CFUnited 2009 Rocks!

When a couple of months back I told a fellow Flex developer that I’ll be speaking at CFUnited, conference he shrugged, “Why ColdFusion?”

Little did he know that CFUnited is branded as a ColdFusion, Flex and AIR conference. And this was true – there were lots of quality presentations on Flex and AIR here.

The venue selection was superb – a golf resort in Virginia with three swimming pools and helpful staff.

ColdFusion conference was a new crowd for me, really. People are friendly, and you get a feeling of a small community where people know each other. Finally, I found a technical event with lots of female software developers.

For some reason, ColdFusion developers try to maintain the status of endangered species. Did they learn it from PowerBuilder or Cobol folks? Why would an easy to use server side tool extinct?

If you think I’m making things up, how do you like the masochist title of a general session “CF is Dead…Long Live CF!” Apparently the rumors about this possible death were taken seriously by developers of Indian descent. Most of them jumped the ColdFusion ship. Can’t recall attending an Indianless IT conference for years.

Instead of attending this funeral I decided to spend this hour laying by the pool in my bathing suit. The tanning session was followed by an excellent lunch at the resort’s restaurant, after which I returned back to the classrooms.

Flex for UI and ColdFusion for the server should be a very appealing and productive combination for many business applications. Besides, both product come from Adobe. Flex is like an injection of a fresh and young blood (not Botox) to the ColdFusion community. Flex will revitalize and make them stronger.

This was my first time at CFUnited, and about a month ago I’ve contacted Liz Frederick, a real pro event organizer who put this great show together, asking if I should replace my advanced level preso with a more basic one. Liz checked the number of people signed-up for this talk and decided to stick to the original topic – design patterns in Flex, which was the right decision as my talk was well attended.

If you have any doubts regarding the caliber of Flex presenters, let me just give you some names that are well known in Flex community: Andy Powell, Doug McCune, Ryan Stewart, Jeff Tapper, Tom Gonzales, David Tucker, RJ Owen…

Chatted with Christophe, yes Coenraets on new features of LCDS 3.0. He presented the new features of the product – this time Adobe is making a serious move towards Model-Driven development, and Christophe’s demo looked promising. Expect more reasonable LCDS pricing too. Look for the fresh build of betas of LCDS and Flash Builder 4 next week.

All these people were friendly and very approachable (you’d better be… standing by the pool with a beer or a glass of wine). To make you even more jealous, Adobe pool party included the Sumo wrestling competition. I know who won the Ryan vs. Doug fight, but you don’t.

Food here was as good as on day one of MAX’08, but here it’s consistently good. Once in a while I’m running public training events for our company, Farata Systems, and get used to paying (with tears in my eyes) $40 per person for a boxed lunch. Here we’ve had gourmet food (wild salmon, flanked steak, creme brule…). I hope people could appreciate that event organizers didn’t try to cut corners squeezing out maximum profits from this event.

Oh, by the way, you won’t believe me, but Wi-Fi connection was working ALL THE TIME during the entire event. No kidding!

To summarize, I’m glad that I was invited to this event and looking forward to see all ColdFusion developers healthy and wealthy at CFUnited 2010.

2 thoughts on “CFUnited 2009 Rocks!

  1. Yaakov, I’m glad to hear that CFUnited was such a great experience for you. Liz always does a great job and works very hard on the conference. Michael and I have attended the conference for many years but didn’t make it this year because of some last minute business issues. We were sorry we missed it.

    Yes, the ColdFusion community is very warm and friendly, with a nice ratio of women software developers. I’m curious, though about your comment about Indian software developers leaving ColdFusion. Is this based on some news I haven’t heard, or just on your observation of attendance at the conference? (I hope it’s the latter…)


  2. Judith,

    Responding to your question about CF and Indians, I don’t think this was in the news.
    Let’s say in this case I’m making news :)

    I just observe things and openly write about what I see without worrying too much about being politically correct.
    I attend several large conferences a year and teach many training classes for Flex/Java programmers,
    and seeing less than 5% of Indian software developers at CFUnited was unusual to my eye so I wrote about it.

    I don’t think that this should be alarming to CF developers though.

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