Now that you have finished Learn CF in a Week, you should have a good understanding of ColdFusion. While you might not be ready to go out and lead a team of developers in building a highly complex and scalable application, you should feel confident enough in creating a few basic applications while you get your feet wet.
If you have been following along with the Hands On chapters, you should also have a completed web site. If you do not already have a personal web site, feel free to find some hosting and launch the web site. Having a personal website is a great way of advertising and showcasing your skills to others.
With the completion of this course, you are probably wondering what you should do next. There are a few things that you can do to help improve your ColdFusion knowledge:
Read Articles and Blogs
There are many articles and blog posts published on a regular basis that will help you advance your knowledge. Often, these resources will be on specific ColdFusion functionality or development problems that you might come across while you are developing. These resources are jam packed with information from developers who have come across the problem and found a good solution. Here are a few useful resources:
Adobe Developer Connection:
The Adobe Developer Connection has weekly updates to its already extensive pool of articles. Not only will you find ColdFusion articles, you will also find articles on topics such as mobile development and jQuery that you might also find interesting.
Adobe TV has a number of training videos specific to ColdFusion. These videos demonstrate new features of ColdFusion, as well as demonstrate how to use some of the IDE's such as ColdFusion Builder.
The Blog of Ben Nadel:
Ben Nadel is a famous figure in ColdFusion. His blog posts go into a depth that none can compete with. His posts are informative and can explain it in a way everyone can understand.
cfbloggers.org is a ColdFusion blog aggregator. Anyone who is anyone in the ColdFusion world has their blog aggregated by cfbloggers. The feed is constantly updating with new blog posts from people around the globe ,allowing you to keep up with all the new developments in the ColdFusion world.
Attend User Group Meetings
Throughout the world, ColdFusion user groups are meeting up on a monthly basis to discuss all facets of ColdFusion. User groups are a free event where like minded developers meet to learn new things. Each meeting will have a different presenter who speaks on a different topic each month. To find your nearest ColdFusion user group near you, visit http://groups.adobe.com/.
There are a number of conferences throughout the year that offer presentations on ColdFusion topics. These conferences provide an opportunity to attend a wide variety of presentations on numerous topics, some which you might have experience with and some you might never have come across before. These conferences give you the chance to broaden your knowledge and directly interact with the speakers. Also, you will meet and socialize with other ColdFusion developers. It is not uncommon for people to leave a conference filled with new ideas that they wish to try out.
Always keep your eyes and ears open for new conferences that might start up, but for now, here is a list of established conferences that are held each year:
cfobjective is a 3 day ColdFusion conference in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference has a number of advanced level ColdFusion topics. It is attended by many of the leading ColdFusion community members and is packed with great information.
RIA Con is a 2 day conference in the Washington, D.C. area. The conference covers many ColdFusion and non-ColdFusion topics.
NCDevCon is a 2 day conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference covers a number of topics from ColdFusion to HTML5. As well as having regular sessions, NCDevCon also has a number of Hands On sessions. Priced as one of the least expensive ColdFusion conferences out there, you definitely get the value for your money.
Scotch on the Rocks:
Scotch on the Rocks is a European ColdFusion conference. The conference is based out of Edinburgh, but has been known to travel around; locations have ranged from Edinburgh to London to numerous places in Europe. The conference offers a wide variety of ColdFusion topics presented by some of the leading ColdFusion experts in Europe.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to learn what is going on in the ColdFusion world as you get to listen to them at your own leisure. Maybe it is when you are on your commute into work, or maybe when you are hitting the gym. Whenever it is, podcasts are packed with lots of information about what is going on in the ColdFusion community, any new information that Adobe has released about the next version of ColdFusion, and interviews with members of the ColdFusion community.
Here are a few of the current ColdFusion podcasts:
Hosted by Dave Ferguson and Scott Stroz, <cfhour> provides you with updates about ColdFusion and interviews with members of the ColdFusion community, as well as a few well timed jokes.
2 Devs from Down Under:
Join Mark Mandel and Kai Koenig for their podcast that covers all things ColdFusion and all things development.
Tim Cunningham holds conversations with some of the leading minds in the ColdFusion world. Filled with fun interviews and opinions, these podcasts will help you understand what makes a ColdFusion developer tick.
Besides building some fantastic applications, one way to demonstrate to people how great your ColdFusion knowledge is to get ColdFusion Certified. Adobe offers a ColdFusion certification test that anyone can take. There is a fee involved, but once passed, you will have the ability to call yourself an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE). Not only is this a great thing to show your employer or future employer, but you also get to display a special logo on your web site!
To find out more about the Adobe ColdFusion Certification, visit: http://training.adobe.com/certification/exams.html#p=1&product=adobe-cold-fusion. Currently the only certification available is the ColdFusion 9 certification. The ColdFusion 10 certification will be released soon.
Sign Up for our Mailing List
This isn't a plug just to get your email address, I promise! There are plans for Learn CF in a Week to be expanded with additional weeks. Week 1, which you just completed, was covering the basics of ColdFusion. With week 2, we plan on covering more advanced topics. We even have initial plans for week 3 and possibly even a week 4. If you sign up for the mailing list, we can notify you when the new updates have been released.