February 2014

Gavin Pickin

Online Interactive Learning - TryCF - Tutorial Contest Over

CFML Language, Online Interactive Learning

Time to talk about one of my favorite new and cool Online Learning tools around, and yes, it's a ColdFusion tool, TryCF. I have talked about TryCF in earlier posts in my Online Interactive Learning category, and one post I talked about submitting my first tutorial. My tutorial was one of the first submitted and approved by the community, and it qualified for the tutorial contest.

Tutorial contest, that sounds interesting. You're right, TryCF created a contest to ask the community to help create some tutorials to help get the site loaded with a variety of topics, from a variety of authors, to help a range of new comers to the language get a start. Adobe even threw their hat into the area and supported the contest, giving all accepted tutorial authors a CF Builder License, and the winner, a Visa Giftcard for $300.

Abram, the creator of the site, created the site to help his Son Sabin learn ColdFusion. His son Sabin had done well with other tools in the market for other languages, like CodeSchool, LearnStreet, but ColdFusion was missing this type of tool. The contest was designed so Sabin would be the judge. Its a very well featured and functional sites, and unlike a lot of Open Source and Free Education tools out there, its a pretty slick looking site. It runs on Railo and will run on Adobe ColdFusion eventually too, and the site uses jQuery and Angular. The best part of the site, is the built in Editor, which you use in the tutorials, and you can even use it as a scratch pad, and load Gists and edit and run them too... you have to check it out.

Abram mentioned there were over 30 serious tutorials submitted, and I must say, I was proud to be one of the "final 3". One of my friends Scott Steinbeck (a former colleague) was also selected in the "final 3" with 1 of the 3 tutorials he submitted.

I won't spoil the mystery, so if you want to know more about the contest, you'll have to read the article (the link is all the way at the bottom)

Please look over the site, and take some time to think about writing a tutorial to help the community.

There are some good tutorials now, but there is a lot to learn about our great language, and the best thing about it is our community, so please do your part and support it.


Ok, you can read it now.

by Abram
02/11/2014 09:57:44 AM

Thanks for the mention Gavin! The decision was tough, and I wish I could have given cash prizes to the top 3. My son was really impressed, and learned quite a bit from this whole process.

Thinking of ideas for the next round... If you have any, send'em my way.

Also, just a quick correction. The site itself actually runs on ACF10 Ent standalone, while the cloud VMs that make up the cfml runners run a mix of ACF10 WAR and Railo 4.2 WAR deployments (ACF10 being the default runner engine, which one can change by clicking the cog below the edit box). The infrastructure is a bit elaborate, but there's actually a total 14 virtual server instances across two PaaS providers that make up the "cfml runner" bit. Each edit box on the page is likely pointing to a different server at any given time ( crude random load-balancing ). I plan on blogging the details of the setup as it's some pretty interesting stuff.

Anyway, good stuff!

by Gavin
02/11/2014 10:13:43 AM

Thanks for the correction. My notes were from memory and of course, you continually improve the site, and the other list of CF Open Source tools you use is impressive.

Thanks again for the hard work, and congratulations on a great service, and I hope it continues to get all the support it deserves.

I intend to write more tutorials, but juggling chainsaws can be tricky... so you'll have to be patient.

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