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Ben Nadel at InVision Office 2012 (New York City) with: Bill Nourse
Ben Nadel at InVision Office 2012 (New York City) with: Bill Nourse ( @webtimeclock )

ColdFusion vs. XYZ - It Finally Got Physical

Published in Comments (91)

So, the craziest thing happened to me over the weekend. I was shooting some pool down at Amsterdam Billiards with one of my friends just having a good time and this guy at the next table keeps shooting glances at me. It's a bit odd, but NY has a load of crazies, so I just try to ignore it. Anyway, over about an hour, he keeps looking over at me and staring at my shirt. I happened to be wearing my "I [heart] ColdFusion" t-shirt at the time so I thought maybe he was a fellow ColdFusion programmer? But, he looked way too angry to be a CF'er.

My friend and I play a few more rounds and then pack up the balls and start to head out; but, as we're passing this guy's table, he comes over and stands right in front of me and stares me down. I'm not one for confrontation in any way, so I simply ask, "What's up?" He looks down at my shirt and then back up at me and out of no where, he says, "ColdFusion's a b!*ch language!"

Ahhh, suddenly the situation became clear in my head. Here's a guy who probably spends his entire day miserable, locked in a cubicle, programming in some ridiculous language like .NET or classic ASP. I'm sure that somewhere deep down inside he's dying to quit his job, but he can't because of one reason or another. So he sits there day after day getting angrier and angrier at the world, wondering why he can't use a sweet language like ColdFusion.

Ok, I get it; not everyone is as lucky as us CF'ers. I've got his life summed up in my head, and in a move of complete empathy and understanding, I simply say, "Maybe. You think I should be a .NET developer?" I figured this would give him an opportunity to perhaps demonstrate some confidence, puff up his chest and what not; but rather than diffusing the situation, he comes back with, ".NET's for *real* men!"

So I stand there for a second, trying to figure out what to say next when his girlfriend pipes in with, "I don't know Joe - he looks all man to me." This must have been the straw that broke the back of his confidence camel because before I know it, this dude's throwing his fist at my face. I tried to move, but it was too late. I wish I could say that I was a total badass - like one of those guys in the movies who gets hit and practically doesn't even flinch. Not the case at all; I get knocked right on my backside. His hand, including his ring, hits me right between the eyes. The pain was immediate.

At this point, I had two options: I could stand up and be macho or I could walk away and be a man. So I took a moment and thought about my life. I program in ColdFusion. It's probably the best language in the world. And what's better, I get paid to do it; how awesome is that? I make money doing things that I would do for free if I had the time. I guess I live what you could call, "the good life." I don't need to be fighting anyone. That's bananas. Why do anything that distracts me from the CFHTTP-CFMAIL-CFFTP-CFTHREAD-CFIMAP-CFSPREADSHEET-CFCOMPONENT euphoria that I experience day-in and day-out?

Here's a guy who's simply down on his luck; life probably threw him the .NET curve ball and he wasn't able to hit it out of the park. It happens. This fight wasn't about me, it was about him. He just needed to vent, get rid of some of that anger, and seeing my "I [heart] ColdFusion" t-shirt, he probably figured (rightly so) that I was happy enough to absorb his outburst. And so, letting him have his moment of dominance, I stood up and walked out with my friend.

I then proceeded to the St. Vincent's emergency room where the on call physician's assistant quickly and easily fixed up my forehead:

ColdFusion vs. .NET (dotnet)  

The pain from the experience was short-lived, but I think the message will live on for much longer. Doing what you love, whether it's programming in ColdFusion 9, or ColdFusion 8, or even ColdFusion 7, keeps you steady; it gives you the fortitude and the mentality to simply brush off the minor blips and remember that you've got more going for you than most people in this world.

Dramatization: Parts of this story have been exaggerated and / or completely invented to make up for the less-than-interesting reason behind my stitches.

Reader Comments


little did you know, you were the badass. made me smile. i hope i would have reacted like you did. you may have helped this guy out more than he might immediately realize. sometime down the road when he reflects he might have an awakening. and he'll be grateful to you.


You did well to just walk out. People like that don't deserve to be responded to.

That said ...... if he goes there regularly I would speak to the manager and get the staff to wear I Heart ColdFusion t-shirts


Oh god, this is THE most incredible post I think I've ever read related to Coldfusion, what a nut case, I can't believe that he would hit you, just amazing, like you say, obviously a great deal of pent up emotion on account of his job stresses.

I'm going to get me one of these I <3 ColdFusion shirts and start antagonising some people.

At the end of the day you took a bullet for the cause and chicks dig scars so you're all good.

Well done Ben, glad to see you have such a great attitude too.


Come on, get real people. Ben Nadel would never get punched in the face. He has an invisible cfshield, incredible cfspeed and wears a bitchin' cape with big blue CF letters stiched on it. .NET developers shrivel before him like Superman does with Kryptonite.


Thanks for sharing. No doubt you did the right thing.

