Steve Bryant recently suggested we make August 1, "How I Got Started in ColdFusion" day. The idea is to get as many CFML developers to write a blog post detailing how they got started with ColdFusion. I think it's a wonderful idea and, as such, following is my own story. 

My first forray into ColdFusion began late in the magical decade that brought us grunge, a revival of hippie/jam-band music, and a booming economy: the 90's. I had just finished my Masters degree in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was moving (back) to the Washington DC area to get married. After an extended honeymoon of several months backpacking in the US West and another several months in Europe, I needed a job. Surprisingly, an MA in Anthropology did not yield jobs outside of a McDonald's. Weird, I know. 

Shortly after I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, I got a job at Quark, Inc. as a support technician. After a couple years at Quark, I was asked to and happily pitched in on the company's first-ever website. As a result of my QuarkXPress knowledge and experience, I was able to get a job in the marketing department for Government Executive magazine; designing and laying out brochures, simple HTML websites/web pages for events, mailers and the like.

After a month on the job, my boss requested that I build a website for an upcoming conference our magazine. The company's online magazine was built with ColdFusion 4.0 and we decided that it would be best for me to go ahead and use ColdFusion to build my marketing site. So, I set off one day after work with the following book under my arm: 


I spent a week, and this is what I LOVE about CFML, working through the book and some examples. One week later, we had a database-driven website for our upcoming Excellence in Government 2001 Conference. I just think this is the amazing thing about CFML ... I knew some HTML and some JavaScript and before I knew it, I had a nice looking, fully functional database-driven website to promote and provide all the required details about our upcoming conference. From a total novice to a solid, well working (albeit not a complex) site in two weeks ... that is just awesome! 

Okay, fine ... get picky ... I was using Access and maybe calling that a database-driven site is giving it a bit too much credit :). I kid. I kid. 

The site was a huge success and before I knew it my job had morphed from a marketing person to, basically, a web developer creating ColdFusion-driven websites for every thing and anything our directors could think of. 

From there, I never looked back. Anthropology was a thing of the past and web development with ColdFusion was the way forward. And I could not be happier about how it all unfolded. 

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