There are many things I would like to prescribe the incredibly high quality of the conference to, but the the high calibre of the session presentations really stands out at the main contributor. I believe that when the session quality of a conference is so high, the attendees are excited and motivated by new ideas, which directly translates into fantastic and thought inspiring hallway conversations, and everything continues to flow from there.
To make a few particular references to presentations I particularly enjoyed -
Easy and Flexible Validations for Objects - Bob Silverberg
I had not previously taken the time to look at Bob's ValidateThis framework, but let me just say this: It is slick! I was very impressed by what was possible with very little configuration, and the the flexibility that was available. My hat is off to Bob for his work with this validation framework.
Continuous Integration with MXUnit, Ant and Hudson - Marc Esher
Marc is always a very entertaining presenter, and this presentation was no exception. I've used Hudson with MXUnit before, but it was still fantastic to see Marc explain this technology in a very clear and easy to understand manner. He also gets points in my book for using the Hudson Chuck Norris plugin.
Polyglot Programming - Barney Boisvert
If anyone has read Barney's blog, they should already know that he's a super smart fellow. This presentation only solidified this fact, in which Barney dug deep into the very compelling reasons a developer should potentially look into developing with multiple languages at a time (something as web developers we are doing already). Barney covered some really interesting points about language design, the intent of programming code and qualifying return on investment in regards to polyglot programming. All great stuff!
Running ColdFusion on the Amazon EC2 Cloud - Chris Peterson
This was a session I really wanted to attend, but unfortunately I slept through due to illness. I wanted to make note of it, as I was told that Chris had a completely filled room, and I've been told it was a really interesting presentation all around.
Building Advanced Workflows with ColdSpring - Dan Skaggs
I don't believe I have had the opportunity to see Dan speak before this, but this presentation was an eye opener! I came to this presentation with my 'ColdSpring Lead Developer' hat on to see what interesting things people were doing with ColdSpring, and came away with a new found respect for the framework itself, and the ingenuity that Dan was displaying in his use of it. Dan walked us through how his company was using ColdSpring to dynamically configure application workflow and processing - which enables it to be both incredibly flexible in its implementation and amazingly easy to maintain.