In this episode, Donn and Kaushik talk to Uber's Manu Sridharan on static code analysis. Manu's a badass who did his PhD on the subject! He explains how static code analysis works, how Uber leverages these tools in their app development pipeline and how we can use such tools to build high quality Android apps.
I found the story I was thinking about: Reed Hastings founded the company that built the Purify tool for debugging memory errors in C programs before founding Netflix. But, that's actually not a static analysis tool; it does dynamic analysis by adding extra metadata at runtime.
As far as the history of lint goes, from Wikipedia looks like Kaushik's guess was exactly right as to why it's called lint. Looks like the name goes back to the late 1970s.