The Top 5 Things You are Doing Today to Hinder Scalability

At the CFSummit 2014, I presented on The Top 5 Things You are Doing Today to Hinder Scalability.

I collected my material through helping clients to scale their applications over a number of years. The important things in this presentation are listed in order. Decisions you make in your applications today, affect what options you have when you need to scale your application.

Certainly it is a very good thing to have an application you built grow to the point you need to consider scalability. Popularity is good, right?

However, there are decisions you can make in your code, code architecture and infrastructure architecture that will add or remove scalability options.

The presentation was well received by the audience and I thank each and every one of them for choosing to spend their time with me during this time slot.

For brevity, I included a number of details in an appendix to the presentation. Review this if you want to know particulars about a specific topic.

You can review the slide deck here:

I'm always available for questions or consulting, should you need extra help.

I hope you enjoyed the CFSummit 2014. See you next year!

Long Live the Conference!

Last year, one of the major tech conferences, CFUnited, closed it's doors for good. This left a hole in the learning and networking opportunities for ColdFusion developers. I gained much from going to CFUnited over the years. It helped me personally and also professionally. The opportunities to learn from the best minds in the business and develop my skills have been some of my fonder memories of my career.

I would like to invite you to take part of a Technology Conference my group is organizing on Sept. 17-18. The price is minimal, only $60 for 40 sessions and 2 hands on classes! This is our third conference and we guarantee you will have a good time.

Space is very limited so register as soon as you can!

The conference will cover a wide variety of web development and design topics including Web and Mobile technologies. See the schedule here: NCDevCon 2011 schedule

Registration for the event will be $60 which includes:

  • Entry to the weekend event and all presentations
  • Lunch (both days)
  • Coffee, drinks and snacks (both days)
  • Conference shirt

Also available are 2 hands on sessions. We will walk you through building your first web application and also building your first mobile application. These hands on courses are included in your admission fee.


Our EventBrite Registration Link

Can't go? You can still help!

We have a nice NCDevCon flyer for you to forward to your co-workers or hang in your break room. We'd appreciate it!

10 Ways to Maximize Your Conference Experience

I've been a conference attendee, speaker, advisory board member and organizer. Each of those four roles has taught me something. I'd like to share a little bit with you so you can make the most of your conference experience.

Point 1: Introduce yourself by name. A lot.

Introduce yourself by name to everyone. Even to people you know, or who you think should know you. The biggest opportunity you have at a conference is to network. The number 1 reason behind failed networking is your name. People may choose not to greet you or connect with you because they are embarassed they've forgot your name. No one will think you are weird if you say, "Hi, I'm Dan Wilson". (Unless your name ISN'T Dan Wilson, that is).

Point 2: Expect good things to happen, tolerate mistakes

As a conference attendee, you should expect a well run conference. However, you should also strive to be tolerant when things go wrong. The people behind the scenes have been busting their tails for months to coordinate a million little details and want you to have the best experience possible. If something goes wrong, it will get fixed. Especially if you are nice about it.

Point 3: Stop checking your emails

Sure, in a 1 hour presentation, there are plenty of opportunities for distraction. However, if you have your face buried in your email, you are missing out on something good. Email is asynchronous communication, leverage it!

Point 4: Be realistic about what you can learn

In a one hour session, you probably have the ability to remember 3 things on a surface level. Thus, take notes about what you are interested in so you can google later.

Point 5: Ask for slide decks

Pretty much every presenter will share their slide deck. Sometimes you'll remember great things from looking at the slides... this should augment, not supplant your own note taking.

Point 6: Give honest and fair feedback

As an attendee, you have the right to give feedback to speakers and conference organizers. This DOES include positive and negative feedback. While no one really likes negative feedback, professionals learn from it and want bare opinions. You paid to be there, you have the right to voice your opinions. Choose whichever medium you are comfortable with.

Point 7: Take a chance

For fun, attend a session you know nothing about. You might find something really interesting!

Point 8: Pitch in where you can

While conference organizers love feedback in any form, what they love most are people who will chip in and help. This could be as simple as folding T-Shirts or making an introduction to a new sponsor... Or just stopping by and saying how much you enjoy the conference.

