Edward Thomson

Happy Birthday to Wolfram Research

September 23, 2013  •  6:54 PM

A big congratulations to Wolfram Research on the 25th anniversary of Mathematica.

Wolfram Research is one of the few technology companies in my hometown, so it's heartwarming to see them succeed. On a more personal level, I'm proud to see them succeed because they was my second job, an internship almost twenty(!) years ago.

Wolfram was a unique place, willing to bring in (hopefully) bright high school kids that were (definitely) a bit odd to run systems and write software, trusting them even with mission critical servers and shipping software. I am deeply indebted to my managers at Wolfram for trusting me with projects that I, frankly, had no business touching but projects that led me to understand how to take responsibility for complex systems and how to ship software.

Fortunately things have gotten a bit easier since then: at Wolfram we had an NEC workstation that only spoke Japanese on its console, my 50 MHz Sun workstation was envied by my peers, and Mac OS and NextStep were two very, very different operating systems. But twenty years later I'm still using so many of the lessons I learned there about managing and building software on a plurality of odd Unix systems.

I'm proud of Wolfram Research for a solid 25 years and I'm proud of Microsoft for continuing to invest in Team Explorer Everywhere for cross-platform access to Team Foundation Server.