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Rumour has it that we will soon be hearing that Marco Cantu is to be hired/appointed/whatever as Delphi Product Manager.

What do we think of this ? A poisoned chalice for Marco ? A much needed shot in the arm for Delphi ?

34 thoughts on “New Delphi Product Manager to be Announced ?”

  1. Marco, don’t lose your head! Many sharks at Emba! Mark Edington left!? I wonder no more…

  2. Nick (apparently) got fired for telling management what they didn’t want to hear. I hope for the best, but I can’t imagine Marco will fare any better, especially if they have in fact lost two more senior developers.

  3. Marco Cantu is the more relevant Delphi evangelist of all times. 90% of Delphi developers learned delphi with his books, and has the capabilities for this job. Yes he is the man.

    1. 92% of statistics are made up on the spot. This is one of those 92% I think. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I am curious where you see the evidence that he has the capabilities for the job ? As far as I can tell, Marco is a professional lecturer, trainer and book writer with very little relevant experience to Product Management, if any.

      My own experience of one of his talks gave me the view that he has a lot of knowledge but not much experience of actually applying it in real-world, challenging scenarios. i.e. no matter how much he loves it, he doesn’t use Delphi in the way that the vast majority of it’s users do.

      In any event, at this stage we should bear in mind this is still just a rumour. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. @Jolion of course you are right about the statistic.

        But “he doesnโ€™t use Delphi in the way that the vast majority of itโ€™s users do” ehh? you are doing too. Also a statistic made up on the spot. no?

        1. “Vast majority” isn’t a statistic. If I had said “99% of users…” then you would have had a point. But I didn’t. I didn’t even quantify “vast”. ๐Ÿ™‚

          But unless you think the overwhelming majority of Delphi users don’t actually use it day-to-day to develop applications and software, it’s a pretty non-controversial characterisation of the Delphi user community to me.

          Perhaps you think there is a majority, or even a substantial minority, of users that use Delphi solely or primarily as a) a resource for the writing of books or b) as a teaching resource…. but I thought that a very common complaint was that there aren’t any/many Delphi books being written these days and that nobody is teaching it.

          Which would you prefer ? To have your cake, or to eat it ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Very interesting, if it’s true.

    We had Marco over just a few weeks ago, doing a few days worth of Delphi training where I work. I talked with him a fair amount, and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. If he gets the job, I hope he’s actually able to fix some things, though, as Craig pointed out, Nick got tossed out on his ear for speaking truth to power, so that might be too much to hope for.

  5. If it’s true, I wish him the very best luck, and think he’s a great guy for the job. Poisoned chalice? Melodramatic, as ever, eh?


  6. Now the crowd breaks and a young boy appears
    Looks the old man in the eye
    As he spreads his wings and shouts at the crowd
    In the name of God my father I fly.
    (Flight of the Icarus)

    Assuming it’s not just rumor. I wish Marco all the best. The product manager who takes over the finished product will be the successful one.

    @Jolyon – Company at table did a wise decision from their perspective. Don’t know if no product requires a manager. Marco has been given direct feedback from people who are learning Delphi, I think this is very valuable knowledge. Marco is still the God of Delphi in Italy and some people will remember him, I am sure.

    1. If Product Management was just “listening to customers” then you wouldn’t need Product Managers. The job of a Product Manager is to deliver – and anticipate – what customers need, not what they want. You can only translate what a customer says they want into what they actually need – and anticipate and envision what they want before they even ask for it – if you have walked in their shoes.

      I say this as a developer, consultant and latterly…. a Product Manager (not of Delphi, obviously). ๐Ÿ™‚

      Also as a former pub landlord and lead vocalist in a rock covers band, but those aren’t really relevant. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Unfortunately it is not what they need, but what they will pay for.

        If they can be tempted to shell out for a new Delphi with a vague hope of doing something with mobile, that is money in the bank for Embarcadero.

        And that is what I feel is currently happening, Embacadero is trying to cash in on various quickly changing market to keep the cash flowing.

        But that is a long term risky route, since it diverts resources from the main features of the suite.

      2. Thank you for the reply.

        I think exactly from the perspective customers need (figuring out the real requirement behind the words) Marco fits. Part of the product development …

        I am not unhappy with Delphi in general. If EMB simply fix and provides something useful now and then also ok.

        lepusculus permodestus

  7. Hmmmm…. given that he comes from a ‘practising developer’ kind of background then, I hope that Marco can persuade the powers that be that we don’t need a new release every year…. I suspect that those of us paying SA are happy enough to pay it provided there is general ongoing support and development. I would rather *not* have my annual SA fee used to pressure EMB into annual releases when they’re clearly not always ready for it. Can’t we just pay an annual subscription for something that is supported and works, and that gets updated in a timely fashion (where timely doesn’t mean every year to justify the SA cost)…? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just feel that we’re on this crazy treadmill where EMB seem to have to ship something every year, and certainly I can’t keep up (given 3rd party components tend to lag, and cost money, and I need to actually work 11 months of the year for paying customers etc). If a new Delphi came out every 2 years instead, I think upgrading and adopting would be a bit more manageable.

