Adobe ColdFusion and the Fear of Change

ColdFusion software development is always evolving. And fast! In fact, it changes at such a rapid pace that the next big thing is always around the corner. Keeping up can be difficult for some developers and organizations. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to keep up. Should we reject this or embrace it? Change is inevitable so let’s make the most of it. By modernizing the way we work with ColdFusion, we can help CF become much more alive.

Use Modern Technologies

To make ColdFusion modern you need to use modern methods and tools with it. A lot of the buzz about younger languages is to do with the way they are used and the tools employed. In my book CF Alive I will take a look at 27 modern tools and frameworks that you can use on your projects. They will help you speed up development and improve code quality.

Using modern CF also makes it easier to attract quality CF developers to your company. And helps bring younger blood into the CF Community.

“I’m proud to use ColdFusion because it makes me productive. It is a great language. It solves my problems and it solves them more quickly and easily than some of the languages so that’s why I’m proud to use ColdFusion is because how productive it makes me and the modern language that it’s become.” — Brad Wood, Software Architect and Platform Evangelist Ortus Solutions

From CF Alive episode, “029 Design Patterns for amazing app architecture (16 patterns), with Brad Wood

Use the Current Version

“…CF is also very forgiving in that way for migrations. I do a lot of migration, so very few problems going from 10 to 11 to 16. You really learn to appreciate working with ColdFusion.”-Mike Collins, Senior ColdFusion consultant at SupportObjective

From CF Alive episode, “062 Scaling Your ColdFusion Applications (Clusters, Containers and Load Tips) with Mike Collins

New software versions are released for a reason. They provide new updated technologies and features to enhance your CF experience. New versions often fix major security and performance issues too. So what version are the CFers currently using?

Many ColdFusion developers and users do not upgrade to newer versions because of the fear of change. Perhaps they don’t know all the benefits of the updates or want to stay in their comfort zone. One way to calm your nerves about switching versions is to go to conferences. Conferences provide a great backbone of knowledge to any new and upcoming CF version. Talking with fellow CFers who have been through the same upgrade you are considering can address your concerns.

“CFML has become a completely modern language. I’m proud to use CF because it is a great language. It has its quirks but hey, show me a language that doesn’t.”- Mark Drew, Director at CMD

From CF Alive episode, “035 Getting started fast with Docker, with Mark Drew

CFML slack channel is a free and location independent way to share questions and experiences. Another great place to catch all the new information is the CF Alive podcast. Here up-to-date topics are discussed with ColdFusion experts on the cutting edge. Using current versions is a great way to help keep CF alive as well. By updating, it shows that you have faith in your platform. It means you are ready to continue using ColdFusion. If we stop updating our ColdFusion, we will see it die.

“It’s been the language I’ve used 100% of the time in the last 18 years of my professional life. I love working in ColdFusion, it is both comfortable to work in yet also stretches me as I continually find new things I can do with it in every release. There’s been a lot of effort over the years to evolve ColdFusion and keep pace with other languages and modern programming concepts.” — Ed Bartram, Senior Web Developer at Senior Market Sales

From CF Alive episode, “080 Assert Control Over Your Legacy Applications (TestBox Quick Start) with Ed Bartram

Related: Comprehensive list of ColdFusion Conferences 2017, and What Can We expect in 2018

Adapt and Integrate

“Nowadays, there are so many languages, and so many technologies. It’s great to learn other technologies, and learn other languages. It is important that we have to be all around developers not only as single language kind of developer. So that is really important nowadays, but I always come back to CFML. I love its power. It integrates as a middleware for all kinds of technologies.”- Luis Majano President of Ortus Solutions

From CF Alive episode, “044 CommandBox + ForgeBox: ColdFusion Code, Package, Share, Go! with Luis Majano

Another thing that would help make CF more alive is integrating new technologies. There is a lot of new CF related tech out there. Using it can help draw in younger programmers and invigorate older ones. And make your organization’s apps more reliable, efficient and secure too. For example, CF support guru Mike Collins uses the Vue.js Progressive JavaScript Framework in his ColdFusion apps. He says he has been seeing some of the freshest new content coming from there. It would be great if ColdFusion is able to integrate more fully with Vue.js. Bring more vibrance to CF and incorporate other technologies.

“I just always had a passion for ColdFusion and I just you know it was described to me one time as kind of the Swiss Army knife of application tools and it always seems like there’s a way to do anything with ColdFusion. No matter what the problem is there’s always a way to solve it. You integrate whether even if you have to do some Java package or something, there’s always a way to integrate it into ColdFusion. And lots of great resources out there that are from all the experts on the Internet.”- Mike Collins, Senior ColdFusion consultant at SupportObjective

From CF Alive episode, “062 Scaling Your ColdFusion Applications (Clusters, Containers and Load Tips) with Mike Collins

Related: VUE More With Less, with John Farrar

Invest in CF

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, organizations and development teams need to evolve. Many are still using outdated versions of ColdFusion, old development methods and are missing out on the latest tools.

“We are proud to use it because any engineer is proud to use best of breed tools. And CFML has always been in our opinion a best of breed tools for what it does, for web applications and other kinds of things you can build in CFML. So, we certainly believe that. We use it, we continue to be proud to use it because like any craftsman, we like to use the best possible tools.”- Patrick Quinn, CoFounder, CEO and CTO of Webapper

From CF Alive episode, “039 CFML Secrets with Patrick Quinn (AWS, Lucee and SeeFusion)

Some even use only CF tags in their code and nothing else. No CF Script. No CFCs or Object-Oriented programming. Ouch!

Some of the reasons for not writing Modern ColdFusion include:

  • Fear of Learning New Things
  • Belief that New Tech is Overly Complicated
  • Too Many Files
  • Too much Code to maintain
  • Fear of Inadequate Problem Solving
  • Unaware of New Tech
  • Unable to Budget Time and Money for learning.

This does not bode well for the future of ColdFusion currently existing at corporations. Some are still talking about writing code as if it were 2001. Let’s help them fix that problem. With the use of new technologies, it is very easy to convert your legacy code to modern CFML.

“…nobody is going to come work for procedural programming. I mean nobody. No wonder nobody wants to go do ColdFusion because they don’t want to be working with procedural code. So if corporations don’t do this, ColdFusion will not be alive anymore. So the corporations really need to modernize. That’s the first thing.” — Luis Majano, President of Ortus Solutions

From CF Alive episode, “012 Extreme Testing and Slaying the Dragons of ORM with Luis Majano

Let’s Welcome Change

Let’s welcome the increasing pace of tech change as a way to grow and specialize more. We try on this year’s new “CF fashions” with excitement to see which ones fit us.

Change is life

No longer do we have fear of upgrades creating hard to find new bugs.

We overcome the negative computer press and enroll it to cheer on the new birth of modern CF.

I invite you to join me in discovering how we can all make CF more alive, modern and secure this year. Join the CF Alive Inner Circle today.

Originally published at teratech.com on September 24, 2018.

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Michaela Light

Michaela Light

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ColdFusion development, security and optimization. CEO at TeraTech. Host of CF Alive podcast.