ColdFusion Developer Hiring Guide

Hiring Guide for ColdFusion Engineers

Ask the right questions to secure the right ColdFusion talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

ColdFusion is a proprietary rapid application development platform, created by Jeremy and JJ Allaire in 1995. It was originally designed to make it easier to connect simple HTML pages to a database, marking it as one of the earliest scripting languages. The software was later acquired by Macromedia, which in turn was acquired by Adobe Systems Inc in 2005. Today, ColdFusion is used for building rich internet applications and is distinguished by its associated scripting language, CFML. Information sourced from Adobe Systems official website and historical records.

First 20 minutes

General ColdFusion knowledge and experience

The next 20 minutes of the interview should attempt to focus more specifically on the development questions used, and the level of depth and skill the engineer possesses.

What are ColdFusion scopes?

Scopes in ColdFusion are predefined storage areas that persist data for different durations. Some examples are the application scope, session scope, and request scope.

How would you handle errors in ColdFusion?

ColdFusion provides several ways to handle errors, including the cftry and cfcatch tags, which allow you to catch and handle exceptions. You can also use the cferror tag to specify a template to display when an error occurs.

Describe the difference between ColdFusion components and regular ColdFusion templates.

ColdFusion components (CFCs) are reusable blocks of code that can be invoked from anywhere in the application, while regular ColdFusion templates are individual pages that are not reusable. CFCs are more modular and promote code reuse.

What are the key features of ColdFusion?

ColdFusion has several key features including its integrated development environment, automatic session management, user authentication, and data validation. It also supports web services, XML, and integrates well with HTML.

How would you define ColdFusion?

ColdFusion is a rapid web application development platform created by J.J. Allaire in 1995. It is designed to be expressive and powerful, with an easy-to-use scripting language that harnesses the power of Java but hides its complexity.

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What youre looking for early-on

Do they seem enthusiastic and interested in the role?

Enthusiasm and interest can indicate that they will be motivated and committed to their work.

Are they able to discuss their previous projects and experiences in ColdFusion development?

Discussing previous projects can give insight into their practical experience and how they approach development tasks.

Have they shown good communication skills during the interview?

Good communication skills are important for understanding project requirements and collaborating with team members.

Do they have experience with other relevant technologies such as SQL, JavaScript, or HTML?

While ColdFusion is the main focus, having experience with other relevant technologies can be beneficial for broader tasks.

Can they demonstrate problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving skills are crucial in development roles as they will often need to find solutions to complex coding issues.

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of ColdFusion?

A strong understanding of ColdFusion is essential as it is the primary technology they will be working with.

Next 20 minutes

Specific ColdFusion development questions

The next 20 minutes of the interview should attempt to focus more specifically on the development questions used, and the level of depth and skill the engineer possesses.

How would you secure a ColdFusion application?

Securing a ColdFusion application involves several steps, including validating user input, using secure protocols, encrypting sensitive data, managing sessions securely, and keeping the server and application updated.

Describe the difference between implicit and explicit variable scoping in ColdFusion.

Implicit scoping in ColdFusion refers to when you use a variable without specifying its scope, in which case ColdFusion searches the scopes in a default order to find the variable. Explicit scoping is when you specify the scope when you use the variable.

What are ColdFusion custom tags?

ColdFusion custom tags are user-defined tags that encapsulate commonly used functionality. They can be used just like built-in tags and can accept attributes and content.

How would you implement caching in ColdFusion?

ColdFusion provides several ways to implement caching, including the cfcache tag, which can cache page content, and the cachePut and cacheGet functions, which can cache data.

Describe the difference between struct and array in ColdFusion.

An array in ColdFusion is an ordered list of elements, while a struct is an unordered collection of key-value pairs. Arrays are accessed by numeric index, while structs are accessed by key.

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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the ColdFusion engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled ColdFusion engineer should demonstrate proficiency in CFML, SQL and JavaScript, as well as an understanding of web server configuration. They should also show problem-solving abilities and good communication skills. Red flags would be a lack of specific examples or inability to explain complex concepts clearly.

Digging deeper

Code questions

These will help you see the candidate's real-world development capabilities with ColdFusion.

What does this simple ColdFusion code do?


This code sets a variable named 'myVar' with the string 'Hello, World!' and then outputs the value of 'myVar' to the screen.

What will be the output of the following ColdFusion code?



The output will be 'Greater'. The 'GT' operator in ColdFusion is a comparison operator that checks if the value on its left is greater than the value on its right.

What does this ColdFusion code do?


This code creates a new one-dimensional array, appends the string 'ColdFusion' to it, and then outputs the first element of the array, which is 'ColdFusion'.

What does the following ColdFusion code do?


Thread joined

This code creates a new thread named 'myThread' that sleeps for 5 seconds. Then it waits for 'myThread' to complete execution and outputs 'Thread joined'.

What does this ColdFusion code do?


This code defines a ColdFusion component with a public function named 'sayHello' that returns a string. The function returns the string 'Hello, World!'.

What will be the output of the following ColdFusion code?



The output will be 'Error'. The code attempts to divide a number by zero, which is not allowed and will throw an exception. The exception is caught and the variable 'myVar' is set to 'Error'.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for ColdFusion role questions

The final few interview questions for a ColdFusion candidate should typically focus on a combination of technical skills, personal goals, growth potential, team dynamics, and company culture.

Describe the difference between threads and processes in ColdFusion.

In ColdFusion, a process is an instance of the server running an application, while a thread is a path of execution within a process. Multiple threads can run concurrently within a process, allowing for parallel processing.

What are ColdFusion closures?

Closures in ColdFusion are anonymous functions that can be stored in variables, passed as arguments, and returned from other functions. They have access to variables in the scope where they were defined, even after that scope has ended.

How would you optimize a ColdFusion application?

Optimizing a ColdFusion application can involve several strategies, including optimizing database queries, using caching, minimizing session data, using efficient algorithms and data structures, and minimizing network traffic.

Describe the difference between cfquery and cfstoredproc in ColdFusion.

The cfquery tag in ColdFusion is used to execute SQL queries directly, while the cfstoredproc tag is used to execute stored procedures in a database. Stored procedures can be more efficient and secure than direct queries.

What are ColdFusion ORM events?

ColdFusion ORM events are hooks that allow you to execute code when certain events occur in the ORM lifecycle, such as before an entity is saved, after it is loaded, or before it is deleted.

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ColdFusion application related

Product Perfect's ColdFusion development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your ColdFusion engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in ColdFusion projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.