    Marco? Would be very interesting to see your thoughts on the whole SA/licensing and new release side of the business.

    1. On the face of it, subscriptions and annual maintenance appear indistinguishable, but there is a big difference that is important to what increasingly appear to be Embarcadero’s mid/long term goals.

      The difference is this:

      • A subscription is something you can stop and start whenever you like and when it is stopped you have no incentive to start other than, well, to start it.
      • A maintenance agreement is something you can ONLY start after a qualifying initial purchase, and if you stop then you have to make another qualifying purchase. So there is an incentive to keep your maintenance “active” even if you aren’t deriving any direct benefit, which is the INdirect benefit of not incurring the cost of starting it up again.

      In other words, maintenance revenue is – by and large – more reliable than subscription revenue.

      And reliable revenue is important when it comes to valuing a portfolio of products in order to set an asking price when hawking that portfolio to any potentially interested buyers. That’s why you won’t see SA/maintenance being dropped, or a subscription model introduced.

      You have to understand that Delphi is only a very small part of Embarcadero, and the over-arching goals of Embarcadero management will carry the day over anything that the RAD Studio management team might wish, if those wishes are not aligned with Embarcadero goals. Embarcadero is a venture capital investment company based on building a technology portfolio, not to be confused with a “technology company”.

      1. A “maintenance” agreement implies *maintenance*. SA is not a maintenance agreement because you get no real maintenance. Oracle maintenance contracts gives you support and patches for the whole lifecycle of the product (and you can pay for extended maintenance as well), while SA is advertised just as a way to get the next version “for free” – it’s more like a subscription, after all. I would happily pay for a real maintenance contract implying they fix bugs in the Delphi release(s) I’m working with, without the need to shift to a new one to get some bugs fixed – and new ones added. Of course I don’t ask they still maintain Delphi 7, but having the previous year release desupported (because no fix is added, whatever the official life cycle is) after about six months is not what a professional development tools should offer.
        Let’s see if they release any patch for the Windows 8 debugger issue of XE2, or if they attempt to force users to switch to XE3.

        1. SA doesn’t just get you the next version free. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee you that, unless the next version is released while your SA is current. The only thing for certain that is bought by SA is a number of support incidents (2 I think?). It is “maintenance” by the most common understanding, I believe.

          And I am sure that Embarcadero would protest that they DO fix bugs, but they provide those to all licensees, not just those on SA.

          This is the nightmare scenario they have to live with – if they tried to restrict bug fixes and updates to only SA users there would be an uproar, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since they tried to change the Pro SKU EULA. But believe you me, they must hate having to give away bug fixes, which is perhaps another reason that the bug fixes they do deign to release are so inadequate.

          1. Note they called it “SA”, Software Assurance, non “SM” Software Maintenance. The numbe of incidents for that price is very low, and there is no “assurance” you get a fix. With Oracle I got fix for my bugs in one of the next patches (depending on the issue impact), and I’ve something more than 2 SR per year.
            Emb sells it mainly as a cheaper way to get the next version – it is true it is not guaranteed, but after they didn’t release in time between 2006 and 2007 it looks they hasten release to make SA buyers “happy”.
            Oracle does restrict patchsets and patches to maintenance buyers. I do not know it that model would work with Delphi, I would accept it as long as it is really an ongoing maintenance and patches are released regularly. Others wouldn’t like it. As I don’t find SA useful and don’t buy it.
            Anyway they have little choices – deliver early and the spend time to fix bugs and release them, or make release cycles longers and deliver a less buggy product. The actual system, release early, many bugs, fix some, try to force people to upgrade to the next version does not work anymore.

            1. Yep. Note that they don’t call it a “subscription” anywhere. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              Do they even call it “Software Assurance” any more ? If you search the Embarcadero site, the last official reference to “SA” was in 2008, from a certain Mr Nick Hodges. All other references since have been in the forums, predominantly from community members, not Embarcadero staffers. Nowadays when you buy Delphi, the support agreement that get’s added to your cart is called : “Support and MAINTENANCE”

              The word “maintenance” occurs 6 times in the information page about that agreement. The word subscription appears not even once.

