Alexey Verkhovsky

While reading this page, it is recommended to have a globe or a world map close at hand.

Two things that I like most are sailing and fiddling with computers. In that order. Since I am also a father of two small children, and haven't figured out a way to sail for money, what I actually do is fiddling with computers.

I started these activities in late 80s, when I was a high school student in a small Russian town called Magadan. Start from Japan, go about 1000 nautical miles north and there you are, plus-minus a hundred miles (not a distance in those parts, anyway).

Then I joined Moscow PhysTech? (see for a grossly overhyped description of this fine institution). I hope your geography is good enough to find Moscow on the globe.

In there I continued fiddling with computers on a much grander scale for the next five years, sine of which was coding for money, full-time, although in very odd hours. From those times I vaguely remember dealing with Smalltalk, Prolog, object-oriented Pascal (sic!) and some really cool Unix from Australia (was it called LAPTAM?). Not to mention some esoteric Soviet hardware and operating systems. :)

I also remember programming for Windows 1.0, on a real IBM PC AT with no less than 640 Kb of RAM and without a mouse. Whoever ordered that PC might have thought that mice are for sissies, man must know his command line and keyboard shortcuts. Or more likely, there was no budget to be spared for luxuries.

After that, for a number of years I was doing non-computer things (finance, shipping). One day I realized that computers were what I liked, so in 2001 I found myself a software job again. The fact that high-tech bubble was already over somehow didn't seem relevant. It still doesn't.

I was regularly reading the C2 Wiki (and sometimes contributed to it) between early 2003 and late 2004. It was a really great source of insights about software development at that time. This wiki was where I learned words like agile, test-driven, patterns and many other concepts. Many of my views about how software development should be done were either refined or completely redefined in the process.

These days I am living in Calgary (Canada) and working in ThoughtWorks.

I also maintain an open-source WikiClone called Instiki [].

You can contact me at


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