I got my feet wet in web site design back in 1995 while doing a short stint at North Carolina State University, with the birth of my personal website, An Eclectic World. It pretty basic, just a few HTML pages tossed together and some graphics. I won't say it was "pretty" by today's standards either, but hey I liked it. After a few years, I'd learned how to use third-party CGI scripts and began dabbling with PHP. I found it clunky and less than intuitive, but it got me going. At the same time, I was becoming quite adept at working with databases, mostly Access for desktop stuff and MySQL for my website. Even before I heard the term "normalization", I was building fairly relationally sound DBs. It was just intuitively logical for me.
I also learned about this language called ColdFusion. It seemed interesting and exciting, so I grabbed a book on it and gave it a whirl. Twas love at first sight! It was a language that perfectly fit the way my mind works, much like good relational databases, so I was able to pick it up rapidly. I did some freelance work for a friend, then expected into some other decent contracts, which kept the rent paid. In 2000, I got my first real ColdFusion job, telecommuting for a company in Maryland. Woo hoo! It financed my semi-spur of the moment decision to leave my home state of North Carolina to get a fresh start in life in Texas, before the infamous DOT.com bubble burst resulted in a layoff. A year later I got my current job working as a ColdFusion developer with what was then known as Texas Cooperative Extension (formerly Texas Agricultural Extension Service and now Texas AgriLife Extension Service...yeah).
So I have been doing ColdFusion for approximately 14 years (as of 2013). I am a Adobe Certified Expert in Advanced ColdFusion 8. I led two series of ColdFusion courses (Basic and Advanced), based on Adobe's materials, to the other developers in our shop. I'm not being egotistical when I say that when I first started in AgriLife, I was the ColdFusion and database expert not just in my department, but it seemed like for much of our campus web development community, as CF was still relatively new in this area at the time I started. I've given speeches/presentations at our now defunct local Macromedia/Adobe user groups, at some of our annual Ag Program conferences (the IT portion), and published articles this site (then LearnCF).
So then a coworker and I went to CFUnited 2009. It was a seriously eye opening experience. I discovered I was actually pretty "dated" and quite a bit behind my peers, in part due to the educational environment I work in and in part due to complacency. Talk about ego blow! But it was good, as I came back with a renewed vigor and love of my favorite language at a time when I'd started stagnating. It is one reason I've recently overhauled this site and expanded its coverage. Since then, I've expanded into using Mach-II, getting heavy into jQuery usage, and together with my coworker led a paradigm shift in our group's entire mentality and operation with our websites.
As for my old site started back in 1995? It is still up and still going strong, though ironically it remained almost entirely in PHP (my own custom stuff) until 2012, when I finally relaunched it as a ColdFusion site. What else about me? Um, I love spending time with my sweetie, manga and anime, cooking, playing video games, photography, blogging, fiction writing, painting, and I share my home with two dogs and a cat.
Anyway, I hope you find this site useful in your own web development endevours :-),