My, how time flies. Bentley Systems, Incorporated is 25 years young in 2009. To some, that may seem like a lifetime... that's if they have even reached that milestone! To others, that may seem like nothing. In the grand scheme of things, 25 years is likened to a split second, but in our business, it is a long time.
Keith Bentley's recent blog article made me think, wow, 25 years. Has it been that long? And then I pulled out the 9-track tape that I got when I purchased PseudoStation, the predecessor to MicroStation. Yikes... it has been!
A lot has happened since then 1984. I remember the first "PC" that I used had two floppy bays, no harddrive to speak of, and a 4" square MONOCHROME CRT display - it looked very much like an oscilloscope. The network I used was called "The Sneakernet". And e-mail? That was shouting over the wall to the folks who were within earshot.
Technological advancements like computers and the Internet have changed many things. Now, I can fit more "stuff" on a flash drive than was possible on a roomful (literally) of dishwasher-sized disk drives in yesteryear. And the dependability... back then, head crashes were the fear. Today, it's losing your thumb drive (I am pretty certain I am not the only one that has happened to). Still, we connect with others in ways that simply were not possible in 1984. This site is one of many examples of that.
Bentley and MicroStation have advanced over the years, too. I have personally seen the organization grow from a handful of folks (most of whom still work here!) developing and supporting a "CAD package" to about 3,000 colleagues spanning the globe helping to sustain the infrastructure lifecycle. MicroStation V8i (the current release of the Bentley desktop platform) and Bentley DGN help streamline processes, promote reuse, and improve quality.
Are things better now than they were? I think they are... very much so. What does the future hold for all of us? That is hard to say for sure - suffice to say that in 1984, not many things that are around us today were predicted back then. But there is one thing that is guaranteed - there will be change... and it will be for the better. And we will do everything we possibly can to be there with it. I, for one, am looking forward to that.