I always thought b*tching about someone else's taste for a different programing language wasn't ment to be taken seriously, at all, but this isn't funny anomore.


You should have at least photoshopped a "I <3 CF" shirt on you in the picture ;-)

Incidentally, Amsterdam Billiards is where WPBA held the women's 9 ball championship in 1998 I believe.

Good read. Thanks :-)


I'm glad I didn't read "and i stood up and yelled to my friend, "GET TO DA CHOPPA!" then ran out" because I would have spit water all of my monitor for sure.


Before I read the end, I was like "WTF" who was this psycho .NET drama king messing with the man that I admire???? Got all bent out of shape! I was about to go out and look for the looser! ;)

Don't write stuff like this, because this is why!

Good one. Chicks definitely dig scars lol!


so what really happened anyway? even if it's less than interesting, i've gotta know.

did you fall asleep reading CF LiveDocs and crack your head on your desk?


Just more proof he's living in the dark ages where violence is the only way to resolve conflict.

We should pity him for not having been enlightened on the "True way" of CF.


That wasn't my girlfriend, that was my sister. And she was kissing me like that because she kisses everybody like that. And I'm not a .Nut, I'm a PHP'er. Long live Perl! Don't make me come over there and smack you again.


I came to this site for the example on using percentages with images in css. It was very helpful, thanks! I saw the flurry of comments to the side and couldn't resist. You are hilarious!

Thanks for the smile and the laugh. I dunno a thing about Cold Fusion.. yet. I'm still rather new to this whole coding thing.

@ theApocalypse - what about php developper GIRLS? Still demons? (just because i CAN do it doesn't mean i LIKE it!)


So what really happened? Cut shaving your uni-brow? 10 lb. dumbbell fell on your head? Argue with Ray Camden about who should be the King of CFUnited? See you there.


@Yaron, I doubt Ben owns a 10lbs Dumbbell and if he did, he would use it as a Q-Tip. ;)

As for what really happened. I suspect that Ben only remembers bits and pieces. Not because of the injury, but because it's Ben.


Ben, I get that you're telling a joke, but I have a (tiny) problem with it...

First, I get why you rag on .NET (or anything else) -- as CF Developers, we regularly put up with much worse from people who haven't looked at the language/platform since 4.5 or 5.0 and/or are just happy to jump on the insult bandwagon all out of ignorance, and it's just a way of blowing off steam. And obviously, based on the number of comments, lots of people think it's funny.

But, if we want other developers (the CF Haters) to [ get a clue | do their homework | just be polite enough to keep their rude opinions to themselves ] then we have to "be the bigger person" (a topic right out of your post...) and not retaliate (for lack of a better word) like this.

This post caused a little bit of a ruckus at my office because a python/ruby developer took offense that you belittled .NET... And while I can understand and appreciate your desire to post it (and like your disclaimer says, provide an ulterior explanation for your stitches), in the end I had to agree with him that this adds nothing constructive to our situation and instead just fans the flames.

So while I sometimes agree with your line of thinking that was the inspiration for this post (personally), I think that "the bigger person" wouldn't have posted it.


Deep in my heart of hearts (or rather my Id of Ids) I wish you had stomped the fark out of the guy and gave him the ass whooping he sorely deserved. Not because of CF, but on general principles. I don't care if it is Windows vs *nix vs Mac or CF vs. PHP or vice versa. I call it for what it is: An adolescent prick wagging contest. It serves no purpose but as an excuse to treat others poorly.

I am rather disappointed that you did not at least press charges. His behavior has most likely be reinforced and continue unabated by a lack of consequences for his actions.



I can respect that. It was all in good fun. I should hope that it did not sway their desire to code Ruby or Phython :)


I would like to call on all ColdFusion developers to grab their knuckle busters and head down to the local Web Developmen shop and throw a few punches around.

If you see anyone doing PHP, hit them twice.

If you happen to stumble across any people running ColdFusion 5 or lower, slap them also.

PS: Where do I get a I Heart ColdFusion shirt, caus I play pool a lot :)


LOL that was good!
btw I think with this quote you should be an advert for adobe:

"So I took a moment and thought about my life. I program in ColdFusion. It's probably the best language in the world. And what's better, I get paid to do it; how awesome is that? I make money doing things that I would do for free if I had the time."



Hey Ben,

Where could I buy such "I <3 ColdFusion" t-shirts?

I looked in cafepress, didn't find any.

Hilarious story, btw.
We are so lucky to be programming in CF :)


Hilarious! Glen and I used to play pool there! Anyway, the gf "ALL MAN" thing was when it crossed for me. Such a guy fantasy. But very very funny. :) And you are a big geek.
LOVE xoxooo

PS pls be more careful. no more stitches.

