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Michael Smith: When I heard about your(Simon Horwith) talk "Oh Grow Up!: 'kiddie scripter' to 'software architect' " I was intrigued. What exactly do you mean by a 'kiddie scripter'?

Simon Horwith: There are a lot of ColdFusion developers out there that don't have a background in "traditional" software development. Many of them are HTML editors that were "thrown into the deep end" with CFML by their boss one fateful day. Sure, ColdFusion makes it easy to get results without a four year degree in computer science, but the odds are good that there are a lot of things that developers should be doing differently. In my experience, the single biggest difference between so-called gurus and everyone else is the way in which they approach development. The objective of this talk is to help developers understand these differences.

MS: Why should a programmer come to this talk?

SH: No matter how much you think you know or how well you believe you develop applications, there's probably something you could be doing better, more efficiently, and/or just different to the way you do them now. Without sanity checking the current way that they do things now, developers have little hope of bettering their skills. If nothing else, the session should be a lot of fun.

MS: I have heard that software architects take more time to code than kiddie scripters who hack out their applications. What is your view?

SH: Well, that depends on the application. Simple applications generally do take longer to develop "properly". More complex applications are almost always developed quicker when written "properly". In both scenarios, I use the term "properly" to refer to an application being thoroughly planned before being developed. In either scenario, the end result is that the code that was thought through in advance is much easier to maintain and much more flexible with regards to extensibility for the future. In my professional opinion, any contract with a client that won't give you the time you need to properly plan, is a contract not worth taking.

MS: That sounds similar to the building industry...

SH: Yes, you don't need a plan to build a dog house but if you tried to build a large office building without blueprints and plans people would think that you were crazy!

MS: Are there any other things that software architects do on a project?

SH: Yes - it's not all about planning. There are a few key differences between "kiddie scripters" and "software architects"... I'll cover them in the session

MS: I am intrigued! See you at CFUN.

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