You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

Industry Viewpoint: The ColdFusion Knowledge Gap

"Will this gap fill overnight? No. Will it fill over the next six months to a year? Maybe."

This is something that has been simmering below the surface for a while, but needs to come out in the open.

There is a knowledge gap in the ColdFusion community and it is only getting wider.

There are a lot of what would be considered "entry-level" or "junior" developers out there. These people can use a good bit of the database functionality that CF offers, but don't push it much beyond a way to display database tables and insert and update data. Inline queries are the norm for this crowd and they rarely, if ever have anything to do with CFCs. Some of these people have been using ColdFusion for a LONG time, but they are not what we would consider an advanced developer despite all the time in the trenches. This group of people have been using CF the same way for years and are very comfortable where they are, in regards their skill level. They are not the type of developer who you can count on to design and architect an enterprise level application, but are very strong in maintenance roles.

The other side of the spectrum are your advanced developers. People who push ColdFusion to the limits of what it can do and beyond. These are people who architect applications from the ground up. These are developers who recognize the power of objects and what they can bring to a ColdFusion application. They tend to look at a project from a much higher level and can abstract concepts much easier and quicker than the previous group. They have embraced CFCs and gateways and exploited all that CF can do, plus tried to push ColdFusion to its limits and beyond.

Why is this even an issue?

The ColdFusion market is BOOMING right now. Look at Monster, HotJobs, etc. Everyone wants a ColdFusion developer right now. A lot of people want an entry level developer, or a junior developer. Who, but someone fresh out of school, is going to call themselves a junior developer? Most people who have been in the game for a few years consider themselves senior-level, or highly experienced ColdFusion developers. But are they really?

It doesn't take long for a ColdFusion developer to ramp up. I believe that someone who has a decent grasp of programming concepts (procedural or OO) can become a decent ColdFusion developer in 2 months. The problem comes when they reach a certain plateau of their skill set. At this plateau, they can use the basic functionality that makes ColdFusion viable and make a decent living. They do not much more with ColdFusion than your rudimentary database tasks.

The other option is for them to push themselves and their skill sets with regard to ColdFusion. This is where that divide begins to get filled in as you have developers who push themselves past the rudimentary ColdFusion skill set and explore objects. They don't have to master a framework or break some new ground with ColdFusion, they just have to break out of that skill plateau that has been good them up to now.

One of the great strengths, and possibly weaknesses, of ColdFusion is that it allows for this divide to be created. Developers can code in a procedural manner, or they can embrace the object-oriented methodology. Cries of developers complaining that ColdFusion is becoming too much like Java can be stopped with one sentence: You do not have to use the new functionality if you don't want to use it. Plain and simple.

Will this gap fill overnight? No. Will it fill over the next six months to a year? Maybe. It's up to people to want to increase their skill sets and break out of their comfort zones to fill that gap. Until developers are ready to break out of their comfort zone and venture into space they have not before, this divide will remain.

Are you ready to push your limits?

More Stories By Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell has been architecting and developing Web applications for over 10 years using ColdFusion, Java, ASP.NET and ASP. His background includes experience running IT Departments for firms in the executive search and aviation consulting fields. You can read his blog on everything ColdFusion, Java, Flex & AJAX at www.infoaccelerator.net.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Marc 01/13/07 06:42:03 PM EST

I am one of those cf developers having + 1 year of experience. I know how to find my way in CFML. Most stuff I read about using CF (eg the Directory Watchers article) I find not too complicated and easy to understand. I could easily apply these in existing or new sites. But that doesn't make me an 'advanced developer'. What does is being able to architect webapps and being able to abstract things like you say.
I want to bridge that gap. So I would like to know: what specifically sets an advanced developer apart from the novice / intermediate in your view?
Can you give examples how your advanced developer would create a system like say, a CMS, a web based calendar, a chat system or even a simple online file repository? Are there resources like articles / books you can point to? It would be really appreciated - not only by me!


cvestal 10/30/06 12:12:57 PM EST

I think everyone should be thankful that ColdFusion is very robust, yet remains accessible to designers and others who do not necessarily come from a programming background. The line you primarily use to delineate between "junior" versus "advanced" is not realistic. OO versus procedural is a preference - and there are valid situations where procedural programming would be better to use with all factors weighed.

Personally, my current focus is on learning Java. I believe this would be a much more valid separation between those who are happy at a surface level versus those who want to delve deeper. Don;t get me wrong. I believe one of the best selling points for ColdFusion is its ease of use and relatively small learning curve compared to other languages.

The absolute worse thing that could happen to the CF community would be for "advanced users" to claim they are elite because of their programming preferences. As far as employers, they are more interested in results and the experience behind the results. More importantly, they are looking for people with a good attitude, willingness to learn, and good people skills working on a team.


Phil B 10/30/06 08:23:47 AM EST

What is the best way for people who have settled in to the old ways cf coding to learn how to take advantage of todays CF capabilities? I want to increase my skillset. I attended CFUNITED this year. It was informative, but afterward, when you have noone around that is capable of helping you work through the tough stuff, it's difficult to advance on your own. I have found it difficult to learn how to take advantage of CFC's, Flash Forms, and actionscript on my own. Please Point Me In The Right Direction.

Phil B

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...