@shuns: LOL


Ben, here's what you gotta do man: you have to go back to that place on a regular basis wearing the exact same shirt until you manage to flush this guy out again. Only this time have some backup (just in case) and challenge the guy to a public "code-off". At the very least, gather some info about him so we can all visit his blog, or immortalized him on OUR blogs! But, you gotta go back. I'll go with you! Just say the word. :)


Pfffffffffff I bet Ben Forta would kick his ass :) For sake of ultimate dramatization you should add "Raymond The Avenger" who came to revenge your wounds :)


did you get a cue in the forehead? Way funny story. You had me going. I was like 'wtf why didn't Ben deck this guy'. Much better lie than 'yeah i got in a fight with a shark and all i got was this bruise'. That's normally how mine go, lol


@andy matthews

hahaha, that picture is way to cute. I love Harry Potter and when I saw the scar I thought the same exact thing.

I want to send you my pic so you can make me look like Hermoine Granger ;)

ps. I think that Cold Fusion Developers make magic happen with their code! you gooo Boys/Girls ;)


To have a clear idea regarding what is meant by 'web development', first we have to get acquainted with some basic terminologies. On having a glance at your article, the internet users will realize that the importance of this activity cannot be looked down upon. We wondered when we came to know the efficiency levels of the robust algorithms of search engine.


Wow, really?!?!? Did your hatred of M$ & ASP / religious devotion to CF really compel you to make up and post this whole thing??
If so, you're more pathetic than the guy in your story.

Sorry dude...



It's a STORY! FICTION!!! for fun!!! I think that if someone is lucky enough to have a creative imagination and a good sense of humor, then they should be able to EXPRESS their thoughts if they choose to do so.

Why are you taking it personal? get over it it's only a story!

Sorry dude...


Its the real reason we went to war with Iraq. Saddam, having discovered CF, the Language of Mass Productivity, instructed his people to take over the web building business in the world by building sites very quickly and efficiently. Not to be outdone by the other presidential candidate who have invented the internet; Bush and Cheney wanted to be the ones who saved the internet.


That's a bit like what happened with me and Jean Claude Van Damme.

There I was waiting in the lottery queue, when he got confontational with me just cos I said he had got a bit saggy.

We ended up having a fight in Tescos car park. I cant remember the rest, I just remember waking up in a shopping trolley with the taste of stonewashed denim in my mouth.


@Ben - get back to work! Jeez - you had me totally fooled until the end of the story. If I had arms like yours I would've pounded a would be pool hall attacker into next week.


I think you two should both learn to embrace LISP. Parenthetical notation breeds love, after all.

Sorry to hear something like that happened at Amsterdam - I used to play there sometimes WAY back in the day.

So, when are you going to add that picture to your array of banner images?
"That's me..."
"That's my ColdFusion gang-fight scar"


What's the difference between hating a guy just because he's a CF'er vs. hating a guy because he's a PHP'er?


Hahaha! That was an absolutely terrific story, Ben. I program in Coldfusion all day for work (I will keep my personal opinion to my self to prevent a flame war) and it made my day a little brighter! Thanks

P.S. Had me until the last line :)


He's just angry because an Assembly developer did the same thing to him only a few minutes before he confronted you, haha... which initially began when the ASM developer had an IHeartASM shirt on - and the MachineCode guy punched him!



Very nice. Funny thing if you had been in any other city I would have immediately spotted the fake (ok maybe Philly would be true).

That does bring up a point. I train to DC with a .NET developer and been trying to bring him over to the light. Its been a while since I did .NET so am trying to figure out what things would sway him to give CF a try. Any thoughts.

Another aside I do give MSFT props in the dev tools department they just started a program called WebSpark to promote their tools and .NET (though you do not need to code .NET) giving you free Win2008 license, Visual Studio Pro license. Very nice indeed.



There's no doubt that MS languages get the best tooling; all of their studios have always had great stuff, especially in the intellisense / insight department. Even now, the Stuido apps provide insight for jQuery objects! Bad ass!


I [heart] CF too! I've been a CF developer for 10 years and I still think it's the best development platform in the world. I don't understand why .Net is so popular. A simplest task written in .net takes 3-4 times the amound of code it would take in CF.
Ben, many thanks for your site!



Ha ha, 500+ responses to his article. He certainly didn't hit any chords there. I love this quote about the type of person they are looking for:

Instead, we look for a very different sort of person. The sort of person who grew up cooking squirrels over a campfire with sharpened sticks - squirrels they caught and skinned while scavenging in the deep forests for survival. We don't want a short order chef, we want a Lord of the Flies, carried by wolves into civilization and raised in a French kitchen full of copper-bottomed pots and fresh-picked herbs.

... I suddenly feel like an inadequate programmer :)



Sorry, I couldn't help it :)

I believe in love. I believe in compassion. I believe in human rights. I believe that we can afford to give more of these gifts to the world around us because it costs us nothing to be decent and kind and understanding. And, I want you to know that when you land on this site, you are accepted for who you are, no matter how you identify, what truths you live, or whatever kind of goofy shit makes you feel alive! Rock on with your bad self!
Ben Nadel