When Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) hired a top software engineer from Stanford University in the late 1980s, it was a bold move for the Japanese automaker to bring in someone from outside the industry.
A few years earlier, Toyota had hired an engineer from the University of Pittsburgh to work on a software package for the Prius Hybrid, the company’s most popular plug-in hybrid.
Toyota’s software department had grown to include over 100 people and was known for being a key cog in Toyota’s drive to make its cars more environmentally friendly.
But, with the rise of software engineers like Mark Ritchie, it seemed like a natural fit for the company.
“Mark had the same background as our software engineer, so I asked him to come and work with us,” said Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“He was a wonderful colleague.”
The team at Toyota’s Palo Alto headquarters was known as the “Big Three,” with the three software engineers being Ritchie and Ritchie’s father, Mark.
The Big Three was staffed with more than 50 software engineers.
One of those programmers, Ritchie said, was an engineer named Chris who was one of his top three.
Ritchie recalled that when Chris was hired to work with Toyota in the early 1990s, he was immediately offered a full-time position in the software division.
“I told him, ‘I’m going to leave Stanford for you guys,'” Ritchie told The Hindu in 2010.
“Chris was the guy who had a very high degree of expertise in software development,” said Ritchie.
At the time, Raney was working on a computer game called “The Last Starfighter,” which was developed by Pixar, one of the largest video game companies in the world.
In 1998, Raneys company was acquired by Microsoft for $500 million.
“In my first week on the job, I’d get a phone call from [Ritchie],” Ritchie recounted.
“It was from the head of the software team.
They wanted to know if I was available for the position.
I told them, ‘Yes, I am available.’
The next day, they were ready to hire me.”
Ritchie said that his experience working at Pixar gave him the idea to try out at Toyota.
“We were both programmers, so we knew the language very well,” he said.
“But we had no experience with programming and that’s when we got to the point where we started to understand each other.”
In the years since, Rigo and Raney have worked closely together to bring Pixar’s games to the masses.
They’ve built up a reputation as one of Toyota’s best programmers.
They even worked together to create a series of games called “Toyota Sports,” which is based on the Toyota R100 sports car.
Ritchie was hired as a software engineer at Toyota in 1996.
“The first thing I said to him was, ‘You’re my first programming hire, so let me introduce myself,'” Rigo said.
When Ritchie arrived at Toyota after the Pixar acquisition, he quickly began to make the company a more efficient place for software engineers to work.
Rigo recalls one day, when he was working in the computer department, the chief of the company decided to take a break and give him a call.
“So, I answered the call, and they said, ‘Are you going to be working with us?’
And I said, “No, no.
I’ll be doing something else.’
“They had done a lot of work to get the car to run on the road, so they had made a lot more of the graphics and animations. “
In my second year, we were working on the new Toyota R-Zero, which was a game developed for the first time by Toyota,” Ritchie explained.
“They had done a lot of work to get the car to run on the road, so they had made a lot more of the graphics and animations.
I thought that the graphics were cool and the animations were cool.
So, I went to Pixar and asked them if they could make them for me.”
When Rijs asked him, “What’s the first thing you do for a day at Pixar?”
Ritchie responded, “I make games,” according to Ritchie who was impressed by his ability to do so.
He continued working in software engineering until 2008 when he retired from Toyota and left Pixar.
“It was a very challenging job,” Rigo recalled.
“You worked with many different programmers, all different languages and all different styles.
It was very hard work.”
In 2011, Toyota announced that Ritchie would be leaving the company to join a different group at Microsoft. “Mark R