In the comments to a previous post there cropped up the complaint that people asking for a realistic Starter Edition are just looking for a cheaper edition of Delphi for themselves. Maybe some of us are, but even so we are – or at least I am – not primarily concerned with the savings to our pocket. The consequence of there not being an affordable edition costs Embarcadero – and the remaining “Delphi Gentlemen’s Club” members – far more in the long run.
First of all, why shouldn’t some of us be looking for a cheaper version ? And why should the users of the current/more expensive editions begrudge that ?
I’ve made this point countless times… my employer pays for my “day job” license. That’s an Enterprise license. At home I want something for my personal, non-money making use because if I use my employers license, anything I do even in my own time can be claimed by them (and you never know, I might just hit upon a valuable idea). But in the main, that personal use doesn’t make money. It’s simply a cost.
Heck, this blog doesn’t even pay for itself !
As such, software tools have to compete for my $ along with all my other hobbies and domestic expenses. Starter doesn’t cut it, and Pro is over-priced. Just because I earn my salary with Delphi (currently) that doesn’t make my personal use anything more than the hobby that it is. Should it ever pay for itself, let alone earn me anything above covering that cost, of course I would happily pay whatever the (reasonable) asking price.
I frankly find it offensive that I be regarded as being somehow “cheap”.
The Bigger Picture
Then there is the bigger picture, which also starts with a personal portrait.
The result of there not being an affordable version of Delphi suitable for someone such as myself is that I have quit Delphi altogether at home as far as any personal work goes.
But the bigger point, and the issue that goes beyond any $ savings for me personally is that there is broadly speaking no academic path into Delphi. Employers are looking for experienced developers but the only way for most people to get that experience is off their own back.
Universities no longer teach it. Very, very few employers are willing to take on developers to be trained in Delphi even if they could find a potential trainee who would choose to hitch their career to Delphi over any of the other alternatives on offer.
I myself came to Delphi because Delphi 1.0 was cheap enough for me to afford it at the time. I had some exposure to Turbo Pascal for Windows and encouraged my employer at the time to sign up for the Delphi Early Experience Program. They chose to stick with their existing tool (Gupta SQLWindows), but I was so impressed that I decided to buy Delphi for myself (and I wasn’t earning anything like then what I am earning now).
In a later employment as a SQLWindows consultant, a potential project came up which SQLWindows wasn’t suitable for. I suggested Delphi, the suggestion was met with approval and that one copy of an affordable version of Delphi led, directly, to the further sale of multiple copies of more expensive editions.
Now as for the learning value of VCL source.
I don’t recall whether the VCL source was included with 1.0 – I suspect that it wasn’t, though Delphi 1 was a far less complex beast than it is today and the documentation somewhat better as I seem to recall. And, backing up a little, if the source wasn’t included this is probably why my self-taught path really didn’t start to take off until Delphi 2, which did come with VCL source.
I know a number of people with a similar story. And certainly the view that VCL source is not a useful learning resource is a minority one. And a very small minority at that. Of course, it’s not an opinion that is subject to a democratic process, but it does suggest to me that the people who don’t see the value in the VCL source as helpful perhaps either don’t remember their own learning experience very well or have a peculiarly different approach to learning.
But in any case, why be so begrudging of a proper, affordable entry level edition of Delphi ?
Your Kind Aren’t Welcome Here
I suspect it makes at least some of the last outpost of Delphi stalwarts feel better about themselves to keep their club exclusive and in the knowledge that membership is reassuringly expensive. But it does them no good in the long run.
The result of pulling up the drawbridge to make it more difficult to get into Delphi is that the “anchor users”, the ones paying the big licensing renewals year after year, eventually find themselves without a reliable source of skilled staff and so they too are forced to quit Delphi.
My previous employer was one of New Zealand’s largest Delphi developer employers. They quit Delphi some time ago.
In my role with my current employer I have just made the decision to renew our SA, but this followed a lengthy discussion during which it was agreed that unless something completely unforeseen were to occur in the next 12 months this will be our last renewal.
This also a story with which I am sadly increasingly familiar and which has cropped up more than once in the comments to that earlier post.
The old guard are dying/leaving. Where’s the new blood coming from ?
The Question Remains Unanswered
It will be interesting to see if there are any new faces at the XE5 tour event next week here in Auckland. But as in years past I do not expect to see any thing other than the same old faces with a few more grey hairs.
I can only think that some people’s experience is different as they seem intent to cling on to the idea that all is tickety-boo and hunky-dory in the house of Delphi, and begrudge anyone getting a “better deal” than them.
I asked before if anyone knew of any entirely new Delphi users.
So far not one respondent has indicated that they do. Not even those who seem to think that there’s nothing wrong in the “recruitment” strategy.
Comments are now closed.