cf.Objective(), a review from Down Under

Okay, forgive me one Australia joke ;o).

cf.Objective()
was an absolutley fanstastic conference all around, and I had an
incredible time.  Not only were the presentations top notch, but it's
always an incredible pleasure to meet up with the people that I only
tend to see once a year, and I always get a huge burst of inspriation
just being around clever people and sharing various ideas over a drink
or two.

Presentations

I'm not going to go into all of the presentations, but as per usual,
they were all of an incredibly high calibre, and I came out of all of
them learning something new.

Highlights of the conference for me were:

Model-Glue 3: Back to its Roots – Joe Rinehart
This was a really interesting presentation, to see what MG3, code named Gesture,
had in store for its users.  I really like the innovative approach Joe
has taken to enable to framework to generate itself as you develop with
it.

Selling Professional Development at a Hostile Shop – Terrence Ryan
I
now refer to Terrence as 'the master manipulator' ;o).  He outlined a
series of personality types that can often occur when working in an
organisation that tends to lean against the utilisation of software
development practices such as frameworks, unit testing, or version
control, and how to encourage them to accept, and even appreciate,
these practices when previously they had shunned them.

His
use of images to illustrate each of his points was also particularly
clever, I never knew that a photo of Bea Arthur wrestling a velociraptor could ever have any sort of context!

Workshop: ColdSpring 1337 – Chris Scott
Honestly,
this was probably my favourite session at cf.Objective().  Chris went
through some really interesting way you can use AbstractFactories and
AOP to really push what is possible to do within ColdSpring.  He used a
Flex / ColdSpring / Transfer/ Yahoo Maps mash-up to show this off,
incorporating some nice Transfer powered Flex Remoting, implemented
with some very nice ColdSpring Remote Proxy AOP work (Before people
ask, yes, this will be finished off and released at some point)

Finally, Chris showed off his new Flex framework, Swiz,
and while I don't even do much (any?) Flex development, I looked at and
just went 'Well, that is a pretty sweet framework'.  I'm looking to do
some Flex work in the near future, and I can see me really getting into
Swiz.

Workshop: Advanced Techniques with the ColdBox Framework – Luis Majano
While
I didn't attend most of this presentation (I think I was balled up on a
couch somewhere trying not to drop off to sleep), I dropped in at the
end, so that Luis and I could do a quick announcement of the CodexWiki
Open Source Wiki, which is currently powering docs.transfer-orm.com.  We are opening a private beta for Codex, before we do a full release. If you are interested in being involved, feel free to drop me an email.

Transfer

One of my favourite things about the conference was running around
giving lots of people Transfer stickers.  It gave me a wonderful
opportunity to talk to lots of people about Transfer, and I think I
actually managed to get it so that about one in every third person had
a Transfer sticker on their laptops (Statistics based on no real
analysis)! I passed on a stack of stickers to a few people, so if you
weren't fortunate to get any at cf.Objective(), or couldn't attend, you
may find some people around who still have some to hand out.

I also did two presentations on Transfer, one of of which was a repeat.  While the first time I presented Introduction to Build Applications with Transfer ORM,
didn't quite go according to plan (technical difficulties), people
still seemed to get a lot out of it, which I was very happy about.  The
Transfer ORM Caching Mechanics and the repeat of the
Introduction talk went far more smoothly, and got good reviews from the
people that I talked to, which is very pleasing.

ColdFusion 9

The ColdFusion 9 keynote, and BOF was another highlight of the
conference for me, although, I must admit, I didn't hear any feature
requests that really surprised me.

Adobe is further opening up the ColdFusion development process, promising us a Open Bug Tracker, and setting up an Advisory Committee, which is fantastic.

We
got a hinting at a ECMAScript (style?) syntax for ColdFusion
components, which I know is something that people, myself included,
have wanted to a long time.  From that, there seemed to be a big push
to be able to write AS3 on the server side.  Considering that a lot of
new CF developers seem to be coming from Flex, I think this would be a
really smart move on Adobe's part.  Not only does it streamline the
training process for Adobe based Rich Internet Applications, it
provides a solid, single language for Adobe products, which can then
only be expanded.

That being said, it
would be very important that the CFML language also be kept intact,
both for backward compatibility, and for the fact that a tag based
syntax just makes so much sense on the view layer. (Oh, and let's not
forget, some people just like writing CFML ;o) )

People

One of the biggest draw cards for cf.Objective() is the people you get
to hang out with.  For me personally, it's the only chance I get per
year for me to actually see a lot of the people that I speak to day in,
day out on-line.

It also gave me a chance to meet and talk to some of the people I've worked remotely with as well, specifically, the Dinowitzs, who run the great Fusion Authority Quarterly Update, and the really cool Alagad crew. 

Let's also not forget that I won the Wii,
which was a big surprise!  It was very amusing watching multiple people
try and convince me how it wouldn't work in Australia, and that I
should just give it to them, because really 'I didn't need it' ;o). 
Let it be known, that a new power cable is on its way in the post, and
soon theWii will be up and running smoothly.

Oh yeah.. and I don't care what you lot say, it's cay-shing, not caaashing. ;o)  See you all next year!

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Comments

  • Brian Meloche | May 10, 2008

    It was a pleasure to finally meet you, Mark! I had a lot of the same sentiments as you about cf.Objective(). It was a fantastic conference that I hope to attend every year from now on, whether or not I present again. Quality speakers, quality content and quality people. What more can you ask for?

  • O?uz Demirkap? | May 10, 2008

    It was nice to talk with you Mark. 🙂

    Thanks for all your community contribution.

  • Kurt Wiersma | May 11, 2008

    It was really great to finally talk to you in person at cfobjective. Thank you for your feedback on AppBooster. I hope to release an updated version soon.

  • Brian Meloche | May 12, 2008

    It was a pleasure to finally meet you, Mark! I had a lot of the same sentiments as you about cf.Objective(). It was a fantastic conference that I hope to attend every year from now on, whether or not I present again. Quality speakers, quality content and quality people. What more can you ask for?

  • Brian Meloche | May 12, 2008

    Oops! I didn’t mean to re-comment, Mark! I hope you’ll join us on the podcast this week. Just so we synchronize our clocks, it is 11:13pm here as I write this.

  • Josh Giese | May 14, 2008

    Thanks for the transfer sticker!