Twitter: raymondcamden

Address: Lafayette, LA, USA

Initial list of speakers and sessions for the ColdFusion Unconference

07-03-2011 5,011 views ColdFusion 14 Comments

The ColdFusion Unconference, and MAX, is rapidly approaching. (Ok, it's October, but it sure as heck seems like it's coming quickly!) Myself, Ezra Parker, and Scott Stroz are busy trying to nail down the final schedule. We are close, and today we can announce the first batch of sessions. We will have a total of 15 sessions and in today's announcement we can share the first 9.

  • Making Legacy Code Testable, by Emily Christiansen
  • Advanced Solr - Going Beyond the Basics of cfsearch , by Jeff Coughlin
  • Mobile Multimedia Push with ColdFusion, by Joe Rinehart
  • OWASP Enterprise Security API and available methods to help lock down a ColdFusion application, by Matt Gifford
  • Big Memory and ColdFusion - The Skies The Limit, by Mike Brunt
  • Laying the Foundation for Modern ColdFusion Applications, by Adrian Moreno
  • Mobile, what ColdFusion can do for you, by Dave Ferguson
  • 5 Ways to Improve Your App With ORM (Beyond CRUD), by Sam Farmer

The last session we're announcing today is one I'm very interested in. Tim Cunningham (also know as the ColdFusion Beer Master) proposed a Fishbowl session. This is an open ended, but moderated, discussion where the participants come in and out as the conversation flows. I know we have a few people in our community with opinions (just a few of course), so this could be really fun.


  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 1:30 AM
    I really do wish Adobe would drop the pretense that these MAX events are in any way an "unconference" - it really is a complete abuse of the term:
  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 7:17 AM
    I can't speak for the other 3 ones, but do not blame Adobe for this, blame me. It's how I decided to run it the first time, and when it worked, I continued. If the name bugs you that much, we can always call it something else, but frankly, I don't think most folks care.
  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 4:55 PM
    I'm pretty sure the other three also define an agenda in advance - and it's Adobe that lists them as "Unconferences". Given this year's huge price hike for the Exhibit Hall Pass and the fact that these really are four full conferences (and, to be honest, not even really just community events since Adobe has such a hand in them), it would be more accurate to describe them as "technology focused subconferences within Adobe MAX" or some such.

    FWIW, the label "Unconference" has annoyed me ever since Adobe started hosting them at MAX but this year you have to pay so much to even get to these events that it really rankles. The whole ethos of Unconferences is that they should be low cost events whose content is driven by attendees, live at the event.

    At this point, Adobe should just add these four events as tracks at MAX and give them full support instead of this weird halfway house with a misleading name.
  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 8:56 PM
    Well, I guess you are upset about more than just the name. You're welcome to your opinion, and to share it here of course. I will say one thing though - Adobe does NOT have a big hand in the make up of the Unconferences. They exert -0- control. We aren't told to run it like a 'real' conference. We aren't told anything at all, outside of what hours we can be 'open'.
  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 9:16 PM
    If that was true, why would Adobe need to have such extensive meetings with the organizers and assistants of those events? I find it very hard to believe they "exert -0- control" Ray... And now you are an Adobe employee, the ColdFusion event at MAX is actually Adobe-organized, yes?
  • Commented on 07-04-2011 at 9:23 PM
    Dude - what extensive meetings are you talking about? We've had... 2 meetings... I believe with Adobe. In those meetings we were told about the space, the layout of stuff like the chairs, and the hours. That's it.

    Yes - I work for Adobe now. But the planning was started a while ago, and I'm not the only one working on this. Both Ezra and Scott are just as much in charge as I am.

    Sean - I understand why you may not be happy with the price. I understand why you may not be happy with the name. But I do not understand what agenda you have here with the content of this. Adobe hasn't pushed anything at all.
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 5:51 AM
    I should clarify. Adobe, specifically the CF engineering team, is giving a presentation. Did they push that? No. They asked myself, Scott, and Ezra, if they could present. They also asked us what topic we wanted.
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 6:41 AM
    I think it s a bit unfair to make assumptions that Adobe has a 'such a hand' in them.