Point 9: Make friends.

You've got plenty of opportunities to meet people who are interested in the sorts of things you are interested. Make friends, some of those friendships will be very valuable to you.

Point 10: Get plugged in

If you enjoyed the material and the environment, get into the stream. Join a local user group. If there is no local user group, start one. There is strength in numbers.

Have any pointers I missed? Share them in the comments!

Free ColdFusion and Flex training this weekend!

This is the final week before NCDevCon - the premiere ColdFusion, RIA and Web Development conference at no cost to attendees! This year's conference is bigger and better than last year, with more opportunities for free hands-on training, timely and important sessions and a very awesome after-party on Saturday night!

We've just uploaded the Final NCDevCon 2010 Schedule and we are very excited to see such great content from luminaries in the industry.

We are at 270 registrations and we'll sell out at 300. Are YOU registered for NCDevCon yet?

Why You Should Come to Pecha Kucha at CF.Objective()

Pecha Kucha sounds like an ancient martial art, or possibly the newest weight loss craze, doesn't it? What it actually is, is a series of rapid fire presentations on a variety of topics. By short, I mean each presenter has exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds to inform and entertain the audience. By variety, well, you'll just have to show up to see who'll present on what.

As the audience member you'll get 9 different presentations by 9 different speakers in the span of an hour. The presenters promise to be informative, interesting and engaging.

List of Presenters

There is no better way to spend an hour on Friday night at CF.Objective(). Satisfaction Guaranteed, or your money back!

Come to Pecha Kucha at 8PM, Friday the 23rd. See you there!

I present Making Bad Code Good 2010 to The CFMeetup at Noon Today

If you can join the Online ColdFusion Meetup today (March 18th) at noon EST, we'll talk about code, code quality and show you some techniques to help you make bad code good.

This presentation picks up where my 2009 Making Bad Code Good presentation leaves off. Same great concept with all new code samples and techniques.

If you work on a legacy application, or on code built by lots of developers over the years, you likely laugh your way through this presentation. I promise to be thought provoking and challenge the way you write code. In this session, we'll look at lots of code samples and walk through making incremental changes to speed development, reduce errors and make life easier for everyone involved.

Ideas and concepts in this presentation will help you improve your existing applications and write more maintainable code.

Why you should submit beginner/intermediate sessions to NCDevCon

NCDevCon is a free two day conference on ColdFusion, Flash, Flex, AIR, HTML, Javascript and CSS. We've been building on the success of last year, and making bigger moves to grow the community. We are a victim of our own success.

What I mean by that is, we've taken some big strides to find developers who aren't typically at Adobe conferences. Last year we held a free ColdFusion training day and also a free Flex training day. These training sessions were well received by the audience and much good was done.

This year, the interest for these classes has already quadrupled. We have many more developers who have no exposure to either ColdFusion or Flex. As such, we'd like to ask the community for help.

Many of the speaker submissions for NCDevCon are advanced sessions. We want those sessions to be included in our conference. We also want some good beginner/intermediate content as well.

Of particular interest to us would be sessions that teach newcomers to ColdFusion, how to do common tasks with ColdFusion.

The format for these would be 2 hour hands-on blocks. You provide the content and a step by step process, and we'll provide Teachers Assistants to help you keep the class on track. We'll also take care of making sure the attendees have the right software installed.

This is a great way to help your fellow developers and future developers. We promise to give you the star treatment while you are with us!

Some examples of sessions we'd like to see are:

  • How to build a contact form
  • How to build a dynamic product list
  • Building a data driven JQuery widget with ColdFusion
  • Reusing layouts in ColdFusion
  • Whatever else you can think of

So, if you would like to take part in this unique opportunity, let us know. We thank you in advance for the consideration.

IgniteRaleigh2 Our talk on Health

IgniteRaleigh was a smash success! A big thanks to Our Hash Tag LLC and for putting on a well run, creative event. A big thanks to M.C. Zach Ward (@zachward) for his skill in creating a fun, positive mood and keeping it going all night. He's a true professional.

