As of today I’ve been at Parasoft for 22 years. When I started, George Bush (the elder) was president, mozilla didn’t exist, AOL, Compuserve and Prodigy were what the public used for network, and an i486 was considered the latest greatest PC. We’ve come a long way since then.
The internet is now available to pretty much everyone, connection speeds are enormously faster although never fast enough to suit me. Browsers have improved and even seem to have gone away from the horrible proprietary extensions they once relied upon so heavily.
Software has come a long way. When we started selling Insure++ a runtime memory detection tool for C/C++, the most common reaction was “I’ve already got a debugger, why would I need such a thing?”. Seems like a silly statement now. Perhaps more amusing was a former product partner who thought that static analysis tools would never be a viable product on their own. Boy were they wrong! (You know who you are…)
Parasoft has morphed. When I started we were all Unix geeks and our favorite OS at work as SunOS (not Solaris, real SunOS). I got to work with my brother and a handful of others, a disproportionate amount of whom had PhDs. At the time we sold parallel processing tools, both directly as well as OEM deals through places like IBM, Intel, Hitachi, and nCube. Our toolkit was things like a parallel debugger, a parallel communications profiler, parallel graphics library, and my favorite, Cubix, a simple setup to very easily spread work across multiple nodes (think map-reduce).
These days all that cool high-tech software has evolved into software development tools that are still based on work done in the early days on understanding code to make it scale better. We don’t play with the big fancy computers anymore like Cray and whatnot, but the networking is so far beyond what we could have hoped for that it matters very little.