    I have been part of one meeting so far with where representatives from Adobe (this was before Ray was hired) were involved and that meeting lasted about 10 minutes and consisted of us being given the 'timeline' for when information needed to be sent to Adobe - names of sessions, etc - far from 'extensive'.

    As for choosing the content, Ray (as an Adobe employee) has had not more influence over the choice of topics than Ezra Parker or I have. We each reviewed the submitted topics' and voted for which ones we thought would be interesting to those in attendance (BTW - those listed above were the ones we all agreed on).
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 9:31 AM
    According to Wikipedia (so it has to be right) "An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term "unconference" has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization."

    Given that definition, we just need to avoid ONE of those aspects to make it fit. Nothing we can do about the fees. Are there any sponsored presentations? I know mine is not, but I will wear your logo t-shirt if the price is right ;)

    I suggested the "Open Fishbowl" format this year because I would like see more open discussion. We have many brilliant people in our community, but some of them are a little shy. I think if we encourage them to speak up we will be pleased and a bit surprised.

    Regardless of the name, I am pleased that we will have some "REAL" ColdFusion content again this year at MAX. At most corporate conventions you only get sales pitches, sizzle & swag.
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 3:45 PM
    OK, glad to hear you guys aren't being bogged down in meetings over this. I definitely got the impression the 2010 event had a fair bit of Adobe involvement - it had a different air to 2009. If 2011's event is more hands off, that's great - and I totally withdraw my comments to the contrary, and apologize to Ray.

    FWIW, I've been involved with a few MAX's over the years as an employee and speaker and it was always a giant song and dance with a lot of fuss over how things should happen. When the "unconference" first started up, it was a refreshing change and felt much more community-driven. I felt the 2010 event was more "corporate" and it had lost some of its community appeal. If you bring back that community feel - while balancing your duties as an Adobe employee - that would be great.

    Tim, I saw your suggestion of a fishbowl session and that's great. For an unconference tho', it really should be a self-organizing agenda, at the hands of the attendees so I hope that it either moves more in that direction - or drops the "unconference" label.

    As for the price, yes, I think that really moves the "unconference" events into the realm of full-fledged conferences - and that's the decision folks will have to weigh up, compared to the great value of the exhibit hall / unconference pass over the last several years. I think Adobe are making a mistake that will limit the amount of community involvement this year.

    I hope it goes well - I'll be at JavaOne that week (their exhibit hall pass is $75 BTW, with access to general sessions and several exhibit halls and ad hoc presentations).
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 3:50 PM
    Sorry to hear you think it had a different feel to it last year. I've pretty much tried to do the same thing every year, with minor tweaks where it made sense (like trying to avoid a session right after the keynote).

    We have not locked down the entire schedule yet, so if folks have a recommendation on what they would do different, please tell us now.
  • Commented on 07-05-2011 at 4:36 PM
    I assisted Ray in organizing the Unconference in both 2009 and 2010, and I don't recall that we did anything substantially different between the two years (or now for that matter). There have been Adobe employees who presented sessions (although the majority of the presenters were community members attending MAX), but they have been totally hands-off as far as content selection is concerned.

    Each year we've had an open topic submission process, and then we (the organizers) voted on which talks to include, while Adobe has not recommended, reviewed, vetted or approved any of the sessions. The meetings with the MAX folks are pretty minimal, really, and basically cover the logistics surrounding the event (e.g.: deadlines for submitting topics so they will appear on the MAX scheduler, the hours the pavilion will be open, the layout of the space).

    That said, I do agree with Sean that this year's price increase for the exhibit hall pass is rather steep. While I had thought that the $200 price was an outstanding deal, $595 does feel high to me. I do note that this year the exhibit ticket includes attendance to the MAX Bash, whereas in previous years one would have had to purchase a guest social pass for an additional $100, so taking this into account the cost effectively doubled rather than tripled, but nonetheless I do wish they hadn't raised it as much as they did.
  • Commented on 07-19-2011 at 12:46 AM
    Hi Ray,
    Is any of the Unconference, or MAX for that matter, being recorded and made available to those that just can't be there?
    I assist with some conferences in Australia and they do pretty well selling virtual tickets to individual talks.
  • Commented on 07-23-2011 at 10:24 PM
    It's a bit in the air right now. A maybe. I encourage all the CFUNC speakers to also speak at the Online CF Meetup.

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