Mobbing Pattern Language

Patterns: Take five

Also Known As


Mobs that need a break. More common with new mobs or when the pressure is on or someone is watching.

Mobs that are banging their heads on a frustrating problem.


Programmers working alone take many microbreaks to rest their minds, and larger breaks to stretch their legs and address bio needs.

When we start mobbing, we can feel afraid of letting the mob down, of looking like we’re not contributing at the expected level, of missing out, or of the VERY IMPORTANT WORK not getting done.

We need to take good care of ourselves, both because we deserve it and because it helps us contribute our best. We often come up with new, valuable ideas on breaks.

How To

Pay attention to the cues, such as:

Say “let’s take a break”. At least 5 minutes. Maybe take a walk. Maybe call it a day.

Remember that programming is mostly a thinking activity. It’s OK to stop typing.