East Bay CFUG – Overcoming Objections to Using Frameworks

Just got back from our 2nd East Bay CFUG meeting at our new location (New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Pleasanton, CA), and couldn’t be happier with the way the meeting went.

My goal with the group is to break away from what I’ve seen to be the traditional model of people showing up, a speaker speaks for an hour or so (while most people are texting or surfing on their laptops), swag is given out, and everybody goes home.

What I’m shooting for is to engage the audience. To hold interactive, collaborative meetings. Some might be small code challenges where everybody takes a few minutes to solve a particular problem, then shares their solution with the group. Others might be an open discussion on a given topic. Yet others might be hands-on labs to teach a particular technology.

Tonight’s meeting was an open discussion on “Why Use a Framework?”. Similar to a presentation that Terry Ryan used to give (“Selling ColdFusion in a Hostile Environment”), the goal of tonight was to throw out a few common objections to using frameworks, and then discuss some possible responses.

I’m pleased to say that everybody in attendance seemed to be engaged, entertained, and genuinely interested in the topic. There was a lot of good discussion on all of the points that were introduced.

The nature of the meeting didn’t lend itself well to a Connect presentation, but we did capture the audio of the entire meeting in mp3 format. There were some slides that I used to introduce each individual discussion point, but they didn’t translate well from Keynote. The slides have been posted to SlideSix.com.

The main points from the slides were:

  • Frameworks are unnecessary. I already write code without them. Why should I learn a new way to do what I already know how to do?
  • Frameworks add an additional level of complexity. Why should I make my code more complicated?
  • It’s hard enough to find a (good) ColdFusion developer. If I commit to “Framework X”, now in addition to finding a ColdFusion developer, I need to find one that knows “Framework X”.
  • You can’t write good code without a framework. All code written in a framework is awesome.

Yes, the last one was a joke, but like the rest, it’s something I’ve heard enough that I wanted to dispel it as a myth.

In the audio you’ll hear commentary by Sean Corfield, James Morrow, Pat Santora, Jon Hirschi, and myself. Download the audio file as mp3 or zip (01:25:33 duration, 97.9MB)

Next month’s meeting will be Tuesday, September 1st. James Morrow will lead the group in a discussion on “Real World” Design Patterns. If you’d like to join us, please RSVP at http://groups.adobe.com/groups/0e009fe342/summary.