The Chronicle

of a ColdFusion Expatriate

How Did I Start?

August 25, 2021

This is going to be a personal post, and it’s long, and I’m writing it mostly to get it out there, so if you aren’t into the whole “career journey memoir” thing, feel free to skip this one.

Would it surprise you to know that I applied to the Rhode Island School of Design and for a non-trivial number of years thought that I would have a (likely struggling) career in the arts and graphic design? In fact, I have done a few freelance graphic design gigs, and for a few years I ran a home business restoring old photographs (that probably deserves its own post).

So how did I wind up writing ColdFusion for a living?

As many programming stories do, mine begins with Java.

America Is in Love With Work

August 19, 2021

“So, what do you do?”

Maybe you’ve asked someone this question when meeting them for the first time. A friend of a friend, or a stranger on a plane, or your date. It’s a “safe” question to break the ice; after all, everyone has a job, right?

Sure, but why do we let our jobs define us? Why do we love work so much?

Stop Calling People Resources

July 27, 2021

This is the Merriam-Webster definition:

reĀ·source, n.

  1. a source of supply or support: an available means—usually used in plural
  2. a natural source of wealth or revenue—often used in plural
  3. a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life
  4. computable wealth—usually used in plural
  5. a source of information or expertise

Huh, that’s weird. Nowhere in there does it say “a human member of a team or organization.” So why do people insist on dehumanizing their colleagues by referring to them as “a resource?”

A Company Cannot "Kinda Care"

June 4, 2021

In the same way that you can’t “kinda like” pineapple on pizza—you either love it or you hate it, never anything in between—a company can’t “kinda care” about anything, especially if it is among the company’s publicly stated values.

Moreover, it is becoming increasingly costly for companies who want to “kinda care” about certain social, environmental, or humanitarian concerns to simply stay silent about them.

"Blitzscaling" Is Inhumane and Nobody Should Do It

May 14, 2021

“Blitzscaling” is a distastefully martial portmanteau of “blitz,” which is German for “lightning,” and “scaling,” which in this context means business growth. It may have been invented by—and was definitely popularized by—Reid Hoffman, who wrote the eponymous book.

It’s a concept for how to grow a business very quickly, and it works. But it carries with it tremendous social costs.