XPDay and the ACCU conferences, the Industry & Practice co-chair for XP2016, and the Conference Chair for SPA since 2018. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society and contributed to the book 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know, published by O’Reill

CASE STUDY: Remote Mob Programming In A High Stakes Environment: An Experience Report

Mob Programming (aka. Ensemble Programming) is a software development approach where the whole team works on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.

In this talk I’ll share some lessons learned (warts and all) on how my team and I used mob programming to deliver successfully, and to very high quality standards (zero defects in production, so far) one of the backend systems used by the NHS COVID-19 app.

In particular, I’ll explain why and how we did that in a context that included:

  • High stakes—failure would be reported in all newspapers.
  • Very short deadlines.
  • A Geographically distributed team with members who didn’t know each other before the project.
  • Limited specific knowledge within the team of some of the technologies we had to use.
  • Some hard security and accessibility constraints for the system.