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InfoQ Interview: Alistair Cockburn

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Jan 22, 2007 |
At the Agile2006 conference in Minneapolis last year, InfoQ interviewed Alistair Cockburn, a long-time leader in the Agile community.  Topics discussed ranged all over the place: from the history of the Agile movement to the future of methodologies, by way of his "Agile Machismo points" system, his latest book of poetry, and the difference between User Stories and Use Cases.

Well known as author of the books Agile Software Development: The Co-operative Game and Writing Effective Use Cases, and creator of the Crystal Clear methodology, Alistair Cockburn also one of the creators of the Agile Manifesto.  This interview uncovers how his research for IBM may in fact have helped spark that important event:
I noticed a very sharp division between projects that succeeded and failed.  Basically those who were doing these things we call agile - co-location, face-to-face, fast iterations, feedback, customer access and that sort of stuff - were succeeding, and those who were being very diligent in their process were pretty much failing.  Among the people that I interviewed were Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck ... and then in 2000 Bob Martin said “I’d like to get these people together and find out, are we all coincidentally sounding alike, or is there something fundamental there that causes us to be the same? ... So we met. Jim Highsmith was living in Salt Lake City at the time ... so we induced everybody to meet in Snowbird. We had the European representative for DSDM, FDD, Scrum - we had Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland and Mike Beedle here, a bunch of XP people...
Listen to this exclusive InfoQ interview with Alistair Cockburn for more on how this collection of strong personalities came together to agree on the 4 values and 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto.

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