What an emotional roller coaster. We’ve just wrapped two phenomenally successful MAX events (in San Francisco and Milan) and are all on something of a high … And then Adobe announces layoffs and organizational changes in response to the worsening economy. Goodbye high, hello sobering reality. We’ve been through this before (at Allaire and at Macromedia), and it’s always painful, especially when it impacts people you’ve known and worked closely with for so long.
And unfortunately, the ColdFusion team was impacted, too. ColdFusion Product Manager, Jason Delmore, is among those laid off, and Jason has posted some (very gracious and professional) thoughts on his blog. Jason was a pretty recent addition to the CF team, but his influence was significant. He shepherded ColdFusion 8 from concept to delivery, and helped drive the planning for Centaur (CF9) and Bolt (the CF IDE). When he joined the team many in the community asked “Jason Who?”, but he leaves the team known and respected and with his contributions appreciated.
I’ve received quite a few e-mails today asking about what Jason’s departure means for ColdFusion, and how this will impact the product and future plans. Obviously, there are going to be changes. ColdFusion will get a new Product Manager who will get the opportunity to leave his or her mark on the product, just as the many PMs thus far have been able to do. But at the same time, ColdFusion is a mature established product, and the plans for Centaur and Bolt are pretty solidly defined already, so actually not much will change in the short term.
We’re not rushing to announce a new ColdFusion Program Manager. For starters, that would be completely unfair to Jason and to his contributions while in that role. And more importantly, we’re not going to rush this one. With the company a little leaner and trimmer than it was a couple of days ago, lots of responsibilities will be shifted and realigned and merged, and we (relevant managers, the platform team, the ColdFusion team, and I) are going to take our time to figure out the best option for ColdFusion and its community.
For now, I want to publicly thank Jason for his contribution to the product we hold so dear, and wish him the best at whatever comes next for him. And as for what comes next for the ColdFusion team, give us a little time, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we have details to share.

13 thoughts

  1. i must say, its a wild ride for us too… coldfusion is basically like my boy… you know, its like i protect it, i defend it, i use it to its best advantages for my best advantages πŸ™‚ and you know, its my shit… so, yeah, all is worrisome, but im sure you will help guide the mothership right!

  2. The loss of Jason is a blow, to be sure, and he will be sorely missed. The pride he has taken in the efforts put forth by his team is immense, and I hope that he can look back on his time with Adobe and say "I helped reshape this landscape" with a great sense of accomplishment. I wish him the brightest of blessings in his future endeavors, and I hope he continues to stay active within the ColdFusion community.

  3. I got to go to both MAX USA and MAX Milan and you are of course correct Ben the feeling after both in the CF Community people I spoke with was incredibly positive and upbeat. The products that Allaire-Macromedia and now Adobe have given us are world-beating in every respect and there is still a vibrant demand for ColdFusion people and a an explosive demand for AIR and/or Flex developers. At times of trouble, like the times we are in now, technology is one of the only routes out to improvements and those who stride out and improve will be the better for it.
    As I said in a comment on Jason’s blog, I wish him and his family all the best for Christmas and someone out there will snap him up, I am sure of that. He has a long software engineering background which goes back way before ColdFusion.

  4. I don’t understand how they can lay Jason off as a product manager and then be talking about replacing him with another product manager. Obviously CF needs a product manager but In the UK that would be grounds for a tribunal – you can’t make someone redundant and then refill the position – now or in a matter of months, either the role is required or it isn’t.

  5. One of the things that could have influenced the decision, is that the role is required, it’s just not required in the US. With the product now being engineered in India, maybe it makes more sense to have someone out there instead? (Though that could introduce potential language barriers).
    Plus, Jason was based in Boston (Newton to be exact), and it’s becoming a bit of a ghost town. I believe only the Buzzword team are there plus a few other folks.
    Whether either of the above is true or not is … well Adobe know … I’m just trying to find reasonable explanations, which in the current economic climate, make sense.
    EIther way, Jason’s departure is a HUGE loss. I can’t state that enough. Jason was really driving CF in the right direction, and I hope CF proves to be a worthwhile legacy to him.

  6. It’s really sad to read this after returning from Milan yesterday. I really hope everyone finds something else soon. Timing is always bad for those who are laid off but in this case it’s a real shame: they could wait until exactly after Max but couldn’t wait until the beginning of next year…

  7. And, before anyone jumps me for being callous, I’m not happy about the news of Jason Delmore or Steven Erat being laid off. At all. In terms of business, and every business does it, it’s always better to go into your 1st quarter with better / lower operating costs.

  8. Yeah, well, I’m appalled to find out about the layoff after I hear rumors that Adobe is building a new building in Boston? o_O I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m not sure how/why a new building is more important than people either.

  9. @Todd: With regards to a new bulding, I was thinking about this as Barclays are putting a new branch right in Picadilly Circus (very very expensive, probably the most expensive in London) just at a moment of the credit crunch is affecting everyone, and I

  10. @Mark Drew: Yeah, I know and figured as much. Just hearing about it while everything was going on doesn’t help swallow the news of a layoff any better. That’s all.

  11. @John: The SOP when a position is declared redundant, the person in that role is let go. Normally, the role was required for some purpose so the position will be filled by one or more people. It sucks for the people who remain ( just not as much ) since a

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