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Privately held
Industry Software industry
Founded 1993
Founder Neville Roy Singham
Headquarters Illinois, United States
Number of locations
Key people
Martin Fowler

CruiseControl, Selenium, Mingle, Go (CD), Snap (CI), Twist (discontinued),

Gauge (alternative for Twist)
Services custom software applications
Number of employees
Divisions Thoughtworks Studios

ThoughtWorks is a privately owned, global technology company. It provides software design and delivery, and pioneering tools and consulting services.The company is closely associated with the movement for agile software development, and has contributed to a range of open source products.


In the late 1980s Roy Singham founded Singham Business Services as a management consulting company servicing the equipment leasing industry in a Chicago basement. According to Singham, after two-to-three years, Singham started recruiting additional staff and came up with the name ThoughtWorks in 1990.[1][2]The company was incorporated under the new name in 1993 and focused on building software applications.[3] Over time, ThoughtWorks' technology shifted from C++ and Forte 4GL in the mid-1990s to include Java in the late 1990s.[4]

The company began using agile techniques while working on a leasing project.[5] ThoughtWorks’ technical expertise expanded with the .NET Framework in 2002,[6] C# in 2004, Ruby and the Rails platform in 2006.[7]

ThoughtWorks Studios was launched as its product division in 2006. The division creates, supports and sells agile project management and software development and deployment tools including Mingle, Twist and Go. On 2 March 2007, ThoughtWorks announced Trevor Mather as the new CEO.[8]

In April 2013, ThoughtWorks announced a new collective leadership structure and appointed four co-Presidents of the global organization. The appointments followed the announcement that the then current CEO, Trevor Mather, was leaving ThoughtWorks in June to take up the role of CEO for the Trader Media Group.

In 2015, Guo Xiao, who started as a developer in ThoughtWorks China in 1999, became the Chief Executive Officer and President. ThoughtWorks has more than 3500 employees, working from 36 offices in 14 countries.

Software and services[edit]

The company’s primary service is the creation of custom software applications for corporate clients. Projects for North American, European or Australian clients are often delivered from India, China, Brazil or Ecuador. The firm also provides consulting services related to software development, design, architecture, operations and IT transformation among others.

Proprietary software[edit]

On July 28, 2008, ThoughtWorks Studios released a proprietary product continuous integration server are called Cruise. Despite the name, this is not a derivative of the open source CruiseControl, but instead a new product written from scratch, which was released under a proprietary license. On July 10, 2010, ThoughtWorks Studios released a new continuous delivery platform called Go. Go includes the functionality of Cruise, which is no longer sold.[9] From April 2014 Go is open source and available on GitHub.

Mingle is software to facilitate agile project management and collaboration. Released in May 2007, Mingle was the first commercial application to be created using JRuby.[10] Mingle was released as a SAAS offering in 2013. Twist is software to facilitate test automation and functional testing with simple authoring. Twist is no longer supported by ThoughtWorks.[11]

Snap CI was released into an open Beta in July 2013 and eventually available for purchase on a subscription basis in April 2014. Snap allows you to automate the build and deployment of Java, Scala, Clojure, Rails, PHP and Python applications to various deployment platforms such as Amazon AWS, Heroku, RedHat OpenShift etc. by modeling the build and deploy process as a deployment pipeline.


  1. ^ Lundy, Dave. 2003. Ex-activist backs revolution in software. Chicago Sun-Times, October 23. "At the time, I was an independent consultant working in the leasing business, but I realized I didn't want to work on my own. So I recruited a few people, and we built a company called Singham Business Services for two or three years doing consulting and leasing. Then in 1990, I came up with the name ThoughtWorks."
  2. ^ "About | ThoughtWorks". ThoughtWorks. ThoughtWorks, Inc. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  3. ^ Gale Directory of Company Histories accessed 2011-7-20 "The fledgling enterprise recruited some of its first technical staff by posting bulletin board notices at the University of Chicago. ThoughtWorks soon grew from an initial staff of 8 people to 30 consultants at the time of its official incorporation in 1993.
  4. ^ ThoughtWorks-How We Work, “The Beginning” accessed 2007-7-20.
  5. ^ Lundy, Dave. 2003. Ex-activist backs revolution in software. Chicago Sun-Times, October 23.
  6. ^ Martin Fowler books, section: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, accessed 7-20-2011
  7. ^ Ruby at ThoughtWorks accessed 2007-7-20.
  8. ^ "ThoughtWorks, Global IT Services Firm, Names Trevor Mather CEO". Business Wire. Brookshire Hathaway. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  9. ^ Rubinstein, David (2010-07-20). "ThoughtWorks Studios unveils new release management platform". SD Times (Software Development). BZ Media LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  10. ^ "Mingle from ThoughtWorks Studios to Be the First Commercial Software in JRuby". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  11. ^ "A Farewell to Twist". Twist Automated Testing. ThoughtWorks, Inc. Retrieved 2016-01-02. (subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]