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A Brief History of Perforce

A Brief History of Perforce
by Daniel Payne on 01-28-2021 at 10:00 am

In 2020 Perforce acquired Methodics, a provider of IP Lifecycle Management (IPLM) tools, and Daniel Nenni blogged about that in July 2020, but a lot has happened since Perforce was founded in 1995. In the beginning Christopher Seiwald founded Perforce in his Alameda basement based on his background as a software developer, and focused the company on software configuration management (SCM), naming their first product Perforce.

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Christopher Seiwald, founding CEO

The Perforce Helix product got renamed as Helix Core and is a software tool used for version control on large projects.

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Helix Core workflow

Seven Pillars of Pretty Code was written by Seiwald in 2003, and the principles are just as relevant today for software developers to understand and use in their projects to be effective and understood by other programmers.

O’Reilly published a book called Beautiful Code in 2008, where Seiwald and Laura Wingerd opined about software development practices, building upon the earlier principles of Seven Pillars of Pretty Code. Laura joined the company in 1997 and also authored Practical Perforce in 2005, still available on Amazon.

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Practical Perforce, 2005

Summit Partners acquired Perforce in 2016, and founder Seiwald handed the reigns over to Janet Dryer as the new CEO. That’s also the year that the headquarters moved from California to Minneapolis, and they reported some 200 employees.

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Janet Dryer, CEO, 2016

Acquisitions soon started during Dryer’s leadership as Hansoft was acquired for their Agile planning tool in 2017, quickly followed by Deveo for repository management services.

The next CEO change was in 2018 when Mark Ties moved from the COO/CFO role, and since joining Perforce the company acquired 8 companies and almost doubled sales. Private equity firm Clearlake Capital became the new owner in January 2018. Perfecto was acquired in October 2018 for their mobile and web automation testing.

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Mark Ties, CEO, 2018 – present

Rogue Wave Software got purchased in 2019, adding development tools for the growing HPC segment.

In 2020 both Methodics and TestCraft Technologies (web application testing) were acquired.

Still a private company in 2021 with over 15,000 customers, the number of employees listed on LinkedIn is 510, so quite a rapid growth in the past five years.

Industries Served

In the past 26 years the company has gradually expanded their customer base into the following industries:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Embedded Systems
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Semiconductor
  • Virtual Production
  • Automotive
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Game Development
  • Life Sciences
  • Software

The Methodics products serve the Semiconductor industry segment, and have the potential to also grow into more industry segments over time. Here’s the list of products and where Methodics fits into the mix.

  • Version Control System
  • Enterprise Agile Planning
    • Hansoft
  • Dev Collaboration
    • Helix TeamHub
    • Helix Swarm
    • Helix4Git
  • Development Lifecycle Management
    • Helix ALM
    • Surround SCM
  • Static Analysis
    • Helix QAC
    • Klocwork
  • Development Tools & Libraries
    • HostAccess
    • HydraExpress
    • PV-WAVE
    • SourcePro
    • Stingray
    • Visualization

Perforce Summary

From humble beginnings of a lone programmer starting out in Alameda, Perforce now has offices in: Minneapolis, Ohio, Alameda, Colorado, Canada, UK, Australia, Sweden, India and Estonia. I know from talking with Michael Munsey of Methodics, that the future looks exciting within the company as they serve the semiconductor and other markets with a growing family of products all aimed at software developers and electronic systems.

I’ll be attending their Virtual DevOps Summit for Embedded Software on February 4th, so why not attend to learn more.

About Perforce

Perforce powers innovation at unrivaled scale. With a portfolio of scalable DevOps solutions, we help modern enterprises overcome complex product development challenges by improving productivity, visibility, and security throughout the product lifecycle. Our portfolio includes solutions for Agile planning & ALM, API management, automated mobile & web testing, embeddable analytics, open source support, repository management, static & dynamic code analysis, version control, and more. With over 15,000 customers, Perforce is trusted by the world’s leading brands to drive their business critical technology development. For more information, visit www.perforce.com.

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