As some of you know, I was very pleased to be chosen out of the herd to present at IgniteRaleigh 2 on Why Your Health Is The Most Important Thing You'll Ignore All Day. Having watched a number of Ignite style talks before, I knew it would be challenging to stay on message and on timing. Not much room for creative expounding when the slides auto-advance, is there? I also knew the other speakers would set a high bar by being dynamic, funny, creative and inspirational.

As I was presenting, I missed a good bit of the show. I did catch a few of the sessions, though like:

  • Janet Kennedy (@jkennedy93), 5 Bucks is Change. Her presentation was inspirational, approachable and the presentation most likely to change my life in some way. Take a look at her website for more information. When the recording comes available, I'll post it here.
  • George Smart's (@georgesmartTMH) great presentation on Mayberry Modernism – Why the Triangle is America's Hotspot for Way Cool Houses. I enjoy modern architecture and had no idea there were 100 noteworthy houses in the area.
  • Jess Commins (@renewabelle) made saving money sexy with her talk on How to save $100+ with a DIY energy audit. Great use of imagery to hammer the point home.
  • Elizabeth Gardner (@WRALweathergal) spoke on A day in the life of a meteorologist who gets up at 3am. This behind the curtain look into her daily routine was funny and well delivered. I might have a new favorite weatherperson.

My tips for presenting at Ignite

  • Every second counts. Either you are making your point, or wasting time.
  • Plan Plenty of Preparation. A 5 minute talk about something you are passionate about, is 20 times harder to prepare for a 1 hour talk. I give lots of 1 hour talks and I definitely had to work more at crafting this short pointed message.
  • Pick good images for your slides. I had over 100, which was whittled down to 16.
  • Double up on a slide if it deserves more than 15 seconds.
  • You will be out of sync with your slides at some point. No one will care.
  • Make recordings of your talk and listen to them for practice.
  • Put the best recording on an iPod and listen to it before your talk. It'll help you stay focused.
  • Love the crowd. The vibe at an Ignite is positive and supportive.

Special thanks go to:

  • My wife (@shannonscarlett) for helping me prepare
  • Jim Priest (@thecrumb) for adding a great deal of polish to my slides
  • Brian Erman for taping the event.

More Info

Here is a write up of IgniteRaleigh 2 by Indyblogs. Here is a Delicious page of book marks with blog recaps. Here are pictures from the event.

Watch My Presentation

Ignite: Dan Wilson from Brian Erman on Vimeo.

Get My Slide Deck

My slides are available on SlideSix, view Slide Deck for Why Your Health Is The Most Important Thing You Will Ignore All Day

Get Free Model-Glue training this weekend!

As you've probably seen, I'm giving Free Model Glue training this weekend at BFusion/BFlex in Bloomington, Indiana. This will be the last Free Model-Glue training before we start the MG Training Roadshow, which won't be free. (Unless I win the lottery, which could happen).

BFusion is a super-mega-low cost event ($10) that has excellent content by excellent speakers. Held on the campus of Indiana University, the vibe at the conference is very open and inviting. If you come, you can get lots of hands on training in ColdFusion and Flex basically for free.

Did you know, BFusion was the inspiration for the CFinNC event this past weekend? Yep, good things happen at BFusion/BFlex. Folks get inspired, improve their skills and careers, and forge lasting friendships with really great people.

So cancel your weekend plans, get in the car, bus, plane, or train and head down. If you aren't totally impressed with BFusion/BFlex, I'll personally refund your $10.

Register for BFusion/BFlex Today!


Model Glue:Gesture - Version 3.1 Presentation at CF.Objective(ANZ)

I'll be presenting on Model-Glue 3, code named Gesture, at the CF.Objective(ANZ) conference, taking place in Melbourne, Australia on November 12th and 13th.

I'm glad I'm able to go to this conference because the schedule is packed with quality material by highly decorated speakers. Having interacted with a number of Australian developers through mailing lists and chat, I'm very pleased to meet some of the legends in person and to meet the very vibrant, entertaining ColdFusion community from Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Seats are limited and there are less than 4 weeks until the conference. Register today! I hope to see you there!