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The Delphi developer myth


Monday, June 29, 2009

More often than I like, I read about or hear or encounter managers pondering about the language choice for a new project and arguing to not choose for Delphi because of Delphi developer availability or rather the lack thereof. While it is undeniably true that there are for example more C# developers out there than Delphi developers, isn't this reasoning a bit silly? When looking for a new software developer, I typically think about skills in this order of importance:

  1. natural interest in software and technology in general
  2. understanding or fundamentals of good software design and problem solving capabilities
  3. customer orientation
  4. open for learning and flexibility
  5. communication and social skills

To summarize such profile, the ideal person is someone who is passionate about his software development 'metier', applies his problem solving capabilities and knowledge about the principles of good software design to create solutions that satisfy customers and does this as an enjoyable and friendly person in a team.

Hey, I didn't mention any language, platform nor operating system here! Well, can we ever expect a software developer to only know one language, one platform or one operating system? These days, a developer might need a multitude of languages. Delphi for a Win32 application, C# for an ASP.NET website, some Javascript to fine-tune a web application, SQL for some database queries, PHP for the company website, some script language for an application installer, perhaps some C++ for a mobile app and with bad-luck some VB to maintain an old app. Along comes a plethora of platforms and frameworks: the Win32 platform, VCL, the .NET platform, a jQuery framework, and many more... The "one-OS-does-it-all" time also belongs to the past. Perhaps the company web server or database server is Linux based, development is done with and for Windows, the boss wants the developers to look at iPhone development on Mac OSX...

A valuable employee for your company will love the challenges and learning. He will apply his skills to create solid solutions that help customers solve their problems with the best technology.

If your company envisions a new project for the Windows platform that is easy to deploy, needs a rich client, needs openess towards databases, needs a solid and stable framework, Delphi might offer the toolset of choice. Go and find the ideal person matching criterias 1 to 5. When being explained the reasons for the technology choice, he should be eager to apply his skills to Delphi. If he's a developer with C# experience, he'll quickly adapt to begin/end, case structures, T* classes etc... Sooner than you might expect, you might have a new Delphi fan in your company. Who knows, your new Delphi fan will soon be eager to learn more about new platforms like Mac OS-X and Linux that Embarcadero set out to target in future Delphi versions!

Bruno Fierens


This blog post has received 1 comment.

1. Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 2:19:54 PM

Very valid points.

Problem is that too many decision makers did not come up through the developer ranks and are clueless about technology. CodeGear marketing really needs to reach out to and educate this demographic.

Taylor Steve

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