Don Wells

Officially his name is James Donovan Wells.

He started out as an ArtificialIntelligence guy. He built several expert systems for General Dynamics and Ford. When AI didn't live up to the hype surrounding it the AiWinter started and AI jobs became scarce. The most important things he learned while in the world of AI was about TeamWork? and how to work with DomainExperts.

He moved into the business world by joining the ChryslerComprehensiveCompensation project. This project was not doing well so 3 well known consultants were brought in to help. KentBeck, RonJeffries, and MartinFowler together with the Chrysler team created the ExtremeProgramming process as a result. The team members at C3 were working about 6.5 times as effectively after ExtremeProgramming was addopted.

From Chrysler he moved to Ford. He combined what he knew about TeamWork? and what he learned from the ChryslerComprehensiveCompensation at the VcapsProject for Ford. The team members at the VcapsProject were working about 10 times as productively as before.

This increase in productivity was noticed by Ford management and he was assigned to a very important project called F@ST. For pointing out that the 9 month schedule was impossible with a waterfall process and suggesting an Agile process he was fired.

He moved back to DaimlerChrysler as part of their Advanced Development Technology Support group. He tried to incorporate some ideas about TeamWork? and ExtremeProgramming there too, but it wasn't well received. When DaimlerChrysler cut everyone's salary by about 15% he moved back to Ford.

Back at Ford he worked on adding some ExtremeProgramming values and practices to the RationalUnifiedProcess based method called UnifiedSdm?. What he and co-conspirator ChetHendrickson created was a more agile version of UnifiedSdm?. Metrics collected by Ford showed this process to be 27% more effective. When Ford fired about half of their MIS support people he was out of a job again. Ford has since revised UnifiedSdm? back to having little Agility.

He taught math for a while then took a job with InStream? Financial Services. InStream? is a small start up financial company. With a small group of programmers it is the ideal environment for agile software development. He is working on bringing in some ExtremeProgramming elements like AutomatedContinuousTesting and SimpleDesign. InStream? Financial Services went out of business because the product they sold was credit and credit became scarce in the economic down turn.

He began volunteer work at the MichiganHumaneSociety?. He was asked to answer phone calls at the free behavior help line and decided to narrow his studies to cat behavior. He is now a member of the InternationAssociationOfAnimalBehaviorConsultants?. He is still working there as a cat trainer and behavior consultant.

He was recently asked to be a BusinessAnalyst at Ford and has gone back to work there. Ford is rolling out UnifiedSdm? again with the idea of making it more Agile. It still needs some work and Don is helping his new project be even more Agile within the Ford environment.

Currently he is updating http://www.extremeprogramming.org and creating http://www.agile-process.org in the same spirit. He is creating http://www.cat-help.com based on his experiences helping people solve their cat's behavior problems.

Also see http://www.agile-process.org/donwells.html

mailto:Don(at)ExtremeProgramming.org


Object Oriented proverbs Also look at http://agile-process.org/proverbs.html


Don, Thank you very much for LispMeUnit and LispMeObjects. Awesome! -- JonathanArkell
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