1st impression means a LOT for developers

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We all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we also know that everybody does it. Programming languages/projects are no exception. ColdFusion has a reputation of being bloated and too simple for large projects.Those of us that know and love CF can provide ample evidence to refute such arguments. But people that were exposed to CF in the early days (pre-MX) will probably always hold that opinion. And they willing pass their opinion on to others. Part of the problem is also that everybody touts ColdFusion as being easy. It’s true that it is, but developers somehow equate easy with weak, ignoring that easy can also equal powerful. Hal Helms eloquently made a case for calling CF an excellent RAD tool, instead of easy.But we can also fall into this trap with our projects. I remember a time when I demoed a project to a previous boss, and I had lots of fancy graphs. He was very impressed, even though I had done very little coding yet. I later pushed the project to the back burner to take care of more pressing needs, but my boss kept asking me when I’d finish it. Why was he so persistent? Because he liked the cover on my ‘book’.When you demo a product to a client/boss, it’s very important that you make it look pretty. Don’t spend hours on the aesthetics, but if you just show plain forms in the top left corner of the page, they’re going not going to be impressed. That said, you also need to make it a quick prototype, so that your customer can quickly see where you’re going and correct you if necessary. But you can easily grab a free design from this site to use in your prototype, and just drop your code in.So what can we do to change the minds of those anti-CF naysayers? That’s a tough one. But I think if Adobe does a good job marketing CF as a RAD tool, and you and I do a good job blowing the socks of our bosses/clients with rapidly developed powerful apps, those naysayers will be forced to accept the truth eventually.