Ward Cunningham

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Ward Cunningham
File:Ward Cunningham at Wikimania 2006.jpg
Ward Cunningham at Wikimania 2006
Born May 26, 1949 (1949-05-26) (age 71)
United States
Occupation Computer programmer
Known for WikiWikiWeb, the first implementation of a wiki

Howard G. "Ward" Cunningham (born May 26, 1949) is an American computer programmer who developed the first wiki. A pioneer in both design patterns and Extreme Programming, he started programming the software WikiWikiWeb in 1994 and installed it on the website of his software consultancy, Cunningham & Cunningham (commonly known by its domain name, c2.com), on March 25, 1995, as an add-on to the Portland Pattern Repository. He currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon and is the chief technology officer for AboutUs.

He has co-authored a book about wikis, titled The Wiki Way, and also invented Framework for Integrated Tests. He was a keynote speaker at the first three instances of the WikiSym conference series on wiki research and practice.


Personal history

Howard G. "Ward" Cunningham received his Bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary engineering (electrical engineering and computer science) and his master's degree in computer science from Purdue University. He is a founder of Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. He has also served as Director of R&D at Wyatt Software and as Principal Engineer in the Tektronix Computer Research Laboratory. He is founder of the Hillside Group and has served as program chair of the Pattern Languages of Programming conference which it sponsors. Cunningham was part of the Smalltalk community. From December 2003 until October 2005, he worked for Microsoft Corporation in the "patterns & practices" group. From October 2005 to May 2007, he held the position of Director of Committer Community Development at the Eclipse Foundation. In May 2007, he joined AboutUs as its chief technology officer.[1][2][3]

Ideas and inventions

Cunningham is well-known for a few widely disseminated ideas which he originated and developed. The most famous among these are the wiki (named after WikiWikiWeb) and many ideas in the field of software patterns. He owns the company Cunningham & Cunningham Inc., a small consultancy that has specialized in object-oriented programming.

In a 2006 interview with internetnews.com Cunningham describes his thinking about patenting the Wiki concept when he first created it.[4]

He has a current interest in tracking the number and location of wiki page edits as a sociological experiment and may even consider the degradation of a wiki page as part of its process to stability. “There are those who give and those who take. You can tell by reading what they write.”[5]

Patterns and Extreme Programming

Cunningham is also well known for his contributions to the developing practice of object-oriented programming, in particular the use of pattern languages and (with Kent Beck) CRC (Class-Responsibility Collaboration) cards. He is also a significant contributor to the Extreme Programming software development methodology. A great deal of this work was collaboratively carried out in the first wiki site itself.


  1. Ward Cunningham (2007-05-17). "Transition". http://eclipseprojects.blogspot.com/2007/05/transition.html. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  2. Bishop, Todd. (January 26, 2004) Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Microsoft Notebook: Wiki pioneer planted the seed and watched it grow. Section: Business; Page D1.
  3. Rogoway, Mike (May 18, 2007). "Inventor of the wiki has a new job in Portland". The Oregonian business blog. http://blog.oregonlive.com/business/2007/05/inventor_of_the_wiki_has_a_new.html. 
  4. Kerner, Sean Michael (December 8, 2006). "Q&A with Ward Cunningham". internetnews.com. http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3648131. 
  5. CubeSpace, Portland Oregon (December 7, 2008). "Ward Cunningham, Lecture". CyborgCamp Live Stream - Mogulus Live Broadcast. http://cyborgcamp.blip.tv/#1564923. 

External links

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