In the early '90s I started with command line POV-Ray and lookalikes, as I was looking for a 3D animated intro for my home-made videos.
Soon I purchased trueSpace 1.04 (available on 3 floppy's), which was quite expensive at that time. Luckily, trueSpace 2 came out a few weeks later and I got a free upgrade. Mid '90s I started writing some add-ons, and later on plug-ins. Became beta-tester for versions 3, then 4, ... and stepped down when they started working on version 6, as I didn't like the direction they were heading.
Jumped shipped and tried my hands at LightWave ... yuk! This poor decision lead me to a 5 year hiatus away from 3D.
Around 2005, a crossgrade summer promotion from LightWave got me Cinema 4D R9 (XL bundle) ... and have never looked back since.
It wasn't before 2015 that plugin development started to itch again. And these days I mainly spend time working on plugins.