How to start a programming career with Delphi XE and C++Builder XE Starter Editions

by Feb 4, 2011

Over the years, one of the recurring conversations has been around how to get started in computer programming, what language to learn first and how to prepare for a career.  There have been numerous articles, blog posts, conference talks, videos, white papers and studies done.  Colleges,  placement centers and employment agencies also offer advice to students, entrepreneurs/start-ups, retirees, laid off workers and others looking to get into the software and technology industries.  We want to make it easy and affordable to come join the fun and rewards of modern software development.

I've received many emails and had hundreds of conversations with students, developers and interested parties asking for advice about how to get started.  With Embarcadero Delphi XE Starter Edition, we give you the ease of learning of the Pascal language and added the modern power of language enhancements like components, interfaces, events, enhanced runtime type information, attributes, operator overloading, generics and anonymous methods.  With C++Builder XE Starter Edition you have an industry standard language with all the power of C++'s language, object and runtime libraries as well as our visual components and IDE.  All native code, full access to Windows and no managed runtime.

Here are just a few examples (there have been thousands) of the messages and comments I've received over the years from many, around the world, wanting to get started:

  • "As an independent contractor currently looking for work, I'd really like to see an additional, lower-cost package that would be aimed at people like me: use Delphi for personal programs, occasional freeware, etc."
  • "In my spare time, I do development work for local charities.  It would be great to have an edition of your developer tools at a lower price so that I can continue to help non-profit organizations in my town."
  • "I am starting my own company.  I know it will take some time to get some revenue going, do you have a version of Delphi and C++ that can help me get started?  When I start generating revenue, I will gladly buy your professional or enterprise versions."
  • "At work we use the Delphi Enterprise edition.  I would like to have a version of Delphi for projects I build at home but I just can't afford a copy on my own.  Are you working on an edition now that Turbo Delphi is no more?"
  • "I was recently laid off. I have a lot of time but little money.  I'd really like to try and get into the software development field.  Does Embarcadero have products that can help me start a new career?"
  • "I am a retired programmer with extra time on my hands.  I'm thinking about teaching young developers and doing some volunteer development work.  I know you used to have the free Turbo Delphi Explorer, do you have something at a reasonable price that I can use to build Windows applications?"

With our recently release Starter Editions for Delphi and C++Builder, we now have versions of our native code development tools that allow you to get started, start building a career, do some volunteer work, using some of your spare time to help a non-profit organization and writing applications for yourself and your friends.  Use our professional quality rapid application development, visual design, component-based designers to quickly build Windows applications.

With the Starter Editions you can take advantage of the large ecosystem of components and tools to help you learn and get started.  We do not restrict any component from being installed into Starter edition and there is nothing inherent in Starter to prevent a component from being installed.  However,  some ecosystem partners may choose not to support the Starter Editions or may choose an installation dependency that is not included in Starter (such as command line compiler which some vendors use during component installation).  Check with your component vendor or component project to make sure their components install properly into the Starter edition. 

The FAQ describes the independent developer, "indie", style license that we are using for Delphi XE and C++Builder XE Starter Editions. Think indie music, indie artist, indie films, etc. The indie style Starter license allows for freeware and limited "for profit" commercial use. The license is designed specifically as a low cost solution for hobbyists, students, and independent developers to be able to get started building and distributing applications, including commercially for profit, without a significant up-front investment. It is modeled after the self-publishing music and literature models and has become popular within the game and mobile development tools market.  We think an indie license is a better alternative to the traditional non-commercial license.  The Starter Editions with their indie license allow us to provide our latest tools for both personal use, hobby use and for developers getting started.

Once you get started, learn some development chops, start building a programming reputation, gain some mojo and earn a little spending money, we offer an upgrade price and path to move up to our Professional edition.  Make some more money and upgrade to our Enterprise and Architect editions.  Learn the skills of Delphi and C++ programming and move up to our RAD Studio XE Professional, Enterprise and Architect editions.  If you are a professional programmer our Professional, Enterprise and Architect editions will boost your productivity and help your company stay ahead of the competition.  If you are a student and faculty member, we have academic pricing for our products that fit your budget and educational needs.

For Delphi, Bob Swart quickly created a free Delphi XE Starter Essentials ebook.  After you purchase, install and register Delphi XE Starter Edition, you can download the eBook “Delphi XE Starter Essentials” at  if you have an extra $18.82US you can purchase a printed version at  We are encouraging all of our Delphi XE and C++Builder XE ecosystem partners to take advantage of this new developer opportunity and create lower priced component and tool sets to help beginners get started even faster.

Come join the software development fun.  Get started!