Monday, February 15, 2010

ColdFusion needs a rebirth

I have had a lot of struggles with getting a job in coldfusion, I have a part time one now.

But I really love the language, working with it, learning what more I can do.

But I keep re-reading about the death of CFDJ, and it really get's to my heart, yes they didn't always
do things very wisely, and their site really sucked with video ads.

But it was really nice to have a print magazine, i can collect, review, and re-read...

Now it feels like their is no printed history of coldfusion...

And I keep reading on Stackoverflow.com how many people think coldfusion is dead, and doesn't need to be learned or used.

To me that's utter bullocks.

But they are right about 1 thing, how we package coldfusion is pretty horrible.

How we make this as a server product, instead of a language product, makes it a horrible bite to get people into coldfusion.

I think we need a totally rethink of how it is sold, advertised, packaged, and discussed in the community.

Also we need a new approach to education and mentoring, because if people are writing horrible applications, it doesn't make us look good.

Also we so seem to focus on the niche aspects of coldfusion, that so many people/programmers/companies barely have the grasps of the basics.

The Basics:

1. Project Management - Tracking assignments, due dates, priorities

2. Planning - Planning your assignments, making sure they are clear, and identify obstacles to clarity, so that everyone know's exactly what is going to be delivered.

3. Source Control - Use something to control revisions of your code and database changes.

4. Back Ups - Always take backups of code, and database, gives you the ability to restore in case of hard drive or hardware problems

5. Error/Bug Tracking - Making sure bugs are tracked, not just ignored in the cfadministrator.

6. Looking at the log files from web server/database server/coldfusion server, regularly to see if users are having problems.

Joel Spolsky called this his 12 step test.http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html

But what percentage of coldfusion users, actually pass more than 1 of this checklist, I'd bet it's a lot lower than most advanced programmers think.

And this is what has frustrated me, for the last several years, when people focus on what is the fads or trends, rather than the basics, which yet again get overlooked, unused, unmentioned, and companies creating bad cf apps or code, and make us look bad.

We should be seriously focused on generating great coldfusion programmers, that get fully trained and mentored to be great programmers, no matter what language they use...

We should have a far better documentation pages, that hatefully always force frame usage, that is so annoying. Does anyone actually do any usability testing on actual users?

Does anyone at Adobe care about their end users?

Or is coldfusion just a stepping stone for you to move on to better languages?

I can't get over my love for coldfusion......and I want to help if I can improve it.

I am so sick of all the skepticism, it is time for leadership...