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This time, Michael Smith sits down with Jeff Peters to talk about his presentation "Want to Succeed? Here's the One Thing You Need".

Michael Smith: So why should a developer come to your session, Jeff?

Jeff Peters: What, you don't want to succeed?

MS: Of course I want to succeed, but I think your title sounds like one of those late night infomercials. You're not going to tell people to "work smarter, not harder", or something like that, are you?

JP: No, Michael, I won't do that. We'll actually look at some real-world cases I've seen in the last few years, and talk about how to do things better. Then we'll look at what I think is the key to the whole business.

MS: Is this a thinly-disguised pitch for Fusebox as the answer to all web problems?

JP: Not at all. In fact, this session is a Fusebox-Free Zone. Fuseboxers can catch up with me in my "Fusebox in 40 or Fewer" session. Nope, we'll be looking at what it takes to survive in today's market, and why managers hire some people and not others (at least from this manager's perspective).

MS: That sounds like some good information. JP: I hope it helps folks. I think attendees at conferences like CFUN often wonder about the market and their future prospects. I hope this session will help alleviate some of the fears, and also cause some productive anxiety.

MS: "Productive anxiety?!" That doesn't sound healthy. What do you mean by that?

JP: Productive anxiety is just the realization that there's some cause to pay attention. You know the old story about putting a frog in a pot of cold water, then slowly turning up the heat?

MS: Isn't that the one where the frog won't jump out, because the change in temperature is gradual enough that it doesn't know it's in danger?

JP: Exactly. Productive anxiety is just the realization that the water is getting warmer, so to speak.

MS: Great. I'll bring my crystal ball.

JP: Don't worry about predictions. I'll provide one sure one that you can count on. Jeanne Dixon's got nothing on me.

MS: That is good because even with her psychic powers she did not predict the rise of ColdFusion programming!

JP: Excellent point, Michael. And even within the CF community, I doubt many of us predicted 5 years ago where CF would be today. Here we are with two major companies producing CFML application servers, and CF now encompasses concepts from XML, web services, and even the object-oriented world. Prediction can be a hazardous game.

MS: But you have some ideas about how to minimize the hazards?

JP: Some, yes. I can at least talk about people I've seen succeed and people I've seen fail, even though they worked in the same market.

MS: That sounds like a valuable discussion.

JP: I hope so. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

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