              The evidence keeps piling up. Whatever people might want to get from “SA”, what they get is a maintenance agreement, and unless they pay extra, it’s not even a “Premium” agreement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. I agree, they should stop this “ship new release every year” nightmare. It means that developers have only several months to work on a new release, and a new release is nothing different from the previous.

      1. They work on paralel projects (eg. compilers are propagate to release version after some paralel work – can be more years). So don’t assume only several months for release!

        So I want, every year new version – until they catch what Borland missed.

  8. My comment on the rumour would be that it seems a little uncouth to be encouraging gossip and rumour. Why not wait until an official announcement? And why ask others to comment yet refrain to do so yourself? Seems rather troll like behaviour.

    As far as Marco goes, I like the guy. I like that he’s an excellent listener and is not afraid to learn new tricks. He seems very well grounded.

    And that’s a comment on the individual and no comment on any rumoured new position. Even if it was official, I for one could not comment. What does someone like me know about Emba internal operations? The same goes for most of the commentors here also I suspect.

    1. You feel so high and mighty about people not commenting on rumour and then go and comment yourself ?!

      Which, I might add, you did on exactly the same terms as myself – in the COMMENTS, an opportunity which is there for people to avail themselves off if they wish, and to ignore if they do not or feel it to be beneath contempt.

      Kettle calling pot, colour check please! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. I did not comment on this rumour. Your English comprehension abilities appear somewhat limited.

        1. Yes, as a former US President once said, “I did not have sex with that woman”. Sheesh. It was quite clear what you were doing and the contortions you engaged in in order to deny you were doing it. Hypocrisy and dishonesty is the thing I have least time for.

          You didn’t even have the decency to label it with a smiley.

          1. I was giving my opinion on Marco as an individual. Not an opinion on his appointment to a particular role in Emba. If you want to believe that I meant something else, be my guest.

            1. Yes, we get it. You “did not have sex with that woman”. Understood. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              In any event, it’s official now. (I guess it was ‘official’ before, just not ‘announced’ ;))

  9. “My own experience of one of his talks gave me the view that he has a lot of knowledge but not much experience of actually applying it in real-world, challenging scenarios. i.e. no matter how much he loves it, he doesnโ€™t use Delphi in the way that the vast majority of itโ€™s users do.”

    I always get that feeling when listening to people giving conference talks (not just Marco, and not just Delphi). It’s fine and dandy to look at a product’s new features, conjure up a few test cases, skirting round any problems if need be. I’m not saying they don’t have a skill. But I think it’s more to do with presentation than development. How many times have you seen a feature demonstrated in one of these conferences (generics Delphi 2009 anyone?) and thought cool, it works great, then gone away, put it in your own application and come up against a brick wall due to some bugs in implementation (specifically internal errors with generics)?

  10. Now confirmed, with him announcing he will lead the team from Italy?

    Hard to take him seriously as anything except a shiny hood ornament as the continue to drive down the road to destruction (yet again).

    Hope RemObjects has a skunkworks project for a native x86 compiler. Once Embarcadero reaches its final destination, perhaps they can get the VCL for firesale prices and reboot the success out of house and with NONE of the embarcadero staff.

  11. The news is no official – I’m not sure if he’s the right man in the right place – he’s surely one of the gurus of Delphi, but a product manager is a different job and requires different skills – among them getting the proper support from upper management, getting the right people on board, manage them, devise the right product for the broader customer set you can reach, plan the proper releases, make QA work. Hope Marco can surprise us and do the right things.
    Hodges too wasn’t the right man because he was thinking too much about the Delphi *he* wanted for *him*, while in that role you have to think in a much broader way because not all customers are the same.
    After all, MS did hire Russinovich, but didn’t make him Windows product manager despite his very high Windows knowledge – managing a product is a different task than designing or coding it.
    Let’s see what happens… and if Marco can steer Delphi in a better direction.

  12. There is a rumour that Marco was the third choice candidate.

    Jolyon and LDS were – allegedly – top of Embarcadero’s list, but for some reason decided not to accept the challenge.

    Disappointing. I would have renewed my SA/Whatever on the basis of the entertainment potential alone.

    1. LOL – I wish. I would have jumped at the chance! And I’m even already a “Product Manager”, just not of Delphi. ๐Ÿ™‚

      But that was never on the cards.

      More seriously, Embarcadero are routinely criticised – not just by myself – for their decisions and actions with regard to their RAD Studio product line and Delphi in particular. It is somewhat puzzling then that anyone would think that the appointment of someone who has been among those least inclined to criticise might lead to any sort of change.

  13. Who’s going to be the next product mamanager after marco?
    Well there’s only Dr. Bob left.
    It’s getting to be a bit like Buggin’s turn.
    At time like this Delphi seems to have an awfully small community

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