My first layoff

My first layoff

Posted by Brad Wood
Jul 23, 2008 07:40:00 UTC
Well, I experienced my first layoff today. After working at my job for 4 1/2 years our company "changed tracks" under the direction of a new CIO and cut most of our programming team including me. It appears they want to shift over to .NET and outsource most everything to China.It's pretty disappointing, but it would be a lie to say I didn't see it coming-- I just had hoped it wouldn't arrive so fast. As much as I hate change, I am now in the annoying position of updating my resume and looking for new employment. I know it's hard to find a lot of good CF stuff here in the Midwest, but I'd sure like to stick with ColdFusion. Contract stuff is alright, but I like to settle down in a solid position. If you know of any good openings around Kansas City (or someplace willing to allow remoting) drop me a line. I will update when I find something.


Alfio Raymond

Dude, It's happening all over the place. I applied to 3 coldFusion jobs so far and told them I'd be willing to learn .Net just to get my foot in the door if they wante dme to know it for the job. Might as well collect unemployment and just learn .NET in the mean time for when the economy gets better.

TJ Downes

lol @ .NET

Companies who change platforms are grasping at straws. it's not the platform, its the solutions, customer service and overall quality that make the difference. If any company thinks that changing platforms will increase their business (save their company) they need to sincerely examine what they are doing wrong.

The telling part here is that they want to outsource overseas.


Even if you want to stay in ColdFusion, I highly recommend you master Cor Java in addition.

Jeff Self

Since you live in the Kansas City area, you are probably aware that the Django web framework got its start in Lawrence. And apparently there are a lot of sites out there which use Django. So brush up on your Python and Django.

If you want to stick with CF, better think about moving to DC. This is where 90% of CF development takes place. Like it or not, thats just the fact of life.

You've really got two choices. Learn .net and go to work for boring companies who do .net and risk losing your job as you are doing now or learn some open source languages and frameworks and work for small companies. Thats what I see is the future.


Brad - Sorry to hear about your layoff. Not surprised though. This is IT and recycling talent is what companies do, generally out of greed or ignorance. You need to get used to it. Remember:

  1. The unfortunate truth it is easier to find a job if you are employed.
  2. Feeding little kids is like dishes and laundry, it never ends.
  3. KC is not a mecca for CF development don't get depressed.

Calvin has a good point about picking up extra skills.

I suggest you check with Tech Systems about the CF contract at Sprint. It may still be open.

This is a CF/Java job. They are moving to Java.

This a PHP job that recently opened

Good luck. Moving will be the best thing you ever do.



very well said T J Downes. Hope my manager will realize that soon(my company is testing .NET) and stick to CF.

Shawna Hampton

Hey Brad ... sorry to hear that.

You might call Becky at MegaForce, LLC (913-402-0800) or Shawn Pavey at Bradford & Galt (913-663-1264). Both have contacted me in the last two weeks about positions. I don't know what the positions are, or where they are located (I'm still freelancing so I had no interest), but I have a good relationship with both of them and can guarantee they will treat you right.

Good luck to you!


Make sure you stay on good terms with the company that laid you off. Remember, that the shift to .Net will be easier on paper than it will in reality. I'm not sure if all your team was let go or not. There could be a consulting position for you there, for the short term.

Get your house in order, register a company name, get a web site going, and in a few weeks offer them your services.

Without knowing your team structure (which may torpedo my suggestion), you have skills that others don't. You know the systems from a technical and business point of view. You can be an effective bridge in the move from CF to .Net - you probably know some of the business folk also. I'm assuming that you had a good reputation and rapport with your management team (if not, stop reading here!), and in most cases, they would be only too happy to find a role for you, if only for the short term.

Again, I have NO idea what your current situation is, so please excuse my ignorance in this reply - I certainly don't mean to offend or demean, if you've tried this already.

The only time I was laid off, I was re-hired within two weeks, at double my hourly rate, given a corner office and asked for "my expert opinion" often - pretty surreal! It was short term, but it did me for a while.

Cheers, and best of luck.


