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ColdFusion programming advice

posted under category: ColdFusion on November 2, 2004 by Nathan

Here's some good advice for you CF programmers: Learn another programming language.

Yes, that might sound strange. No, I don't mean for you to get away from CF. ColdFusion is a great language, very versatile, very scalable, very strong. I'm just saying, if you want to to be a good programmer (of any language), you should know or learn another language.

This is my story.

I was introduced to CF as my first and only programming language. HTML doesn't count and neither do simple SQL select, update and insert statements. JavaScript didn't really make sense. The company paid for an Allaire "Fast Track to ColdFusion" course in Seattle, so I was set. 2 years later, I was still using CF, but looking back, I wasn't "getting it" fully.

Fast Forward to 2002, my employer decided it was time to switch to ASP "classic". That never happened, but I did spend 6 weeks reading and practicing my VBScript skills. On about the 3rd week (yes, i'm dense), something clicked and I suddenly got it. All of a sudden there was a difference between CFML and programming. I'd never made the jump until then.

Ever since, I've learned VBS, VB.NET, C#, Java and JavaScript like they were nothing (well, aside from vb's crappy syntax, and OO programming hurdles). But better yet, it gave me the ability to learn.

It sounds like an all around good thing to me. Increase my marketability, increase my knowledge, make me more valuable to my employer, give me a better understanding of the programming world around us, and make me a better ColdFusion programmer.

If you're not a solid programmer, or you think you are but only know CF (like me), take some time to learn a new language. It will pay you back 100 times.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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