Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nigel hits the press.

"DevCo's" venerable General Manager, Nigel Brown got a moment with Gavin Clarke of The Register, which resulted in this article.  A key statement that I know many of the loyal Delphi/BDS community will like is; "We won't be speaking to CTOs except in rare instances," Brown said. What he's saying is that "DevCo" will be about developers, for developers, and by developers.  Most of the marketing will likely be squarely focused on the developers.  Not some high-level CTO/CIO/VP mish-mash of confusing MBA buzzwords.

Will this mean that we'll abandon things like ALM integrations?  No!  Does interfacing to various SCM tools in the IDE make the developer more productive?  Sure.  What about integrating tools that help a team of developers use the various agile development methodologies such as SCRUM, Pair Programming, XP, etc..?  These are tools that the developers would use day-in and day-out.  If it's going to keep developers and team of developers productive, then it's in the cards.  It's also about emerging and current technologies.  These are the things developers care about.  As you can read, Nigel and the whole "DevCo" leadership team is committed to ensuring that the products get the proper investment of resources, and have an effective, key point here, well funded sales and marketing teams.

Tools such as project portfolio management, requirements management and elicitation, testing tools, are the pervue of what the new Borland will emerge as.  These are the tools you can sell to a CTO/CIO/VP.  They are about increasing visibility of the development process up the management chain.  If the developer's tools make the teams and the developers more productive, then Borland's tools can make sure the rest of the organization will see that.  There still needs to be tools that make the developer successful.  That's our job.

Minor nit... Nigel is a 10 year veteran of Borland.

10 comments:

  1. In a lot of ways, I wish that people will stop talking until there are actual facts.

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  2. Hi,


    "Most of the marketing will likely be squarely focused on the developers. Not some high-level CTO/CIO/VP mish-mash of confusing MBA buzzwords."


    I think that's wrong: Software developers already know Delphi but have a hard time to convince the management that it isn't a dead product. And that's because there isn't any marketing that reaches the suits.


    twm

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  3. I think that balance is the key to marketing. You have to have one pitch to the developers, and a different one to the management. Management is interested in the forest, and the big picture. "How many trees will this cost?" Developers are interested in branch structure and bark thickness. The details that we are interested in will make the MBAs eyes glaze over. The devil is in the details, but the story needs to be tailored to the audience. The developer needs to know how the DevCo product will enable his effort to give users the features that they want and need. The manager must know how the DevCo product will affect productivity and process. The marketing must be focused to tell the right story to the right people. If you get the buzz going in the two camps, it will meet in the middle. That's where the budgets are forged. You'll win either way, whether the culture for resource allocation is engineered from the top down, or the bottom up.

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  4. twm said "I think that's wrong: Software developers already know Delphi but have a hard time to convince the management that it isn't a dead product." That's simply not correct. I can point to literally millions that don't have a clue about Delphi. While your point regarding perception of "dead product" has some merit, that is a minor issue that will disappear quickly with some fresh marketing.

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  5. I liked this:

    "Most of the marketing will likely be squarely focused on the developers. Not some high-level CTO/CIO/VP mish-mash of confusing MBA buzzwords."


    But then you talk about "ALM" "Scrum" and "Pair Programming".


    I've been programming for over 25 years but I've never heard of these buzzwords. In my opinion you should concentrate on basics. I'm using your BDS 4 and the more I use it the more I like it. (that is a real compliment). I haven't noticed any scrum on it :)


    I'd like to see kylix revisited, only this time make a user compilable interface to the ide so it will last more then a month. (upgrade the kernel loose the ide?)


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  6. "But then you talk about "ALM" "Scrum" and "Pair Programming". I've been programming for over 25 years but I've never heard of these buzzwords."


    Actually, Scrum and pair programming (an XP - Extreme Programming" practice), are far more than "buzzwords". They are widely - and effectively - "agile" methods to develop software. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development, for a brief introduction. They are more about "developing" software than about "managing" it :)


    To be used even more effectively, some help from the IDE is welcome.

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  7. Words words words words


    They are nothing compared to a good

    IDE, solid framework and experience :-)


    I mean, sure, an example:


    I read the book GoF... I can honestly tell you it was IMHO a very dull, but easy, book. It did not inspire me whatsoever.


    I want technical books instead (except of course, most are really to heavy to have in bed... when they fall on your head... and I do not care to read books on a computer screen... A problem I yet have to solve *G*)


    Spending time on wrapping some "exotic ideas and concepts" is what Borland does...

    Perhaps they will succeed, I hope, I have Borland stocks, but it is also what took focus away from what was a superior IDE and development environment. Get back to basics like stable IDE!, fastcode, .Net 2, roadmap for UTF8/Unicode, Kylix (at least like a Kylix 3.1 and community open the code libraries or similar) and Win64.


    (that said... I would like some testing, profiling etc. tools in IDE as well *S*)

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  8. Lauchlan MackinnonApril 27, 2006 at 4:04 PM

    <<

    What he's saying is that "DevCo" will be about developers, for developers, and by developers. Most of the marketing will likely be squarely focused on the developers. Not some high-level CTO/CIO/VP mish-mash of confusing MBA buzzwords.

    >>


    I'm not sure that focusing exclusively on only developers is a good idea. Surely one can focus on developers AND PHBs? Wouldn't it boil down to who the decision makers are for purchasers and who you sell to. I would have thought the developer market is good, and the Enterprise market is also good.

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  9. Developers use Borland technology every day, so of course they need to be educated and convinced that it's the right choice for the job.


    But there needs to be a clear focus on the development team leaders and systems architects who decide on the tools that will be used. I would say that that needs to be shared between Borland/DevCo and the community.


    At CTO/CIO level most of the effort is spent on strategy, not on specifics like which tool to use to deliver on that strategy.


    From the CTO perspective, the decision of what development tool to use is perhaps similar to the choice of truck used by the shipping department. For sure, it's an important decision, representing considerable capital and expenses over a multi-year period. And there are differentiators between e.g. a choice of containerised shipping solutions versus (say) a palette-based approach.


    But fundamentally, at board / CXO level, the issue boils down to "can the development organisation ship good code on time and support the organisation's information needs".


    Where DevCo does need to focus is on the middle managers under the CTO.


    These managers generally need to approve the use of the product and be assured that the systems written by the developers will work alongside existing applications. That can be either directly (where there's a one-language-fits-all approach in the firm) or (as is fashionable) within the context of a service-oriented architecture, Web services, and suchlike.


    Most importantly, these middle-managers also need to know that there's broad support for the technology, both in terms of traditional technical support and also consulting, both from DevCo and elsewhere.


    So the responsibility for promotion of Delphi and JBuilder at this management level lies with the community as much as with DevCo.

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  10. Having worked in the tool categories of the software market, keep in mind that technical enthusiasts don't pay for things. They might recommed things, but most sales reps will not work with prospects trying to push a product up from the bottom of the organization. What Nigel suggests is much harder than Nigel realizes.

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