As the Agile Manifesto approaches its 10th anniversary, SD Times is speaking to several of its authors to discuss the gathering at Snowbird, what perspective they brought to the meeting and what they might do differently. The 12 original authors will reunite at the Agile Alliance Conference this August in Salt Lake City.

In this installment, we speak to Robert ‘Uncle Bob’ Martin.

SD Times: What was your reason for attending the first gathering at Snowbird?
Martin: I called the meeting. Martin Fowler and I sat down in late 2000 and worked up an invitation list, and I sent the original invitations. Alistair Cockburn and Jim Highsmith volunteered their efforts for venue and logistics.

The reason I called the meeting was that I felt that there were many different folks with similar ideas about lightweight development processes. There was XP, Scrum, DSDM, FDD, Crystal and others. It seemed to me that if we brought all these people together, along with some traditional software luminaries, that something good would happen. When the meeting began, I charged the group to create a manifesto that represented our common beliefs.

What area of development had you been working on, and how did you see it meshing with the other efforts going on at that time? Are you still working to advance that specialty? Where is it at today?
At the time, I was working as a C++ and [object-orientation] consultant and trainer. My clients were asking me what software process they should use. So I got interested in the topic and found Kent Beck and Ken Schwaber, among others, who were making sense. Nowadays, I work with Java/C#/C++ programmers, Development Managers, and executives to help them figure out how to get their projects done, and done well. I am one of the founders and leaders of the Software Craftsmanship movement.


Looking back, is there anything you would have included or struck from the manifesto, knowing what you know now?
No, I think the manifesto is fine. However, there are some additions I would make to the invitation list.

We should have invited James O. Coplien; that we didn’t was a horrific oversight that I blame myself for. We should also have invited Mary Poppendieck.

Where do you see agile development moving in the next five years?
I hope it doesn’t move at all. I hope other people move toward it, as they have been doing all along in droves. I don’t think agile is the kind of thing that changes and grows with time. I think it’s a set of values and principles that are a standard of consistency and constancy.