Doug McCaughan talks about “How to Get Your Next Ideal CF Job (using LinkedIn, Resume, GitHub)” in this episode of ColdFusion Alive Podcast with host Michaela Light.
“…the company pivoted away from ColdFusion. And suddenly, after 12 years, you’re like, Oh, dear, I need to get a job…”
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A sudden need for a new job after a CIO total tech stack pivot.
- The whole CF team was let go
How CF hiring works these days
- Your connections
- Informational interviews
- 70% of jobs are never advertized
- Allocate regular time to maintaining and growing your network, website, social media.
- Update your profile (aka your personal README.md) and link to your LinkedIn, Twitter, website etc
- Contribute to your fav CF open source projects – docs, code, small fixes
Improve your chances for a great first impression
- Why Linkedin > FB, TW, YT etc
- Others support, LinkedIn is where hiring managers may see you and search for candidates
- Background image
- Use other sections
- Add people you know to expand your connections and hence post reach
- Always include a personalized note
- If unsure, send a message first
- Like, comment or post daily
- your name, photo and tagline will be in front of not only your own connections, but the people you comment on or tag
- Especially good to like and comment on 1) CF influencers 2) potential employers
- Be yourself
- LinkedIn Premium
- Privacy shields down
- Jobs menu
- Why Linkedin > FB, TW, YT etc
- Talk about results more than tech
- Cover letter
- Email vs PDF
Your Ideal job exercise
- Get in a positive state of mind. WH via walk in nature, exercise etc. Then write down your vision of your ideal future job. What it is like a typical day, how you feel emotionally doing it, coworkers, boss etc.
- It is key that you get out of your current mental state of fear and anger before you do it. To get to a deep vision of what your true self wants in work.
- Don’t try to be realistic here. This is your dream.
- This will help in updating your LinkedIn and resume.
- I think you will get some good insights from doing it.
- If possible write first with pen and paper. Not phone or computer. You can always put in a doc later. Ann's best to get raw version out first to avoid the critical, sel editing mind interfering 😊
Why are you proud to use CF?
- I can rapidly develop error-free, reliable, robust solutions for customers. When I am asked, “can ColdFusion do X?” the answer is almost always yes. And it continues to evolve as our sector changes with developments like API management and microservices. When asked who uses ColdFusion? It makes me proud to be able to reference universities and academia, NASA, and Fortune 100 companies.
WWIT to make CF more alive this year?
- It would be nice to see ColdFusion bubbling to the service outside of CF circles. Even my non-programming friends know to say .NET when talking Internet tech. Tech news talks of things like React, Vuejs, Python, and Rust. I don’t know how to make it happen but it would be great to see some publicity for ColdFusion.
What are you looking forward to at ITB?
- If could attend, the people networking would be invaluable for me. As a matter of fact, while these conferences have shared such great knowledge, and influenced my development tools, such as using VS Code, the connections I make with people is always what I look forward to the most.
Mentioned in this episode
- CF programmers FB group post
- CFers CF job search questions (FB group post link)
- State of the CF Union survey 2022 results
- Dream Job course https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/
Listen to the Audio
Husband to one wonderful wife, father to five fantastic children, programmer, juggler, technophile, DIYer, adventurer, volunteer, and radio operator (KO4NFA, WRMJ225).
Doug grew up on the move being exposed to different cultures, ideas, and foods finally settling in Knoxville, Tennessee for college where he studied computer science and worked as the undergraduate system administrator under the mentorship of people who influenced the development of the Internet through contributions to likes of the RFC for mime email. These brilliant minds kindled an already burning fire for technology in Doug and showed him the possibilities for the connected world. After 5 years of study, Doug jumped at the chance to join a startup software company teaching foreign language with multi-media and speech recognition where he was given the opportunity to delve deeply into the world of quality assurance by creating and managing a 60-person software test lab. He staffed the lab with waiters and waitresses teaching them software quality assurance and proudly saw his staff hired into other companies as QA Engineers. Doug ventured out on his own to run an ISP and web consulting company. His first consulting job was to improve a billing system written in ColdFusion. CF immediately became his tool of choice. As a consultant Doug also found work in PHP and .NET as a full stack developer. His clients spanned the globe. Doug often found himself finishing projects other developers said could not be done. Eventually a contract returned Doug to the university for many years until the university decided to move away from ColdFusion. Doug is currently seeking new opportunities.
In his personal life, Doug has spent 18 years of scout leadership teaching life skills, citizenship, character, fitness, problem solving, and leadership to youth. These skills are tested in lengthy camping trips cut off from civilization such as a 9-day trip canoeing The Boundary Waters, or most recently 14 days in the Bridger-Teton National Forest with 9 of those days in the remote Wind River Range hiking through snow in July at 10,000 feet above sea level. Doug’s hobbies are entertainment and ham radio. Doug founded an improv troupe and performs a comedic juggling show occasionally to benefit organizations he supports. His passions are his family, helping others, improving lives through technology, and spreading joy through humor.
Michaela Light 0:02
Welcome back to the show. I'm here with Doug. Cannon if I'm saying your name right, Doug. He's
Doug McCaughan 0:09
very close to makan. makan. All right on it, Tim CO and I throw in a lot of letters to confuse people. There you go, lots of C's in there. But we're going to be talking about how to get your next ideal ColdFusion job. And I'll tell you in a moment what happened with Doug, it's a bit of a shocking story. But what we're going to be focusing on in the episode is what are the modern ways now to get your ideal ColdFusion job because it really sending out resumes and all the things that people used to do. Don't work as well on there are better ways you can use and we'll talk about those in the episode.
Michaela Light 0:46
And then, for those of you don't know, Doug, he's been doing cold fusion for over 20 years. He's also a juggler and a Boy Scout troop leader, I think is how you get the scout master. And yeah, and he also not only non easy a juggler with juggling balls, but he does a lot of different it and programming languages, as many coffees developers do.
And to continue learning how to make your ColdFusion apps more modern and alive, I encourage you to download our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.
Because… perhaps you are responsible for a mission-critical or revenue-generating CF application that you don’t trust 100%, where implementing new features is a painful ad-hoc process with slow turnaround even for simple requests.
What if you have no contingency plan for a sudden developer departure or a server outage? Perhaps every time a new freelancer works on your site, something breaks. Or your application availability, security, and reliability are poor.
And if you are depending on ColdFusion for your job, then you can’t afford to let your CF development methods die on the vine.
You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be OK using the same old app creation ways in that one language — forever.
All it would take is for your fellow CF developer to quit or for your CIO to decide to leave the (falsely) perceived sinking ship of CFML and you could lose everything—your project, your hard-won CF skills, and possibly even your job.
Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take now to protect yourself from these obvious risks.
No Brainer ColdFusion Best Practices to Ensure You Thrive No Matter What Happens Next
Modern ColdFusion development best practices that reduce stress, inefficiency, project lifecycle costs while simultaneously increasing project velocity and innovation.
√ Easily create a consistent server architecture across development, testing, and production
√ A modern test environment to prevent bugs from spreading
√ Automated continuous integration tools that work well with CF
√ A portable development environment baked into your codebase… for free!
Learn about these and many more strategies in our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.
Michaela Light is the host of the CF Alive Podcast and has interviewed more than 100 ColdFusion experts. In each interview, she asks "What Would It Take to make CF more alive this year?" The answers still inspire her to continue to write and interview new speakers.
Michaela has been programming in ColdFusion for more than 20 years. She founded TeraTech in 1989. The company specializes in ColdFusion application development, security and optimization. She has also founded the CFUnited Conference and runs the annual State of the CF Union Survey.