A Magical Pair Session

2018-08-28

Intro
Lisi Hocke is a shining star in the testing universe. I’ve never meet her in person f2f so far, but all the energy she spreads is crazy amazing. She is all over the place on twitter and has an absolutely crazy speaking frequency! On Friday the 24th of August, I’ve had the honour to join her on her testing tour stop #17.

When Time Stands Still
I have to admit I was a bit nervous around 10 minutes before I went online. Not that I would’ve expected to face the devil in person, no, but because I didn’t know which energy will hit me ;) We first started by introducing each other. And that’s a thing which I think is absolutely necessary when two people meet for pairing on any topic they want to work on. Already there I recognised, that Lisi is one of those human beings who can listen. Yes just listen, you read it correctly. As simple as it sounds - listen - listening very closely, listening and not thinking anything else, being totally focused, listening that the time is standing still for a moment. Giving the other the full attention and the feeling of being important. That’s probably one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your counterpart during a conversation. Lisi is gifted with it.

Listen so that you can hear the flowers grow

Learning About Pairing And Mobbing While Pairing
Then we started the Mob Timer and dove into our strong-style pair session. The object under test was a mind-map with a collection of information around Paring and Mobbing, which I created prior to our session. First we had a look at the different styles of pairing which exist out there. When it comes to explain the strong-style driver navigator principle, I like to use the Rally Drive metaphor. An excellent way of visualise how strong-style pairing works! The Driver is there to drive the god damn car and the navigator, well he navigates the 4WD. I just recently started with strong-style pairing with one of my teammates, but it’s not easy because both of us are new to it and have the tendency to easily fall back into the driver observer habit. Maybe the Mob Timer will help us out here in the future.
Then we moved on our discussion on the topic of Mobbing and how to get started with it, what the optimal size of a mob can/should be, how time management can look like and how you should treat each other in a mob. Kindness, Respect and Consideration are very important pillars. The first two are quite obvious and don’t need any further explanation. But Consideration, well this one isn’t that obvious in the first place. It’s that thing which I mentioned earlier: listening. The driver has to listen very carefully. Of course all the others too ;)
We were running out of time. Still so much to discuss but so little time. So at the end I asked the question: What are things that one shouldn’t do in a Mob? First: don’t force anyone to work in a mob, but tell them about it. Second: don’t force anyone to stay in a mob, let the person go whatever she prefers to do. Just make sure she is reachable in case of questions and know-how exchange.

Don’t force, inspire

Retrospective
It was a wonderful pair session around the topic of pairing & mobbing. A very natural and soft blowing breeze followed us throughout the entire session. I didn’t feel any uptightness or artificial moment in it, despite the fact we used the Mob Timer. Thank you Lisi, it was magical - our path will cross again.

Don’t put yourself in a box even when the clock is ticking, go with the mutual flow

Book Recommendation
One of the most valuable books on this whole topic which I highly recommend is this one here!

Toolkit
Finally I also have to mention the toolkit we used for our online collaboration, because without it, it wouldn’t had worked: zoom. What I experienced with it so far is great. Great video & audio quality, a super easy to use UI and its basic plan is totally free! A really cool piece of collaboration software!

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