Quick advice for handling the ColdFusion haters

Doug asks:

How do you handle technology snobs, or people that blast ColdFusion? Any canned replies you could share to quickly put them in their place?

Seems as long as I can remember, people slam CF. 10 years ago if you didn't use Java, you weren't a real app developer. Now, if you don't live .PHP, .net or Drupal, you're antiquated.

First off - let me be the first to admit. I’m a ColdFusion Fan Boy. 100%. I’m also very passionate about ColdFusion. That means my responses to the haters can sometimes be a bit … passionate. Much like a nuclear missile may seem like overkill when dealing with a noisy neighbor. (Unless it’s a really noisy neighbor and then I say turn the key, baby.)

The best person I think in this regard is Terry Ryan, one of Adobe’s Evangelists. I’ve been trying my best to learn from him as I feel he has a practical, measure, and mature way of responding to folks. This is what I’ve picked up from him and others.

If they say ColdFusion is old

…then I remind them it’s not any older than PHP or Ruby. ColdFusion was released in 1995. PHP in 1994. Ruby was discussed in 1993 and released in 1996. OO, as an idea, dates back to the 50s (as per Wikipedia). They may not know it’s still being updated. If so, I’d point to the ColdFusion 9.0.1 release and the plans for ColdFusion 10.

If they say it is buggy

… I ask for specific issues. Everything is buggy. Even my darn cable box. I’d love to live in a world where software was perfect but I’ll have better luck waiting for genetically engineered Unicorn hamburgers. If you can get a person to talk about a specific bug, you may be able to help them find a fix. Worse case you can ask them to report it. In my opinion, saying something is buggy without telling the vendor is next to useless. Oh, and saying it’s a bug on Twitter is NOT the same as reporting it.

If they say it is slow

… I ask if they bothered to do any testing or server tuning. It’s shocking how few people don’t bother. I then point them to Mike Brunt who - at last count - I believe had a ColdFusion site running something like 500 trillion requests in a millisecond. (Ok, maybe not that many.) At the end of the day - every platform out there is going to be slow if not coded right or configured correctly. ColdFusion is easy. There is nothing wrong with that. But because of it’s ease, it has allowed folks with little to no background in application development build web sites. Let me repeat: There is nothing the frack wrong with that. Unfortunately if a casual user doesn’t take the time to even consider updating their skills a bit, or hiring someone to help, then they could be left with a slow application. In that case, blame the coder, not the code.

If they say it is expensive

… I ask if they even bothered to think about development time. Unfortunately, some people flat out refuse to do so. They look at one cost only - the sticker price - and never imagine what that up front initial cost could save them in total development time. By that metric, no one would buy cars and would simply walk everywhere. Also, unfortunately, there are some people who take this religiously and refuse to pay for software. Forget about them. They are not living in the real world. It may also make sense to remind folks that ColdFusion is free for your development machine, free for your staging server, and I believe also free for a hotswap backup. You’re paying for production, that’s it.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but as always, I’d love to hear opinions from others. I’ve yet to read Terry’s excellent book, Driving Technical Change, which I’ve heard is excellent in this regard, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it so I can safely recommend it for this cause as well. Also remember that nothing is better than actually getting things done. ColdFusion has always shined at exactly that. There is a great quote from one of the creators where he said - basically - that ColdFusion was not created to be beautiful - it was built to let you get things done. That’s what we’re here for, right?

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

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