Kent Beck

Kent's responsible for or a major contributor to HillsideGroup, SmalltalkBestPracticePatterns, SoftwarePatterns, HotDraw, FirstClassSoftware, the TimeTravel patterns, the xUnit family of TestingFrameworks and ExtremeProgramming. His most recent book is ImplementationPatterns (

Kent is collecting ConsequencesOfShorteningReleaseCycles.

Here's his bio with photo from the repository: Here is his self-published bio:

After two years of Swiss adventure, we are in Oregon as of 1 October 1999 (KentInMerlin). I work for ThreeRiversInstitute (a new incarnation of FirstClassSoftware) programming, writing, and coaching teams applying ExtremeProgramming. My family and I are living the life of RuralTechugees?. Email still goes to

Recent projects include:

I enjoy re-applying facilitation patterns like PolarizingQuestion, ObliqueQuestion, and DichotomyList.

KentBeckPapers is an annotated bibliography of my papers. I often write 4-6 pages as a thought tool.

I perform various forms of American folk music, including CowboyMusic, which has lead me to think about WhyCowboys?

I have a new favorite author: MrBunny

I'm experimenting with a new project metric, SoftwareInProcess.

Kent was a Software Fellow with Agitar from 2004 to 2008.

Kent is an excellent teacher. He is patient and knows how to lead people to understanding. Patterns are about conveying knowledge, this is also known as teaching. Therefore, Kent is good at writing patterns and teaching.

Kent is the author of the ObjectExplorer?. The product is found at That version is for VisualWorks 5i, but I also have a version for VW 3.x. The code is available under the ParcPlace Public License. -- Peter Hatch

I met Kent at OOPSLA 97 in Atlanta. He and ErichGamma did a tutorial called "AdvancedDesignWithPatternsAndJava?". Great job! They left me with the impression that they were seriously considering collaborating on a new book on Patterns and Java. I wonder what is the status of the JavaAndPatternsBook??

Kent, big compliments on DrivingMetaphor. I think this is the most accessible description of WuWei I've ever seen. -- PeterMerel

Kent, regarding your comment that "all methodologies are based on fear". Would I be way off if I were to guess your fear was the ChangeCostCurve? -- BenAveling

No, my fears are more about not spending enough time with my kids, growing away from my wife, and dying young of heart trouble like my grandfather. The ChangeCostCurve I know how to handle.

KentBeck is one of the authors of PlanningExtremeProgramming and is the author of the earlier book ExtremeProgrammingExplainedEmbraceChange.


Q: Where can I find a more or less complete biography for KentBeck? A: has as much information as is pulled together. CurrentBiography? ( published a more complete biography in their January 2007 issue.

Whatever came of the concepts as described here? Has nobody heard of PermaProgramming?? Related to PermaCulture

I gave that one talk but never really followed up. I think the design principles in the PermaCulture world are far more advanced than those in the software world and I would love to learn to apply them to software. However, I figure I should stop killing trees with my beginning attempts at PermaCulture first.

Kent, I noticed that you're an ENTJ and began to wonder how one might capitalize on available MBTI in attempts to build hypereffective XP teams. Are you (or is anyone else) aware of empirical or anecdotal data which might suggest patterns for building highly compatible XP teams? At the very least, the creation of a set of unbiased type-centric patterns (or anti-patterns) could be established and shared which might offer insight in how extra "extremeness" can be wrung from a team composed of highly compatible players. Any thoughts on the relevance of such an idea or if it even makes sense in the context of human factors when applied to agile methods? -- BillCraun?

Professor MichaelHolcombe? at the UniversityOfSheffield? has been working with the Department of Work Psychology to measure the psychological and emotional effects of working XpStyle?.

Kent, please make the text from the "The Metaphor Metaphor" presentation available (OOPSLA 2002). The discussion of the use of the war metaphor in our attempts to fight terrorism as opposed to a disease model are important and timely -- WatsonCrick?

I have never turned that material into a paper.

Kent, the page BorrowingTrouble says that your grandmother cautioned you against borrowing trouble. Perhaps you could explain the what this means on that page. -- MarkCarter? 15-Aug-2004

Google found 2 overlapping definitions at "Go out of one's way to do something that may be harmful" and "worry needlessly" So I went to the OED2 - (borrow v.1.b.) endorses the first definition, as a U.S. colloquialism. It seems well attested (back to 1854), but it is no wonder non-US English speakers are unfamiliar with it. I marked up the BorrowingTrouble page appropriately.

Kent gave KentsKeynoteAtXP2006 where he talked about what is MoreExtremeThanXp

Kent's talk at RailsConf2008 was wonderful history lesson:

EditText of this page (last edited November 10, 2014) or FindPage with title or text search

Fit   Wikibase