During yesterday’s MacroChat, lots of you asked question about making ColdFusion available to colleges and universities. I mentioned that there was indeed a program in place, but I did not have the details and URL to hand at the time, and so am posting the information here.
Macromedia Developer Teaching Solution (MDTS) is a cost-effective way for faculty to teach application development in computer science, engineering, information technology, and information systems departments. Macromedia Developer Teaching Solution provides software, curriculum, and developer guides, and includes ColdFusion, HomeSite+, Dreamweaver, Flash, reproducible curriculum material, books, and more, all for $699. Details at http://www.macromedia.com/buy/volume_license/hed/mdts/.

13 thoughts

  1. No offence, but what good does that do me as a professional CF developer? It seems like it’s macromedia who has to make the effort to sell this plan to schools… and to try to get them to add this to the curriculum.

  2. Someone asked about the plan and Ben is conveying the information to us. In fact, I think it shows that MM is working hard to make their products available at a reasonable price to educational institutions in order to encourage people to learn about the products.
    How does it help us as developers? If it encourages local colleges to offer CF courses than CF can get a more prominent name in the industry and not always play second fiddle to Java & .Net.

  3. Doug, it is not intended for the professional developer, it is a plan to get the products in schools, something customers have been clamoring for for a while now. Yes, it is Macromedia’s job to build awareness and community support, this program I believe is part of that.

  4. I think this education plan is great. My university is really pushing java and the benefits of java. I think introducing the power of java and the RAD approach of ColdFusion will greatly benefit students. The schools teach about RAD development but don’t introduce and platforms that will facilitate this type of development. I know I used ColdFusion for my senior project and it blew away all other projects and the professor. This was after I was mocked for using ColdFusion by class mates. Those using JSP and PHP did not even finish, who laughing now. I think Doug is being short sighted. Because of exposure to ColdFusion in college, decision makers will choose ColdFusion for its simplicity and power. Its basic math Doug more people exposed to it, more people use it, more ColdFusion jobs. Ultimately this would bring world peace. 🙂

  5. I think this is a reasonable approach to encourage adoption in course work. But even at a low cost, the software $ is not always the itme holding back adoption: Other resources such as server space/maintenance, PC lab equipment and maintenance, training costs for course instructors that might not be familiar enough with the technologies….so I’m not sure that simply a low package price will tip the scales.
    The QA for the website needs a bit of work too:
    The FAQ at this link http://www.macromedia.com/buy/volume_license/hed/mdts/faq.html talks about installing FLEX on a server with only 2 CPUs. Flex isn’t available in the eductaion store, nor through this program.

  6. Is there a place that I can get a copy of the microchat? I was unable to join in, but would really like to read a transcript.

  7. Having the MDTS only available in North America doesn’t help the situation either (speaking from Sydney Australia).

  8. I have no idea why this is a North America only program, and am trying to find out (and will post if I do).

  9. Okay now that we have at least 1 program to offer, let’s find ways to aggressively push this into colleges, technical schools.
    Also let’s push CF more into the limelight, like offering car bumper stickers, things we can wear put on, to make people think of dot-com = ColdFusion.
    We can not merely have a program without aggressively push it, both as fellow developers, but also Macromedia and all the bloggers, have to start pushing it.
    Let’s call it the D-Day for Macromedia’s War of the dot-com, "In honor of D-Day of WW II"
    Have Macromedia and all it’s hip-hoppening provacateurs, go to each state, and hit at least 2-5 major colleges, and at least 5 technical schools.
    Have a contest even, to see who can get the most colleges to sign up to have a major ColdFusion Career Track Program.
    We even should ahve buttons that say, "Macromedia ColdFusion, the way the web was won!"
    Or something funky like that.
    We need to unify and push Macromedia Coldfusion.
    While we do that, have MM clean up coldfusion.com, please i beg you. Let it be the Tower of Babel for CF users/developers/guru’s/philosophers/bloggers
    Thank you.

  10. So, it is North America only, for now, because they have no way to do organization verification outside of the US. I understand that the plan is to roll this out in other locations too, but no time frame yet, and no details. Sorry.

  11. NB: these comments are applicable to private college level training orgs. I daresay highschools may fare better (but have other issues)
    North America only?
    >> because they have no way to do organization verification outside of the US
    MM has local people (eg John Trelore for ANZ) – use them, perhaps?
    >> something customers have been clamoring for for a while now.
    that’s because the employers are getting crap graduates.
    there just isn’t the kudos in being a web developer anymore – there are far too many other interesting facets that it’ll be like flogging a dead horse. they all want to be animators!
    at the moment there is a thriving training market for new newbie IT workers – all support/sys admin – no programming. These training orgs see dev as a lost cause with offshoring being a factor.
    And then there is the lack of skill of the trainers who are hard pressed to keep up. Sometimes it really is "…those that can’t – teach!"
    then you’ve got bias/ignorance to contend with ("PHP…", "ASP…"). User groups and lists like CFAussie are helpful but it’s preaching to the converted while it’s the the market perception of the students that are really driving things.
    1) raise the profile of CF, create the interest (must be first). CF is still not a household name (eg like the comments above perhaps?)
    2) train the trainers – they’re hard pressed working out the latest DW and Flash release.
    3) give up on classroom-style notes by making it self paced. there’s no time to do any more than hint at what’s possible. and there’s far too much to cover (CF, JS, HTML, SQL, XML and soon MXML)
    Microsoft can get itself into training orgs because of branding. MM’s brand – esp with CF – cannot match it.
    A real quote from a former student of mine, on telling him what I’d deliver in class in 2003:
    – "ColdFusion? what’s that? a type of ice cream?"
    oh well, you get that…
    barry.b

  12. I agree with other comments about the fact that it’s restricted to North America – would be nice to see that addressed in the near future (as you said it will be). I’m curious as to whether or not Macromedia is planning to offer any direct support to universities and colleges that adopt a line of MM courses (in the form of sending-in guest-lecturers such as yourself, other Macromedia employees, and/or Team Macromedia Members) and I’d also be curious to know whether or not Macromedia places (or is planning to place) the same requirements on College/University lecturers wishing to teach their products as they do on people who are Macromedia Certified Instructors?

  13. The plan is good, but I have three important observations:
    1) The Fast Track and Advanced Development courses aren’t well suited for College, or even high school style courses. Macromedia needs to design full course curriculum, and not rely on teachers and professors to modify the courses themselves.
    2) It’s one thing to throw up a link… and I am not criticizing Ben for doing so… but someone in Macromedia needs to be going out to schools, selling the value of CF and convincing the academics to start teaching ColdFusion. Many schools are teaching open source material, like Java, Perl and PHP, and many schools are teaching .NET (which doesn’t have the additional costs to get into it, like ColdFusion does).
    3) Macromedia has to understand that they aren’t going to make a profit getting CF in more schools, but it’s best for the long term survival of the language and the server. In fact, Macromedia should offer whatever they can to schools free of charge. Instead, Macromedia needs to realize that they will be sewing the seeds to the long term success of ColdFusion. We are not in 1998 anymore. ColdFusion can’t survive just because it exists!!! I hope that when Blackstone finally comes out, Macromedia will seize the opportunity to take what will obviously be a world class application server and market it to the max… no pun intended! 🙂
    I was deeply saddened when I had it confirmed recently that a major university that uses CF throughout its systems does not TEACH CF at all. That is a travesty that must be corrected, and I am sure that is not an isolated occurrence.

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