The corporate landscape is in constant flux, and is impossible to keep up with.  But it helps, in following the flow of technology, to know the heavy hitters and the small but aggressive up-and-comers.

30 years ago, companies were fairly stable - the good old days - when Dad had a secure, lifetime job, with a gold watch at retirement and a generous pension.  Well, we all know those days are gone.  Many companies are facing bankruptcy for the simple fact that their pension plans have swallowed them up.  Layoffs are now expected, and when a techie gets a job, the only question is how long will it last before the RIF comes.

This section lists the most important technical corporations, and tries (in vain) to list the mergers and acquisitions that any technical professional should be aware of.  It is so hard, though  . . . . for example, the top two router companies are Cisco (65% routers sold) and Juniper (27%).  Sure, I knew that . . . but the number 3 router company, Avici, with 2% of all routers sold - was unknown to me until last month.  

Then there's the mergers.  For example, I had an interview with AT&T in mid-2004.  I began talking about the competitive landscape between Cisco, Juniper & Net Screen.  The interviewer then notified me that Juniper had bought Net Screen several months ago !!  Oooops . . . oh well . . .