What does a philosophy major do after college? Woodworking, of course! Initial small woodworking projects gave way to larger projects and I found I needed some way of automating the "cut lists" used to pre-cut all the pieces of wood for a project.
My first step was acquiring a Texas Instrument programmable calculator. I forget the exact price -- $300-400 --but it had these things called "variables"! And I could plug them into a formula I wrote to get the exact size of pieces. Amazing stuff.
From there, I went on to write Lotus 1-2-3 macros, then tackled BASIC. From there, it was learning DataCAD and learning their programming language. Finally, I slipped the woodworking tether completely and sold my company. A good friend of mine, a technologist, hired me and shipped me off to this strange place called "Palo Alto Research Center". Xerox PARC was the legendary research facility where Bill Gates and Steve Jobs first saw a windowing system and a mouse, all powered by the language, Smalltalk.
Fast-forward a few years and I found myself the head of "the Web group". One of the early questions was which language we would use. Java was the odds-on favorite, but this was version 1. It was buggy and slow. Steve Jobs was peddling Web Objects, but the cost was much too high. Then, there was this little language, "Cold Fusion", that had a lot of promise (and a fair amount of risk). I decided to risk it.
That was when ColdFusion was at 3.5. During that time, I've seen the language evolve and grow. "Cold Fusion" lost the space in its name; features have been added; the underlying platform has changed. Through all its changes, ColdFusion has never lost sight of its roots: making life easier for developers. And the culture that grew up around ColdFusion has always seemed to me one of its greatest assets. While developers in other languages might tell newbies to RTFM, ColdFusion folks have always been warm and open, ready to share and learn from each other freely.
Thanks to Jeremy, JJ, Ben -- and all those who labored to bring ColdFusion to where it is today.