Design in Object Technology

The Original 1994 Class


Experience the raw, unannotated version of the original course, Design In Object Technology, created by Dr. Alistair Cockburn in 1994.


Dr. Cockburn was one of the leading experts in the then-new field of object-oriented design. Hired by the IBM Consulting Group to create their methodology for all their object- technology projects, he taught the entire design team on a key project all they would need to know to run the project they were embarking on. It covered everything from use cases to design techniques to project management. It took a week to run, and the project was one of the rare OO project successes of that time.


This book is that course.


The book offers a rare glimpse into a moment in time where the standards and practices of object technology were being chartered by the leaders of the day.


Now, in 2022, that course has historical significance. It was at the time a tour-de-force of complete project education, from project management tips to requirements gathering to software design. It set the stage for modern "agile" development techniques.


Old-timers will enjoy seeing the presentation of these core topics. Newcomers can learn subtleties of techniques they may only have heard of. Everyone will enjoy the depth and liveliness of what might otherwise be a boring Powerpoint deck.


From the Preface
or, why you should buy this historic book.


In 1991 I was hired by the IBM Consulting Group to create a methodology for their object-technology projects. An early "agile" methodology, it's emphasis was on incremental development, requirements in use cases, and design using responsibilities.


We applied the methodology in 1994 on a fixed-price, fixed-scope project that integrated COBOL programs with a sizable Smalltalk application via a relational database. Bid as a $10M, 18-month, 50-person project, it delivered on time at a cost of about $15M. The client was happy with the result and the system was still i being maintained ten years later, so it was considered a successful project. The project is written up in detail as "project Winifred" in my 1997 book Surviving Object-Oriented Projects.


At the start of the project, I gave a week-long course to the entire team. it covered incremental development, use cases, responsibilities, an early hexagonal architecture, methodologies, whatever they would need to function on the project.


This book is no more and no less than slides from that course, all 214 of them. To honor its historical purpose, I have made no changes to the slides. What you see is what I taught back then.


This book is possibly of greatest interest to those people who were practicing object-oriented design back in the 1990s. They will be interested to see how I presented topics that were current back then. Newer designers might find it interesting to see how we talked about things back then, some might find new ideas new to them that may help them in their designs.


I hope you enjoy this historical educational artifact.


Alistair Cockburn

Your purchase choices

The paper version is pleasant to hold, you can flip back and forth across lectures. Two slides per page reads easily. Feels good, looks good. Is paper, ahhh.

 The epub is cheaper, read it on your digital device. Comes out as one slide per "page". That's about it :)

Choose whichever you prefer.

Sample pages from the book


(Click a pic to enlarge and step through the gallery)

Write me if you ordered a copy earlier


We found a typo in the first printing of the book :) ahh, well. If you ordered that printing, write me and let me know.


Also, I will be coming out with a director's-cut version soon, if you have already bought the paper copy of this bare PPT copy, write me and let's see about getting you the director's-cut version when it comes out.


In all cases, thanks for your interest!