Ward Cunningham (born May 26, 1949) is a computer programmer and the inventor of the WikiWiki concept.
He 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 founded the first wiki site, at the Portland Pattern Repository, on March 25, 1995. The site, which is still active, is dedicated to "people, projects, and patterns" and is an "informal history of programming ideas". For instance, the site has been used for cataloging useful pattern languages of software development and for developing the software development methods behind extreme programming. Cunningham states that the wiki concept came to him in the late 1980s, and he implemented it first in a HyperCard stack.
He is the co-author (with Bo Leuf) of the book The Wiki Way (2001).
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 . Ward is well known for his contributions to the developing practice of object-oriented programming, the software development methodology called Extreme Programming, and the communities hosted by his WikiWikiWeb. He is founder of the Hillside Group and has served as program chair of the Pattern Languages of Programs conference which it sponsors. Since December 2003 he has worked for Microsoft in the "patterns & practices" group.
Ward Cunningham lives in Portland, Oregon.
- Bo Leuf, Ward Cunningham. The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web. Addison-Wesley Longmann, April, 2001. ISBN 020171499X