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.
Last spring I bought Object-Oriented programming in ColdFusion (written by Matt Gifford and published by Packt Publishing) to brush up and also learn more about OO techniques using the ColdFusion language.
I have to say that I loved the book. I read it in a short time. I know I’m quite late to write about it but I thought I should because my experience with it was very positive.
Basically I thought it was very easy to read, clear, to the point and easy follow with practical code examples. For me reading about beans helped me as I had never typically used beans before. But the chapter that really got me thinking in a different way was the chapter on the Service Layer.
This might be elementary for some of you reading this, but in my web application development background, for many of the projects I would be involved in, there was never such a breakdown and encapsulation of functionality that would have me thinking of a Service layer. In the old days everything seemed to be strictly procedural.
I began to see more examples and more reason why my code could be easier to maintain.
I would suggest this book as a great read for anyone interested in exploring Object-Oriented programming in ColdFusion.
Here’s a quick little rant before I post the link to the long list of frameworks…
Just a few months ago I was looking at frameworks. I had thrown myself in the fire of a PHP project and it’s really something that I’d never done from start to finish.
I thought using a framework would help me out a bit since this was to be my first “start to finish” PHP app. After looking at a few frameworks on really stuck out to me.
I’d been a bit familiar with MVC type frameworks from using Model-Glue in ColdFusion development and after using it in a couple of different projects I generally liked using an MVC framework.
So today, I’m just reading through me RSS reader and I found this blog post which was linked… this is a list of 79 PHP frameworks. I certainly would not have looked at all the options on that list….. and I still wouldn’t consider going through so many.
To link that long list with the few paragraphs above…. for that PHP project that I mention… well I had settled on number 7 on that list. Kohana.
Google’s App Engine is something I’ve been wanting to explore for some time and due to generally being busy with other things I’ve never gotten around to it.
Actually, I very very briefly played around with examples very early on but never really tried to develop or actually run anything on Google App Engine.
But in the last year or 2 (time flies!!), since the App Engine began supporting Java possibilities opened up naturally some people in the CF community started exploring the idea of running a CFML engine on GAE.
At the end of 2009 I really wasn’t sure what direction I was going in anymore.
Being primarily self-employed for the previous year and a half and a total of 4 years of the last 6 I was feeling burnt out.
I had begun to consider looking for full time employment but had found that the opportunities were few and far between for “the job” that I would have liked to land.
You see, for the last 9 years I’ve worked primarily with ColdFusion. Working with ColdFusion has always been a joy and it continues to be my first love.
But unfortunately the job opportunities weren’t plentyful.
So what does a guy do??