Why I Use ColdFusion

A reader left a comment in one of my posts about the Selling ColdFusion outside of the Community, stating that I had to answer this before I could sell outside of the community. I figured it was worth a blog post instead of a comment.

Simply stated, I use ColdFusion because it is the most productive language I have ever worked in. I have done more, in less time with ColdFusion, than I have ever achieved in any other language.

Over the course of years at my job I have had to do work in ColdFusion, Perl, Php, C++, Python, and Java. I don’t claim to know any of them; I just had to work in them. None of them have allowed me to build things as fast or as easily as ColdFusion.

Those languages I stated before, of all of them, I used Perl the most. I’ve spent more time figuring out how to do the few things I really know in Perl, than I spent learning ColdFusion. Part of that is Perl itself, part of that is the sheer sadistic joy that Perl programmers take in making even their sample code undecipherable to the non-initiated, but most of it can be attributed to ColdFusion’s true ease of absorption.

I remember something a student interviewing for a co-op position said to me:

I wish I hadn’t learned ColdFusion first. It made me expect all languages to be that easy to learn.

Some, (like this recent post from Kyle Hayes) have termed this a weakness with ColdFusion. But that should be considered strength of the language, people want to work in it; people expect other languages to be so accessible. These features should be embraced in the rush to get more users in the door, not thrown away.

There you have my 2 cents, please feel free to disagree.

13 thoughts on “Why I Use ColdFusion

  1. ColdFusion allows me to concentrate on the business solution, rather than the language. The productivity, and versatility of the language don’t have me thinking “can this even be done?” The old days of technical solutions for the sake of the challenge are gone. Business invests alot of money in IT, they want solutions, and they want them quickly. The latest version of ColdFusion (8) gives incredible opportunities to innovate, while still retaining the productivity you come to expect from CF. That’s why I use it.




  2. I came from a Foxpro background where being “close” to the data made me very productive. I picked up CF for the same reason. Although I now use more structured data access strategies they are all based around the simple <cfquery> tag.


  3. I started with Perl then moved to PHP. For this reason I found PHP to be very productive and relatively easy to learn.

    I’m now a CF developer and love it, but I have to say that if I had to weigh up CF against PHP I’d probably rank them evenly. I agree with you however that Perl is a #!


  4. I had the exact same experience.
    I was writing dynamic web sites for the company I worked for, using perl (use CGI;, them were the days !) as it was the same glue I used for day to day sysadmin jobs.
    When things really started taking off, we looked for something to make the hard stuff easy. ColdFusion (4 !) was that. We’d looked at PHP and a few other things too and they were all more work to do even simple things like output a query as a nice table.


  5. I’m a CF developer and my twin brother uses ASP.NET. He keeps telling me that I should take the time to learn ASP.NET. I’ve tried a few times and just can’t bring myself to go through the pain. I’ve never seen anyone go from CF to ASP. Any thoughts?


  6. @Sebastian, I tend to not be pushy with what I believe or like. So if your brother likes ASP.Net, leave him be.

    But if you do want to encourage him to use ColdFusion (or anything else for that matter) I find that showing is better than telling. Talk to him about some cool idea for an application? Build it, and show him the RAD power of CF. It doesn’t have to be a big application, just enough that he can see how fast your ideas become something you can click on.


  7. I’m the same. My path went something like, HTML, JavaScript, C++ (don’t ask!), ColdFusion, SQL and so on. I’m glad it was the first language I went forward with and it’s one of the first languages I’ll recommend to anyone who asks what language they should learn.

    I understand the benefits of learning other languages and have racked up many others myself, but CF is frickin’ awesome!

    Nice post.


  8. I started with ASP then moved to ASP.NET.
    I dont know why i am stucked with Microsoft .
    But every time i decide to learn something new , i wondering what is it ?
    is it perl , CF , PHP ..

    Thanks for encouraging .


  9. I can really agree with your statement. I am a long-time Perl and Java programmer, because I have to work in the languages. In my freetime I learned a bit ColdFusion and it was much easier, so I was able to talk my chef into using ColdFusion. He wasn’t enthusiastic, but after a while he was happy about my better and faster results. So give ColdFusion a chance, you won’t regret it!


  10. Just reading the comments. I used to work with CF. However it seamed to go out of fasion. I now work with .NET and Java at half the productivity, unfortunatly the programmers have won the battle. The real challenge with Web develmpment is keeping the generated HTML under control. Programmers in the Java and .NET world spend far too much effort abstracting everything into an unnessary contorted layer of objects before attempting to render it. In CF you just “glue” it all together. The original ASP .NET was a disaster for the internet generating a boring user experience with huge costs on bandwidth and server power (not to mention the cost overruns and project failures). Java is so flexible you can make it do sensible things given the time however coldFusion just does it.


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