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(Note, I started this while still in Minneapolis but got delayed by a minor web site emergency. So to be clear, I'm not still sitting in a hotel room and for those who want the non long-winded summary - cfObjective 2010 kicked ass.)
I'm sitting in my hotel room feeling both mentally exhausted and extremely satisfied . I think cfObjective 2010 was incredible this year and I'd like to share a few thoughts on what I liked.
First of all - a big thank you to Jared and the steering committee for accepting my topic submission. Considering what I saw there - I feel honored to be a part of such an incredibly talented group of presenters.
While I'm obviously very happy with the material, let me talk a bit about the venue and the conference as a whole. First off - I love conferences in hotels - especially when I'm staying there. I'll take convenience over glamour any day. Being five minutes from my room just made everything so much simpler. I also greatly appreciated the fact that all the rooms were in one cluster. Many times I had no idea where my next class was and I didn't bother looking it up. It took no more than a minute to scan all the rooms and find my session. Food is something I know folks care a lot about. Personally, I don't care at all. It can be good. It can be cheap. I just like to eat. That being said, the meals were very well done. For folks who do care a lot about those things I'm sure they were happy.
I'm not going to talk about all the sessions I attended, but I wanted to point out some in case they get repeated on an Online Meetup in the future.
Speedy Websites Through Better Front-End Optimizations - Peter J. Farrell
This was an amazing class and gave me a lot to think about it. Peter talked about all the various things we can do to improve the speed of our web sites in terms of the front end. I always thought I had a "good enough" handle on this topic. I didn't. A good reason why is one of the facts Peter shared - I'm going to get the exact numbers wrong here - but he pointed out how YSlow; has gone from something like 8 rules to 30+. There's a lot you can do to improve performance on your sites that has nothing at all to do with ColdFusion!
Understanding Security in Adobe AIR Applications and Practical Ajax Security - Jason Dean
If this man offers to talk about security of underwear drawers, make the time. I'd love to see his AIR and Ajax stuff "teamed" up in a longer, half day type session. cfObjective actually did offer; that - but I wasn't there for the pre-conference classes.
Continuous Integration with MXUnit, Ant and Hudson - Marc Esher
So am I the only who thinks that too many people just live with bad build management processes? Every time I update Adobe Groups I have to go through a 6 step process. It can be better and Marc really gave me a lot to consider. When I can work on improving my process for Groups, I'll be sure to share (and I'll have Marc to thank for getting me off my lazy butt and doing it!)
Dependency Injection Redefined: ColdSpring 2.0 Narwhal - Mark Mandel and Building Advanced Workflows with ColdSpring - Dan Skaggs
It is great to see that one of my favorite tools (ColdSpring) is getting some well deserved attention. Mark did a good job of explaining where ColdSpring is going and I think anyone who uses it should be paying attention. Dan gets credit for showing one of the most unique uses of ColdSpring I've ever seen. He basically blew my mind in terms of how much I thought I could do with ColdSpring.
Flex 4 for Flex 3 Developers - Jeff Tapper and The Swiz Framework - Brian Kotek
I've not been shy in expressing my confusion over Flex 4. Thanks to Jeff, I think I finally get it. I'm sure I don't. I'm sure I'll need another year before I really do get it. But Jeff really cleared up a lot of things for me. Seeing the code is one thing, but being taught the why means a hell of a lot more. I need to remember that myself when I'm doing presentations. Ditto for Brian and Swiz. I've not looked at Swiz in a while, and when I did recently, I was pretty confused. Like Jeff, Brian explained the why as well as the how of how the latest Swiz worked.
There were more great sessions I attended but I figure this has gone on long enough. To be honest, I can't remember a conference where every damn session I went to was useful in some way. This is much more than I expect from any conference. I'll echo what I've been seeing elsewhere - cfObjective 2010 was definitely the best yet!
I'll wrap with some interesting observations that I'd love to get some commentary on:
- I saw a few (2 I think) folks using Ubuntu. Anyone else thinking of trying it? I'd try it if ColdFusion Builder was supported.
- It seemed like the Ajax presentations got more attendance than the Flex ones. I noticed my session (SQLite in AIR) was pretty small (which is fine by me and I hope those who attended learned something!) as well the other Flex sessions I attended.
- While there was an Ext presentation, jQuery seemed to reign supreme. (woot!)
- I heard more than one person say that they loved the fact that most sessions started with, "This is not an intro to..."