Neal Ralph Firth assumed both individual contributor and management roles during the design, test, and development of both hardware and software used in stand-alone, embedded system, and real-time environments in his early career. Since the late 90's he has focused on source control and the automation of test and build systems. He first encountered Perforce in its early days while investigating source control solutions for one of his first consulting customers. He subsequently became a Perforce Consulting Partner and a Perforce Certified Trainer as soon as those certifications were available to him. He has consulted for hundreds of companies and organizations, and trained thousands of Perforce users and administrators across the US and Canada.
His career has had a focus on automation and the tools that make people more productive. His early work with hardware microcode simulation was chronicled as part of Tracy Kidder's Pulitzer prize winning book "The Soul of a New Machine". He has presented papers and has spoken at conferences in the US, the United Kingdom, and Germany. He has published articles on hardware, software, and business topics. Hardware topics include peer reviewed IEEE articles on microcode. Software articles have dealt with the application of automated processes with a focus on legacy tool integrations and tool migrations.
As the principal provider of Perforce related services for VIZIM Worldwide, Neal's focus is on the migration of information between SCM products and integrations with legacy systems. He developed the framework for VIZIM's full history migration tool sets and authored the ClearCase and VSS-specific versions of those tools. He has created many Perforce-specific integrations for features such as the Perforce Defect Tracking gateway and IDEs such as JDeveloper.