Last Updated: 02/12/2011 02:45:00 PM

My response to the changing of the guard at Adobe for ColdFusion

My response to the changing of the guard at Adobe for ColdFusion


Big News in the ColdFusion world announced here:

Let me distill down what I took away from Adam Lehman’s  announcement:

1. Adam Lehman Product Manager had a very aggressive feature list, which got a full and complete sign-off from upper management.

2. Implementing this feature list required proper resource allocation and attention from higher level management, so the ColdFusion Product was moved to another business division.  This business division is based in India.

3. Implementing these features will take a longer release cycle than usual.

4. The Product Manager and Product Marketing roles would be transferred to counterparts in the new business division (India)


Now how someone views the above actions, says more about that person's attitude and confidence in Adobe, than anything else.  I for one see all of the above, as positive signs.  Let me break them down:

1. Adam's Feature List getting approval:  My Company was one of the many companies that Adam and Rupesh visited during their Synch Dev "Listening Tour” The Adobe guys sit in a conference room with our top developers they showed a huge list of features and then gave us 100.00 virtual dollars to spend on those features.  I can't disclose what those features were, but there were some brilliant ideas there.  Talking to the team you can sort of get a feel for which ones they were personally excited about.  If ColdFusion X has even a quarter of the features discussed, then ColdFusion X is going to be a mighty fine release indeed. Management signing-off on them is a good thing it shows a willingness to invest in the future of ColdFusion.

2. Resource Allocation: Ahhh the bane of every good idea, finding the people, time and resources to get what you need done.  Again, Adobe finding the needed resources shows their willingness to invest in the future of ColdFusion.  The last two releases of ColdFusion came from the Engineering team in India, and those releases had much developer love.  I have physically and virtually met several members of the ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder Engineering team, unless you are a total xenophobe you can't help but to admire their knowledge and like them personally.  The last two releases had some security flaws, like all software does.  There were also some odd spelling issues.  But, my God, those are so nitpicky in comparison to all the goodness that came out of the last releases.  If perfection was my standard, I would be one seriously sour dude.  Instead I am quite pleased that MORE people of this caliber will be working on the X version of ColdFusion.

3. Longer Cycle: To be expected.  More features = More time.  If you work in software you know this is true.

4. This makes me a little sad, as I personally like Adam and Alison.  But you got to admire the character of people who work tirelessly to build a vision and a roadmap, and then voluntarily choose to let some one else walk the road.  I for one couldn't have done it.  We live in a global economy, Adobe and ColdFusion should not be considered "American" products but global products.  The best thing that could happen to ColdFusion is for it to become HUGE in China and India. The American market for ColdFusion is only going to grow in small increments; the market potential in Asia is staggering.  If moving the Product Manager and Product Marketing roles to Asia can capitalize on that emerging market, it is going to benefit the product and us North Americans.  Are there challenges and drawbacks here?  Definitely.  Time Zone differences are tricky, but not impossible.  Language gap? It is bound to cause irritation, but again it is manageable.  I don’t see this as a negative situation and if handled properly can be a positive.


In summary, change is scary.  But ColdFusion has gone through many changes and always come out better afterward.  If history is an indicator, the story will be the same again.  People who are currently spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) are exposing their own distrust of Adobe. In the end, time will tell if trust or mistrust was warranted.  I for one trust their stewardship of ColdFusion.