Last Updated: 05/17/2013 11:17:00 AM

cf.Objective() 2013 Day 0 & 1

cf.Objective() 2013 Day 0 & 1

 

So this year cf.Objective() is pretty special to me.  My first ever ColdFusion conference was the final cfUnited in 2010.  I had been a community "lurker" for about 10 years prior to that.  After that first ColdFusion conference it re-energized me and I have been actively involved as much as possible.  This year at cf.Objective() 2013 I was invited by Jared Rypka-Hauer to be on the Steering Committee and the Content Advisory Board (CAB.)  It was a daunting challenge, Bob Silverberg had that job the years prior and always did an excellent job.  But with guidance from my fellow CAB members, Dan Wilson, Emily Christensen, Simon "The Face" Free and particularly Jason Dean  we managed to line up what we felt was very compelling content.  But you know what they say about "the best laid plans"  "they Gang aft a-gley An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain" Whatever that means.  So how was day 1?
 
Day 0 & 1: The Hotel
 
Arrived at the hotel with my IDMI systems crew, fellow speaker Carol Hamilton, Peruz Carlsen, John Saunders and Orlando Justice.  The hotel is *nice* I mean really, really *nice*  It has only been open a couple of months and I was concerned that they would still be breaking things in.  But I have found that the hotel staff is extremely accommodating and very attentive.  I checked out the selection of beers at the bar.  I approve. We had warned the hotel that this group is a very much "into beer" I had made some tap suggestions and it looks like they picked a few of them, although they could use a few more real IPAs on tap.  Minnesota take note: a pale ale is NOT an Indian  Pale Ale (IPA)  I can understand the confusion, but trust me more IPAs prefrerrably something from Stone Brewery.
 
The Tradition.
 
So Rob Brooks-Bilson and I have a tradition when we meet up at the same conference. We scout out a James Beard nominated or winning restaurant and try it out.  This year we went to "The Bachelor Farmer"  a Farm-to-table modern Swedish cuisine dining establishment.  I had the "Old Water" pork shoulder which was excellent. Old Water sounds odd.. but it is basically like master sauce.  A seasoning broth that you keep around for weeks continually adding goodness to it.
 
Day 1: The Keynote
 
One feature the Steering committee was very keen on, was that we a different kind of keynote than we normally have. Dan Callahan (former Warner Robins, GA boy!) from Mozilla was kind enough to jump in and fill that role.  He struck an excellent tone and balance with his "Developing for the Web" showing how regardless of your backend due to the prevalence of JavaScript and the modern trend of moving more programming logic to the client side, all of us in the industry are facing the same challenges.  He made one comment that got some rather vociferous applause from a portion of the audience that in spirit said,  'No amount of server side code can create good client side code for you' Which I can agree with up to a certain and the important word here is "good"  There is a market out there for apps that hide writing JavaScript from the user. (See Embarcadero HTML5 Builder for $299)  It is not a feature that I think most of the developers that come to cf.Objective() will use. But it can be a selling point to bring in new companies into the ColdFusion / ColdFusion Builder fold.  Don't we want new developers? Maybe in 10 years from now they will be running a ColdFusion conference.
 
Morning Content
 
Anant Pradhan laid the ground work for my "Version Control on the Database - The Final Frontier" by discussing Deploying with Git and Ant.  Unfortunately the demo gods were against me and my demos broke just prior to my talk, however the audience filled up the time with many, many insightful questions.  Interestingly, I always start my talk with a survey, 100% of the audience said they use source control.  3 years ago that would have been around 50%.  However when talking about the source control on the database, only 4 people were using some version control on their database. I always learn from my audience, a couple tools recommended to me for future research are http://flywaydb.org/ and http://www.navicat.com/ 
 
Hotel Food:  Usually hotel food is, well: meh.  However the Radisson Blu has excellent food, the buffets are well done and the food at the bar... heaven. Try the Lamb fritters, seriously good.
 
 
Adobe General Session
 
Rakshith and Elisha presented a general session.
 
The Good: Splendors new pdf rending is going to be amazing.  Rakshith showed the current cfdocument trying to convert http://www.csszengarden.com/  it looked nothing like the original, then he converted it using the alpha version of Splendor (CF 11) it looked pixel perfect! This is big, big, big.
 
The Indifferent:  The tone of the general session seemed much more geared toward a CTO or an executive.  This would have been a perfect presentation for a  Gartner conference.  However it was a bit weak on focusing on what Adobe is doing to satisfy developers and focusing on the pain developers feel when writing CFML and using Builder.
 
 
Afternoon content
 
Unfortunately I had an executive meeting that lasted about 1 1/2 hours, so I missed some really good content.  I saw people weeping and gnashing their teeth in fear when leaving David Epler's  "Web Hacking Tools"  (Protect your CFIDE people!!)
 
I caught the tail end of Matt Gifford’s mustache.js talk.. Not that I am interested in JavaScript templating.. I just enjoy Mat's accent and interpretive jazz dance.
 
 
Evening Content:
 
Lightning Talk highlights, Adam Tuttle killed it, with his poem about open source written in the style of Dr. Seuss.  It was really well written and funny, although I am biased as he let me and Rob Brooks-Bilson write or reword several stanzas.   There was a great Lightning Talk about JJ Abrams and the new "classic" Star Wars and I delivered one about my "Open source media center" where I talked about XBMC, Raspberrypi, Openelec etc.. One day I will blog about my media center setup.
 
cfHour Live show, interviewed Sabin Abrams a young man (15 year old whom the Steering committee awarded a free ticket from his essay: http://www.cfobjective.com/news/cfobjective-invests-in-future-cfml-programmers/), Dan Callahan from Mozilla, Gavin Pickering (the crazy kiwi) and gave away over $1000 in software and prizes (including my Raspberry Pi media center, which Emily Christensen won)
 
I actually went to bed early and woke up feeling well.  Note to self: find some hand sanitizer, there seem to be loads of sick attendees and speakers.