CFUnited 2009

First, if you're looking for the goodies from my presentation, go here.

As always, CFUnited was a great conference. First, the location Liz (et al) found was great. Comfy room, lap pool, play pools, plenty of space to hang about, etc. There are advantages to being closer in to DC, but I'd come back here again, for sure. In particular, the outdoor patio was perfect for the evenings, and it was remarkably pleasant outside after the sun went down.

There were lots of good topics too; a higher quality of presentations than previous years, I thought. That guy who talked about Groovy and language integration was the best of the bunch, I think, but lots of good stuff. Real quick recap:

  • ColdBox – Got to see a bunch of demos from Luis on ColdBox. Remarkably impressive, perhaps even as much as the documentation surrounding the framework. Rather overly implicit for my tastes, but still a remarkable piece of code.
  • Subversion for Smarties – Learned a few things about Subversion compared to Git from Cameron, which is interesting, along with some stuff about Subversion I never knew about.
  • Living in the Cloud – Sean talked about moving existing apps to the cloud, as well as developing new apps specifically for it, and what benefits and pitfalls you can run into. Really interesting to hear his experiences.
  • CFML Advisory Committee BOF – Sean, Adam, and Rob talked about how the standardization process is going and the problems they've run into with the process. They're getting close to having cool stuff to show, it sounds like, and then we (the CFML community) will start reaping the rewards.
  • CF is Dead…Long Live CF – Joe did a great talk about CFML applications over the course of the years, and how CFML is no longer as differentiated as it once was and how we can help address the perception of the developer community at large.
  • CFGroovy – As I said, I think this was the best preso of the conference. Content was good, presenter was enjoyable to listen to and remarkably handsome, the slidedeck was amazing, and really just 100% pure awesomeness. : )
  • Facebook and CF – Simon went through the steps to building a Facebook app (in general), and then how to get started using CFML to the backend in particular. A high-level look to be sure, but a nice first look into the platform as a whole.
  • Managing Frontend Dependecies – Rachel went through some issues with today's design-heavy HTML/JS/CSS/image UIs, how to identify them, and how to mitigate them in various ways.
  • CFBuilder Extensions – Adam demoed some pretty cool stuff you can do with extensions to CFBuilder. If only they'd segment off that plugin into something standalone…
  • Greenthreading – This was an awesome preso, with some really cool code. Basically synthesizing threads in user-space, which is something I've hacked around with several times, but never nearly as cleanly. Really good (and useful) stuff.
  • Automation – Marc, as always, was full of ideas about how to make the computer do more of your work for you, for a minimal up-front time investment. And he demoed JMeter, which is a really useful tool everyone should check out.
  • CF and jQuery – After some technical difficulties, Scott ran through a bunch of examples of using jQuery and the CF JS components together and why you might pick one or the other. Some cool stuff that I hadn't seen before on both sides.
  • Red Green Refactor – Not surprising for Adam, a frank talk about what TDD really is all about, how it can help, and how to start using it effectively. Only one profane word for a whole hour, though, which left me feeling empty. Really nice to hear how this has helped other people, because testing isn't glamorous and therefore doesn't get the face time it ought to.
  • Public Facing APIs – Simon had a really nice preso about some of the considerations for creating a public API that differ from "normal" application development. And as before, a quick wit and funny accent to make it even better. Some stuff to try for PotD, I think.

Overall, a really good conference. I'm really tired, ready to take my shoes off for more than 5 hours, and my throat burns from talking so much. All signs that it was a success.

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