How I got started in ColdFusion
Back in 1998 I enrolled in a 2 year college program in IT. Our focus was kind of a broad spectrum of topics. From PC repair, networking, database design, Visual Basic, Windows and Linux servers…. C++ and even writing.
When I got out with my diploma I wasn’t quite sure which direction to go. In my first year’s “on the job training” I had been in a PC repair and sales shop. I really enjoyed the work. In my second year, I had started to study MSCE exams and really thought that network administration was the direction I was heading.
But in my second year’s “on the job training” I was with a local web dev shop (Cifta Technologies). They worked primarily in ColdFusion 4 at the time.
There were several of us in the OJT basically taking a crash course in ColdFusion (and MS Access!). The company had told us that 2 of us could land jobs for the summer and I was one of the lucky ones who got to stay on board.
The company was upgrading from CF 4 to CF 4.5 at about the same time I started the summer position.
From there at the end of the summer my term with Cifta was up and it was time to start looking for work. I applied for a couple of jobs and didn’t think prospects were to bright. There weren’t many shops around and most of the places I looked at were asking for years of experience.
All of a sudden I was contacted by a small company about 45 minutes away who needed someone with ColdFusion experience. I took the job. It wasn’t the best paying gig but having just gotten out of college I figured that I needed to take what I could in order to gain experience.
I was there (InfoTech) for 2.5 years. In that time I not only did a bunch of ColdFusion but also worked on and learned about implementing Linux servers… (like Postfix, Bind DNS, Apache…etc). We had servers in house.
I also did work like network configuration and PC repairs for clients.
After that 2.5 years I was adventurous enough to try my hand at being self employed. So I started a small business (in 2004), which lived in full time or part time mode until 2010. From 2006 to 2008 I also worked for a local business development firm managing servers, network and coding a whole bunch of ColdFusion based projects.
Since my college diploma ColdFusion work has actually kept me fairly busy. And in that time my approach gradually evolved from a procedural approach (used a bit of Fusebox way way back) to using MVC/OO style frameworks (ColdBox being a favorite).
In 2010 I spent almost the entire year working in PHP. I worked for a couple of different local businesses where PHP was the tool they preferred using for development. The experience wasn’t negative for me. I used an MVC framework called Kohana that I really enjoyed working with.
In 2011 I started the year without employment and shortly after began working for another company maintaining an existing ColdFusion based e-com system and re-writing it.
ColdFusion as a language has been good to me. Kept me busy through the years and has also helped me learn programming principles which transcend “language”. Such as “Object Oriented” principles…etc.
I’ve recently been offered another position which will take me out of the CF world once again. Looks like I’ll be learning Delphi, C# and other languages that are a bit more foreign to me. But I look forward to the challenge. My previous experience in learning… throwing myself into something new has been that it helps me understand programming in new and different ways…. and hopefully makes me better.
I’ve been toying with the idea of joining an existing Open Source CF project or starting a new one. We shall see.