Late last week, Adam Lehman announced that ColdFusion Product Management and Product Marketing would be passed on to a new team, and that team would be located with the ColdFusion Engineering team in India.
I believe my opinion on this is particularly informed/relevant and so while I don't generally like to comment on what is happening with Adobe, I feel compelled to comment in this case.
Many others have commented, some positive (Ben Nadel is making a movie of it!,) some neutral (Sean Corfield says "Reality check... these guys change Product Managers all the time" (loosely quoted... and don't I know that! :)), and some negative (John Mason says "we are all boiling to death and don't even know it!" (again, a loose quote :).) It's nice to see opinions out there. We are a community forged on opinions. Here is mine.
ColdFusion Engineering began moving to India about 7 years ago now. You may not be aware, but ColdFusion 7 was developed in large part, out of Bangalore, India. Program/Project Management was moved there about 5 years ago with the beginning of ColdFusion 8 development. Technical Support was moved to India and Canada about 4 years ago and Documentation moved at about the same time. Moving Product Management and Marketing is really the next logical step in a transition that was started many many years ago.
I believe it is unrealistic in today's global economy to think that an international company like Adobe should not and would not leverage the human resource development it has done worldwide to its economic benefit.
There have been comments that with the product team going to India, the new team will be less available and less knowledgable about the ColdFusion customer. ColdFusion is a global product, and I don't think the folks in Europe or Asia will see this as much of a change. They never had someone on the ColdFusion management team right in their city/state to call up. If they wanted to see someone from the ColdFusion product team in Europe, they went to MAX Europe or Scotch on the Rocks. So, now us North Americans are the ones that have to deal with not having ColdFusion Management in our timezone. I think most people won't see a huge change there. Maybe some of the community leaders that have known Adam for a long time, but you too can meet the new product team and become Facebook friends.
Will the new management be as good as Adam Lehman? or Alison Huselid? or how about Dave Gruber? Tim Buntel? or Kristen Schofield? These people had a lot of history and knowledge with the ColdFusion product and community. They were all experts at what they were doing and I know that they were all hard acts to follow. The fact of the matter is that people change jobs/roles all the time, and new people are recruited or promoted in to replace them. Sometimes moving on is at the choice of the person in that role, and sometimes a company decides that based on the company need. But it is unrealistic to think anyone should stay in a role forever and it is uncapitalistic to suggest that saving money is not a valid reason to move a role to a different location.
I believe this latest generation of the ColdFusion product team has put together a very strong plan for ColdFusion X, and the strategic direction that plan will take the product will propel it into a Modern Age of ColdFusion, just as Adam said. And I can only hope the folks replacing Adam and Alison will understand their customer base and deliver on that plan. I believe that Adobe management recognizes the need to keep ColdFusion strong, and if anything, I think ColdFusion will now have greater support within the Adobe political environment.
We can't tell how this change will affect the quality of ColdFusion X, and really as customers of a product the only vote we have that matters is with our wallet. I guess we will see how ColdFusion X does with sales when it comes out. Until then, I personally hope that the Community Leaders and stewards of ColdFusion will do their part by volunteering to provide feedback as this plan continues to evolve into reality. And I wish Adam and Alison the best of luck in their new endeavors!
The King is Dead, Long Live the King!