Kent Beck

Kent's responsible for or a major contributor to Hillside Group, Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns, Software Patterns, Hot Draw, First Class Software, the Time Travel patterns, the xUnit family of Testing Frameworks and Extreme Programming. His most recent book is Implementation Patterns ( ).

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 (Kent In Merlin). I work for Three Rivers Institute (a new incarnation of First Class Software) programming, writing, and coaching teams applying Extreme Programming. My family and I are living the life of Rural Techugees. Email still goes to

Recent projects include:

I enjoy re-applying facilitation patterns like Polarizing Question, Oblique Question, and Dichotomy List.

Kent Beck Papers 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 Cowboy Music, which has lead me to think about Why Cowboys?

I have a new favorite author: Mr Bunny

I'm experimenting with a new project metric, Software In Process.

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 Object Explorer. The product is found at . That version is for Visual Works 5i, but I also have a version for VW 3.x. The code is available under the Parc Place Public License. -- Peter Hatch

I met Kent at OOPSLA 97 in Atlanta. He and Erich Gamma did a tutorial called "Advanced Design With Patterns And Java". 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 Java And Patterns Book?

Kent, big compliments on Driving Metaphor. I think this is the most accessible description of Wu Wei I've ever seen. -- Peter Merel

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 Change Cost Curve? -- Ben Aveling

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 Change Cost Curve I know how to handle.

Kent Beck is one of the authors of Planning Extreme Programming and is the author of the earlier book Extreme Programming Explained Embrace Change.

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

Whatever came of the concepts as described here? Has nobody heard of Perma Programming? Related to Perma Culture

I gave that one talk but never really followed up. I think the design principles in the Perma Culture 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 Perma Culture 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? -- Bill Craun

Professor Michael Holcombe at the University Of Sheffield has been working with the Department of Work Psychology to measure the psychological and emotional effects of working Xp Style.

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 -- Watson Crick

I have never turned that material into a paper.

Kent, the page Borrowing Trouble says that your grandmother cautioned you against borrowing trouble. Perhaps you could explain the what this means on that page. -- Mark Carter 15-Aug-2004

The phrase is a common idiom in English, and Wiki Is Nota Dictionary

I'm 32 years old, and never once left the United States. I've never heard this term before in all the states I've lived in. While Wiki Is Nota Dictionary, it is a great place to provide links. Thanks. --Samuel Falvo 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 Borrowing Trouble page appropriately.

Kent gave KentsKeynoteAtXP2006 where he talked about what is More Extreme Than Xp

Kent's talk at RailsConf2008 was wonderful history lesson:

See original on