Tariq Ahmed

@ Brad, sorry about the job. :(

@ TJ

I'm a huge CF supporter - but I've seen a few managers of dev teams that were using CF decide to bite the bullet and switch to .NET or Java. It wasn't about technologies at all, and in fact the managers are big CF supporters, but it came down to a business challenge. It's easier to find advanced Java and .NET guys both in the U.S and abroad.

It's easy to find mediocre CF folks - it's one of the double edged swords of CF. It's so easy to learn and use that you can make applications without needing to progress beyond a low intermediate level.

And when you're looking for a Jr person, odds are you can find young folks coming out of school who know Java.

In overall sheer size of development communities - the Java and .NET population is enormous. From a business perspective, being able to easily draw from such a large talent pool is very advantageous.

Even for myself - whenever we've had to fill a CF position we've had to look all over the country and even to other countries. And even when we do find a top notch CF person, if their employer is on top of things they know how hard it is to replace someone of that caliber and they make it difficult for that person to leave.

So when a company is changing platforms, it's probably not because they think the platform is better - it's because of some business need that is driving the decision (cost, time to market, strategic advantage, etc...).

Larry C. Lyons


My sympathies. I've gone through it a couple of times. In this area (northern Virginia) there are quite a few open positions, if you're willing to suffer the move and later the commute. Also look at telecommuting.

regards, larry


Brad - sorry to hear you've joined the club - although I think my membership card is a little older than yours...

I can work to make some room for you over here if you're still looking for a soft landing.

Get in touch with me - you know how.


Jim Pickering

After reading all of the comments before mine, I had to chime in. I am appalled at the number of CF coders recommending to give up on CF and learn other languages. And nobody has recommended Actionscript 3 or Flex. Why move away from CF? Kansas City isn't a mecca for CF? I've been a CF coder for ten years in Kansas City. What are you all talking about? Sure a few larger companies are moving away from ColdFusion, which admittedly looks bad, but there are small and medium-sized businesses, local and state governments using CF too. I haven't met a client yet that wasn't interested in ColdFusion or demanded PHP or .NET. Frankly, Microsoft doesn't have that good of a reputation with the small to medium-sized businesses. There are still entrepreneurs out there with money who have ideas, and just as important as a phone - they need a website. In fact most of the time they need more than just a website, they need a web product, because their entire idea revolves around the web and the success of their application. They are looking for you. How easy have you made it for them to find you?

As the CFUG User Group Manager ( in Kansas City, nobody has contacted me about looking for CF employment. I get calls from people looking for CF talent frequently. But not from the talent looking for opportunities. If you're a CFer and haven't told your local CFUG Manager to keep an ear out for opportunities, then you're wasting an incredibly valuable resource. And if your local CFUG Manager won't help or is a "deadbeat" (meaning nothing much really happens with the CFUG), then please let me know. Adobe is on a mission to grow the community, so CFUGs need to be thriving everywhere.

The secret to finding work and getting hired is networking, and your local CFUG is a great start. I recommend getting to know people before you need a job, though. Brad is a regular at KCDevCore. He's in good hands.

Brad, I encourage you to be steadfast and stay with CF. Learn ActionScript 3/Flex too - hit up for $25/month. Huge opportunities in RIA's from development to trainers. Flex/AIR/CF are the best for RIAs. I just don't by all the doomdayers takes. There are also opportunities to be a CF or Flex trainer which pays better than being unemployed. If you're not Twittering, you should be. Twitter is a terrific way to break the ice and meet all kinds of people, all over the world. It takes some time to build up a large group of followers, but Twitter is a terrific resource for word-of-mouth marketing. Also LinkedIn; get some of your ex-coworkers to write you a letter of recommendation, for potential employers to see.

Lots of opportunity out there, but it won't be found from your living room couch or your home/office.



Brad Wood

@All: Thank you for the kind words. I have updated my resume and I look foward to what the future holds elsewhere. I've still got my enthusiasm for programming and I'll always be willing to learn.

I'll also add that my previous employer was in the mortgage business and nothing in that business seems to be going too good these days. I heard they had additional lay-offs today outside of the IT department.


thanks for article

Shawn Pavey


I have an opportunity right now with one of my clients for a Coldfusion Developer. Please call me ASAP at 913-663-1264 x.406.


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