Delphi25 Stories – A Blog Series – Stephen Ball, Steffen Nyeland, Allen Drennan, & Ray Konopka

by Mar 5, 2020

Thank you all so much for watching our Delphi25th Stories series on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the interview with Delphi’s creators and the playlist with Delphi stories from some of our fabulous MVPs and community members. We also have received a lot of non-video submissions of birthday wishes as well. I want to take the time to share, acknowledge, and link to these wonderful contributions through a series of posts here. 

Happy 25th Birthday Delphi, from the community that you’ve made possible. Be sure to visit the new Delphi celebration site, and check out the other posts in this series. (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

My Delphi story goes way back to the days of Turbo Pascal. I fell in love with the language and tool back in college. My first programming job was at Argonne National Lab as an undergrad where I rewrote a data acquisition system in Turbo Pascal for the Physics Dept. Unfortunately, after graduating, I worked for several different companies, but none of them allowed me to code in Turbo Pascal.

However, I continued programming in Turbo Pascal on my own and I started writing articles for PC Techniques magazine. This led to Jeff Duntemann offering me the opportunity to write a regular column for the magazine called Blazing Pascal. I am grateful to this day for Jeff giving me this opportunity, because shortly after I started the column, Jeff connected me to Borland about some cool new tool they were building.

I was also very fortunate to be allowed to publish the first Delphi article, “Introducing Delphi 95” in September 1994. I continued to write about Delphi in every PC Techniques issue that followed (including the rebranding to Visual Developer Magazine).

I was amazed at the feedback I received from those early articles. So much so that I decided to go into Delphi consulting. On Feb 7, 1995, a week before the official launch of Delphi, I started Raize Software Solutions. I found a client almost immediately, quit my job, and started training a group of Smalltalk developers at First Chicago Bank how to use Delphi.

Shortly after I started, I was presented with a serious programming challenge. The developers at the bank understood object-oriented programming well, and they wanted to isolate their business rules from the user interface, but they also did not want to abandon Delphi’s data-aware controls, which is what another consultant was proposing. This was unacceptable to the VP in charge of the department and the other consultant’s contract was quickly terminated.

I got the call on a Friday that I needed to come up with a solution. I was excited that I was going to be able to bill more hours, but I was freaking out. I had just started my consulting company. I hadn’t even been able to submit an invoice for the training I had performed. Now I had to come up with a solution to a very complex problem very quickly, or my consulting career may quickly come to an end.

That weekend I created what I called Data-Aware Business Components. It was a huge hit with the bank. After that, I never looked back. That summer, my first book, Developing Custom Delphi Components was published, and I was selected to present some Delphi sessions at the 1995 Borland Conference.

The success of the book lead to the creation of Raize Components and CodeSite. I continue to use Delphi almost every day, and I still write Delphi articles/posts and present Delphi sessions at conferences. I consider myself very lucky, indeed.

Ray Konopka

“I was amazed at the feedback I received from those early articles. So much so that I decided to go into Delphi consulting.”

Learn more about Ray at

Delphi by Design

“I met so many people that impacted my life for the better because of things directly or indirectly related to my work with Delphi.”

-Allen Drennan

Allen Drennan - Grijjy - WiredRed
My colleague, the PM for Turbo Pascal product line in Scandinavia – pitched me this product code-named “Wasabi” as the next great thing – I told him that my 4th gen. DB products were still the coolest – and that he just had the next version of Turbo Pascal for Windows coming. Oh boy – I was wrong and after “his” product launched I moved to Delphi completely in my development work and have helped many do the same – that was a shift in the whole business – and also “killed” my runtime-based 4th. DB products – for the better. Thanks Delphi – for making all these years a joy to be a software developer.

“I moved to Delphi completely in my development work and have helped many do the same”

-Steffen Nyeland

“I’ve ultimately traveled to many more interesting places and done many great things because of Delphi.”

-Stephen Ball

 Stephan Ball

We want to hear about your experiences with Delphi too. Please go to social media and use the tags #Delphi25th, #MyDelphiStory, and #WhyILoveDelphi to share your story and celebrate 25 years of Delphi with us!