Alistair Cockburn
Alistair Cockburn
Alistair Cockburn (2007).jpg
Alistair Cockburn in Seattle in 2007
Born (1953-11-19) November 19, 1953 (age 65)
OccupationComputer programmer

Alistair Cockburn (born November 19, 1953) is an American computer scientist, known as one of the initiators of the agile movement in software development.[]

Life and work

Cockburn started studying the methods of object oriented (OO) software development for IBM. From 1994, he formed "Humans and Technology" in Salt Lake City. He obtained his degree in computer science at the Case Western Reserve University. In 2003 he received his PhD degree from the University of Oslo.

Cockburn helped write the Manifesto for Agile Software Development in 2001, the agile PM Declaration of Interdependence in 2005, and co-founded the International Consortium for Agile in 2009 (with Ahmed Sidky and Ash Rofail). He is a principal expositor of the use case for documenting business processes and behavioral requirements for software, and inventor of the Cockburn Scale for categorizing software projects.

The methodologies in the Crystal family (e.g., Crystal Clear), described by Alistair Cockburn, are considered examples of lightweight methodology. The Crystal family is colour-coded to signify the "weight" of methodology needed. Thus, a large project which has consequences that involve risk to human life would use the Crystal Sapphire or Crystal Diamond methods. A small project might use Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow or Crystal Orange.

Cockburn presented his[dead link]Hexagonal Architecture 2005 as a solution to problems with e.g. traditional layering, coupling and entanglement.

Selected publications

  • Surviving Object-Oriented Projects, Alistair Cockburn, 1st edition, December, 1997, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-49834-0.
  • Writing Effective Use Cases, Alistair Cockburn, 1st edition, January, 2000, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-70225-8.
  • Agile Software Development, Alistair Cockburn, 1st edition, December 2001, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-69969-9.
  • Patterns for Effective Use Cases, Steve Adolph, Paul Bramble, with Alistair Cockburn, Andy Pols contributors, August 2002, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-72184-8.
  • People and Methodologies in Software Development, Alistair Cockburn, February 2003, D.Ph. dissertation, University of Oslo Press[1]
  • Crystal Clear : A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams, Alistair Cockburn, October 2004, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-201-69947-8.
  • Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game, Alistair Cockburn, 2nd edition, October 2006, Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0-321-48275-1, ISBN 978-0-321-48275-4 .


  1. ^ D.Ph. dissertation online at

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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