Code For Scalability

So, a guy by the name of Kyle Neath recently posted a disturbing observation from SXSW. His "most interesting bit" was the idea that Scaling is for nerds. Basically, while listening to some side chatter from Jakob Heuser, a speaker at the conference, he (Kyle) came away with the idea "...don't worry about scaling -- scaling is for nerds. By the time you hit pain points, you can bring in someone who really knows what they're doing. Most importantly, by the time you hit pain points, you should be profitable enough to not worry about bringing in someone who knows what they're doing." Now, something is a little out of context, as Jakob's topic, "Scalability Boot Camp," is on horizontal scalability, according to a recent post to his blog.

My first thought is "I hope this guy Kyle never writes anything in ColdFusion." It's not that we couldn't use some developers, my phone is ringing constantly with recruiters looking for good talent. No, I just think that ColdFusion developers need to have a better mindset than this guy. Part of being a good developer is thinking about your application's scalability, performance, and extensability. To blatantly ignore any of these during your development is to invite future disaster, creating a lot of additional work somewhere along the way. Even if your application might start off with only 10 users on initial product launch, you should attempt to design it as if it will be used by thousands, or more, at a time. This also helps to avoid utilizing the Big Ball of Mud design pattern, because eventually it won't stick to the wall anymore.

The scary thing is, this guy has been around a while. He's been working on the web for some time, he has a seemingly well trafficed site, and some N00b out there will read what he's said and take it to heart. To write an application, knowing that someone else will probably have to rewrite it down the line because you were to lazy to do it right the first time, is wrong. Not knowing any better is one thing, we all learn and grow every day. Doing it with full knowledge, on the other hand, is just irresponsible.

I hope I've read it wrong, and I hope you, dear reader, know better.

Last Call For The WebManiacs Early Bird Pricing

Today is the last day for Early Bird Pricing for the WebManiacs conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of May. They have a truly impressive list of sessions on ColdFusion, Flex, and AIR development, including a small presentation from yours truly on the second day. Sign up today while you can still get the Early Bird Pricing!

ColdFusion 8 Gotcha: The Decrypt() Function

So, at the office we've been developing on top of ColdFusion 8 for a while now, testing our code so that we know we'll be safe to officially migrate to 8 when we migrate to our new datacenter. Last week we actually set up one ColdFusion 8 instance within production, to place inside our load balanced environment, to judge true application performance under load. During the setup, and before placing it into the mix, I use the localhost hosts file to direct specific sites to the localhost for testing. This has always been helpful in the past, and this time was no exception. We fired up the services, hit one of the sites, and it all promptly broke.

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