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How mob programming and sourcing jams activate collaboration at Detectify

May 28, 2021

Collaboration Rules is a company core value and at the heart of Detectify. It drives innovation and productivity in our organization, and activates our ability to build products to drive the future of internet security.

Two of the methods we use for collaborating are Mob Programming in Engineering and Sourcing Jams in the Talent Acquisition team. At Detectify, collaboration is the way forward, and let’s dive into these use cases and our learnings. We hope they can inspire your teams to try a new approach to collaborating in the future! 

Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Mob Programming focused on the customer

When faced with a complex coding challenge, Detectify tech teams find that more brains are better than one – they form a mob to tackle things at hand. This approach is called Mob Programming, which means the task is broken down into parts that include design and user flow. Then we start working. One person drives (does the coding) while the rest of the team guides them on what to do and wherein the code to write, change or fix things. 

For us, mob programming is lean-driven work. We take it one user story at a time with shared product discovery and workshops, which keeps everyone involved and focused on the customer’s perspective.

“We are always thinking about the customer and about how to measure success.” – Filip Stenbeck, Engineering Manager

In some of our engineering teams, as much as 80% of our work’s done as a mob. 

By developing together and building on each other’s ideas, we blur the lines between “mine and yours,” making it a genuine team effort.  

This is how we do it:

  • Zoom + IDE + Jamboard
  • Screen sharing
  • IntelliJ + “Code with me.”

 Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and it can be hard to stay focused. Therefore, we try to keep the active mob to 30-minute intervals. 

The benefits we found while Mob programming

Mob programming helped us build a collaborative and functioning team in record time by showcasing our strengths and weaknesses in the team and utilizing them in a positive way. It also gives us a shared view of the tech environment and keeps us aligned and focused on the customer and how to build things. This methodology works best when everyone participates and speaks up. Be mindful that not everyone may be comfortable to speak in a group. You can help your colleagues overcome any stage fright to speak up by creating a safe space for everyone to share their thoughts, or asking someone for their opinion.

An added bonus is that it makes us feel less alone in this new world of remote working! 

Tips and things to think about when doing Mob programming

  • Rotate who’s sitting in driver seat to keep fresh eyes on the code 
  • Test out which tasks are best suited for mob programming
  • Start with something easy, like fixing bugs, for the team to practice the format
  • Debate is essential but decide on how you will resolve differences of opinion before you start to keep things productive 
  • Share your screen securely even when coding with team members

Sourcing Jams to find your next colleague

As a scale-up, we are constantly looking to improve value to our customers and organization. One way of doing this is adding new great people to the Detectify team, and in order to find the best fit we work across-teams with a method called Sourcing Jams.

When we start recruiting for a new position, the recruitment team gets together with the hiring manager to gather expectations and insight into the experience and skills that would help someone excel in this position. This profile becomes the base for our sourcing jams. 

The why’s and the how’s of our Sourcing Jams

A Sourcing Jam is when a group of people works together to identify potential candidates for specific roles.

 Any employee with the right knowledge or a network relevant for the role can join a sourcing jam.

  • Invite the team or others who want to join 
  • Introduce the purpose of the jam 
  • What type of role or profile are we looking for? 
  • Go through the different methods that the participants can use to help us look for them

We place a high value on diversity at Detectify, and we’re always looking for new avenues to expand the diversity of our team from different perspectives. To do this, we need to be proactive and build a diverse pipeline — what better way to do that than through our diverse employees. 

Check out Anna Engman’s talk about Detectify’s Diversity Report from Day of Shecurity:

“Sourcing jams help us build diverse and high-performing teams that live our culture” – Anna Engman, VP of People and Culture.

Sourcing a new position is a numbers game in many ways, but our focus lies in finding quality candidates. To find great candidates, we take help from the broader network of our colleagues that utilize their professional social media profiles (let’s not kid ourselves, we’re talking about Linkedin) to find where our acquaintances can lead us. Follow the previous steps to find your own and 2nd-degree network on LinkedIn. This not only helps us find qualified people but enables team members outside of the recruitment team to learn how to spot suitable candidates and more about what we look for when recruiting.  

Tips and things to think about when doing Sourcing jams

  • Make sure everyone knows how to use the platforms you want to search on
  • Set clear goals – What type of candidates are you looking for and how many?
  • Limit yourself to 1 position at a time to keep the focus narrow 
  • Do jams in short bursts – It keeps people focused and effective
  • Branch out from LinkedIn, why not try Github, Stackoverflow, Dribble or Behance 
  • Make it fun. We pump up the music! 

At Detectify, collaboration rules

Collaboration Rules is a core value of the Detectify culture, and this means, no matter how smart or well-educated, we are always brighter together. We invite and empower one another to succeed. Mob programming and sourcing jams are couple of examples of the many ways our teams work together. It’s all about finding your rhythm and what works for you.

Do you value collaboration and working together with others to solve complex problems? If you see Detectify as the next adventure for you, check out the different roles we are recruiting in Stockholm and Boston. Apply today!

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