March 2014

Gavin Pickin

CFML Language - Talking to Elishia Dvorak from Adobe + ColdFusion about the Edu + Intern Program

CFML Language, CFML Server, Online Interactive Learning

Recently on Twitter, there was some talk about today's ColdFusion evangelist, and who that is. Eventually we tracked down Elishia Dvorak @elishdvorak, who is Adobe and ColdFusion's US representative, who deals with Sales, and the new Education Program, as well as support and everything else. Once we had identified her, we gave her a few jabs about her number of tweets, and then let her be. Elishia posted a tweet

EDU initiative. Interested companies willing to offer internships to new #ColdFusion developers, DM me.

Of course I responded and said "sure, we're interested". I always like to learn what is available and what the company driving our community is doing to help promote the language, and of course bring fresh blood in. We exchanged emails and the following day, she called me, and we had a pretty good talk, so I wanted to share the discussion.

Note: I wasn't told any of this is secret, or privileged information, so I assume its free to discuss, and hopefully discussing and promoting what Adobe is doing will get more people involved.

First of all, we discussed the Edu Initiative. The ColdFusion team has worked hard to create a whole Web Development curriculum. This involves front end and back end technology, with the backend technology using ColdFusion of course. The course is designed as an introductory course to start with, and by the time the student is finished with the 1 semester course, they are familiar with the language, some of the work flow, and how things work together. 

This Initiative needs your help, and you will be rewarded. Adobe is asking for community members to help find universities and colleges (community colleges seem to be the best fit) that this class might work well in, and if you can provide them with contact details for someone to discuss this, basically, create a lead, if its a good lead, or the lead converts, Adobe will reward you with an iPad, and according to his Instagram photo, his was engraved with ColdFusion Rockstar

So, if you know anyone at a local institute, or know of a program that might be a good fit, pass on whatever info you have to Elishia and she can follow up for you.

By itself, I think its a good idea, it would be nice to have more content obviously, but its a great start. Then we got into discussing conferences etc, and I would say hi at cf.Objective(), as I am going, of course I'm presenting. She sounded interested at that point, and we started to discuss the next step in their plan.

I started ColdFusion way back in Version 4, and in the old days, they had a Fasttrack to ColdFusion and a Bootcamp style advanced Coldfusion course. These were around for some time, but I think the trainings pretty much died off, and the Wack Books took over. I used the copy I had of this course and trained several CFers over the years, and was thinking it would be nice to have training materials to help mentor newbies in, much like the Learn CF in a Week. Elishia mentioned that they're going to spend some time and try to revisit these courses, and try and create their own, new and improved ColdFusion BOOTCAMP. This isn't finalized yet, its more of an idea, and I'm not promising anything, but I think its a good idea, and showing support of the idea might help make sure they implement it. The idea was, they would create a curriculum of sorts, that they could give to instructors (yes, community members like ourselves) to run Adobe BootCamps on their behalf. So with their assistance, we could run 2 day bootcamps to anyone willing to learn, and they mentioned they'd like to make the barrier to entry as low as possible, hopefully free. This would really help drive some fresh blood into the community.

I was impressed with the idea, of course, its not ready to implement yet, but its a solid idea, and I think we should tell them that, so they know it, and know they have the support.

Finally, after that discussion, we finally got to the point of the talk, the INTERNSHIP talk. 

To make the EDU initiative successful, and appealing to these Institutions, they want to know that if their students complete these courses, that they have jobs waiting for them. Adobe is wanting to build up a list of companies that would be willing to take Interns in some type of Intern program, so the colleges can help feed you their best students, and gives the course more appeal to the institute, and those students taking the course. Adobe isn't planning on regulating the Internship program, so it sounds like its really up to your company how you implement it, if its just a summer program, etc. The good news is, with the Bootcamp, you could use the same curriculum to help get your Intern going, and they would be coming from an Institute with this program, where they would feed you the better students.

As well as giving Elishia (@elishdvorak) my approval for the Internship program, I also gave her a few more contacts for the local Community College, and the local Cal State for her to follow up on. My previous employer, who uses a LOT of student employees would also be interested in the Intern Program, so I passed that information on in good spirits too. More CFML Developers is good for everyone.

We also discussed the Betas, and the Bug Tracker and promised to chase down some bugs internally for me, especially the large RDS bug I reported again the other day, will post about that one in the next few days too. It was a great talk, enjoyed it, and impressed with where they are, and where they intend to go. So lets all chip in and do what we can.

Take a step out and help out the community, there is a lot of benefits for you, your company, and the community at large, so reach out and talk to Elishia (@elishdvorak). Tell her Gavin sent you :) Then I can add another restraining order to the CF Hour one :) 

Have a good one,

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