New CEO Hopes to Get Borland Back on Top

Tod Nielsen says the company will improve its tools to deliver a superior experience for developers.

SAN FRANCISCO—Borland Software Corp. introduced its new chief executive, Tod Nielsen, at its annual developer conference here Tuesday.

"When you look at my career and what Ive done, this is a natural, perfect fit," Nielsen told eWEEK following a brief keynote address to an audience of revved up Borland developers.

Nielsen, who has held executive positions at Oracle Corp., BEA Systems Inc., CrossGain and Microsoft Corp., said, "Ive been training my entire career for this job," he said.

Nielsen, at ease as a keynote speaker, told the crowd that Borland wants to improve each and every one of their development experiences with new and improved tools.

Making a golf analogy he said Borlands job is to improve every developers handicap and "make you all scratch developers."

Moreover, "I think everybody in our industry still has a soft place in their heart for Borland," Nielsen told eWEEK. "They want Borland to win. But whats been lacking in the last few years is people arent really clear what were doing. And I think one of the things we have to do very quickly is clearly articulating what were about. Were about the software development process and adding business value there."

Indeed, "Thats what the company has been about from the beginning, with the Turbo products and the productivity, to supporting different platforms and heterogeneous environments," Nielsen said.

"Its fun to have a company thats got a rich 21-year history and be able to take them to the next level," Nielsen said. He added that he hopes to be the leader to take what was once a high-flying company and turn it back into a "superstar," adding that the only other company in the industry he can identify as having been a high flyer and gone through doldrums only to come back riding high again is Apple.

David Intersimone, vice president of developer relations at Borland and the companys longest-term employee, told the audience he was at the first Borland Developer Conference in San Francisco in 1991. Nielsen followed Intersimone and corrected him: "I was at the very first Borland developer conference in Monterey in 1990," he said.

Meanwhile, later in the general session opening the Borland conference Charles Overbeck and Ken Chan, two Borland JBuilder R&D engineers demonstrated some of the features of JBuilder 2006.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about JBuilder 2006.

Ken Chan demonstrated the new instant messaging chat feature where developers can chat about code they are working on. Text goes into a chat window and also into a log file for future reference, he said.

"Its integrated into JBuilder," Overbeck said. "There also is a button to share projects," but only one can have a token giving them the ability to enter changes.

"If multiple people are working on a project you only want one person to make changes at a time, so whoever has the token can make changes," Overbeck said.

In addition to peer-to-peer collaboration, JBuilder provides active differencing and other features.

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