User:Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham is the Chief Technology Officer of Ward co-founded the consultancy Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc., has served as a Director of the Eclipse Foundation, an Architect in Microsoft's Patterns & Practices Group, the Director of R&D at Wyatt Software and as Principal Engineer in the Tektronix Computer Research Laboratory. Ward is well known for his contributions to the developing practice of object-oriented programming, the variation called Extreme Programming, and the communities supported by his WikiWikiWeb. Ward hosts the Agile Manifesto. He is a founder of the Hillside Group and there created the Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP) conferences which continue to be held all over the world.

Contact Info

Work in Progress

Favorite Communities

Ward Cunningham


email or post a comment for me

see my wiki edits

place holder



favorite websites


my lists


Wiki Love

I am making an effort to contribute to other wiki sites.

Eclipse Foundation

I'm lucky to have to choose between great job opportunities. I'm very proud of the practical programming I did at Eclipse, even though programming wasn't my job. Here I will say a few words about that part of my recent history.

Here is a 12 part series of blog posts where I describe the automation we deployed over a period of a few months.

In part 3 I start talking about the most exceptional aspect of the project: visualizing automated test results. This has proven to be an excellent approach to test automation for these reasons:

  • We test the objects that make up a page, not the server that serves the page. This lets us engage in a conversation with the very elements that we "own". As such, it is easy for our visualizer to ask a few questions that a web server wouldn't.
  • We look at a single page and watch the flow of interaction among many people over many days. We see on that page the very screens that these people will be reading. And, again, because we are viewing the objects directly, we see only the parts of the screens that matter.
  • We annotate the diagram with additional useful information such as system resources consumed at each step or variations on the steps to be considered in other tests.
  • We switch smoothly to and from interactive use of the application and viewing it on the single page visualizations. With one click we reconfigure the interactive databases to reflect a chosen point of view and place in time. This allows us to "explore" our work without the tedium of getting to a place of interest.
  • We choose to write tests because we can feel our development pace speed up the minute that we do. The payback for the the modest effort is immediate, not just some downstream point in maintenance.

Aside: The Portland office started in the US Bank building where we often ate in the restaurant on the 30th floor. We returned there one more time for a good-bye lunch. These photos show the aging geeks that showed up and include shots of the beautiful view that include the current Eclipse office and the future AboutUs office in one scene.

Agile Testing Workshop

This is my introduction to the participants of the Agile Alliance's workshop on functional testing. Careful readers will find a position statement in here somewhere:

Friends -- I'm excited about our upcoming workshop. I feel that we could easily set direction that could impact a decade. I'm also a great fan of the LAWST format which I learned from Brian and have now experienced a half dozen times. It has to be the most effective use of smart people for the common good I've yet encountered.

I am the original author of Fit who's history is summarized in the link that follows. This is a history of custom test infrastructure. Fit was my attempt to offer some standards that were simple and general enough to unify the practice. I'm happy that it serves to define a style of test but disappointed that it lacks sticking power. Brian (again) influenced me with a provocative blog post asking why people won't keep up Fit tests even when they have them. Why indeed?

With Brian's observation in mind, I wrote another test framework, this time tightly coupled with a small but highly leveraged portal application for the Eclipse Foundation. With the freedom one has in one-off code, I sought to explore what further utility one could gain from agile-style functional tests as the basis of collaboration, an idea at the heart of Fit. I will be reporting on this work at PNSQC. You can find my paper and some slides too. The slides, I will warn you, were written this summer for a research organization that expected me to talk about wiki. I'm revising them today for the PNSQC audience.

Elisabeth, more than anyone, has taught me practical techniques of the exploratory testing. With her in mind I added the capability to switch between scripted and exploratory testing. This required some db manipulation code that developers might not be eager to write if they don't understand the benefits that accrue to both development and (I hope) testing.

Best regards. -- Ward

Long Live Brand

First presented within the Agenda for 2nd Quarter Stakeholder Meeting and now with community contributions

  • Brand is dead
    • Market is conversation (Cluetrain)
    • Have to let go (PJ report)
    • Brand hijack
  • Brand was born
    • When organizations replaced individuals
    • Future of Chain-Store in America -- my dad
  • Brand building
    • Human accumulation of experience, trust
    • Ad campaign: repetition of emotional experience
    • Too many organizations, too fluid of relationships
  • Brand in the network era
    • Conversation
      • Sequence of actions by real people
      • Collaboration of identity forms new organization beyond visible logo
      • Tagging allows for deconstruction of conversations
      • Visible history
    • Reputation
      • Trust networks
      • Human in the loop
  • Wiki is sufficient
    • People, things and actions
    • Topsoil is better
  • Long live brand
    • We will host deep branding for all organizations
    • Organizations, trust, and thus brand is life sustaining in this century

See also Wikipedia extremely influential.

Placement Preference

In what order would a domain owner prefer various search results to be ranked? What would be the basis of his preference? Brian at suggests the following:

  1. Own domain, because he has full control of this
  2., because he has some direct control
  3. Every other site, because only his marketing and p.r. influence them

Thought Leadership

Here I will collect posts and pages that offer better explanations of my ideas than I have mustered on my own.



My son gave me this on Facebook. There might be something to this social networking thing.

My Blogroll