Customize CFUnited 09

The fine folks at Stellr have put together a list of all the proposed presentations for CFUnited 09. You are invited to help choose the presentations you'd be most interested in watching.

The CFUnited 09 presentation survey will take less than 10 minutes and will help make sure the conference content is relevant, timely and in line with audience expectations.

I think this is a great idea and will help make sure the conference is tuned for the audience. Vote Today!

So how did BFusion and BFlex go, you ask?

I am back home now after a very lovely and stimulating weekend at the BFusion/BFlex conference. BFusion and BFlex are back to back 1 day training/conference events held in Bloomington Indiana on the grounds of Indiana University. While some poor misguided souls might think any conference in Indiana would be nothing more than a projector pointed at a sheet hanging in a cornfield, I assure you this was not the case. Far from it.

The BFusion/BFlex event was awesome. Hands Down. The hallmark of a good conference is good organization and the promoters of this conference really put a lot of time into sorting out details. The moment we checked into the hotel we were handed colour coded maps showing important town features like the nearest grocery store, local restaurants, local watering holes and of course, directions to the conference facilities. Registration was simple and efficient. All of us there as Presenters, Instructors and Assistants were given branded polo shirts to wear so students knew who to ask for help. Lunch choices were color coded with the name tag to make finding ones particular choice a little easier. It was clear that our hosts had thought of everything.

The presenters had all the latest equipment at their disposal from dual monster projection screens to the Crestron powered audio/video equipment. The training sessions were stocked with quality instructors and had plenty of helpful assistants floating around the room to help keep the pace. To facilitate the learning environment, each of the rooms had power ports and ethernet jacks available for every seat which means we avoided the typical conference double wammy of running low on batteries and cramming everyone on an overloaded wifi router. Not least to mention, the campus of Indiana University is just simply beautiful!

So frankly, the quality of the event was on par with some of the best run conferences in the business. I am still a little shocked that the crew was able to provide all of the coordination, service and giveaways for free. Oh, thats right, giveaways. I need to talk about the giveaways.

Thanks to the awesome sponsors, there was an immense amount of giveaways. Everyone likes to get ColdFusion and Flex stickers, hats emblazoned with CF and technology themed t-shirts and those things were in good supply. More interesting were the tons of tech books, learning CDs, Lynda subscriptions and the like that were also raffled off to the attendees. The theme of this conference was learning and that means even the giveaways were there to help facilitate the learning. I brought my friend Tim Montgomery from Dayton, OH. He has been designing and implementing websites for many years now and wanted to get some good ColdFusion and Flex training. He left the conference with:

  • a CF hat
  • a new copy of John Farrar's book "ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial"
  • a really snazzy CF8 tag poster set
  • some free software
  • a new laptop bag
  • an Adobe Air with Ajax book
  • a Flex shirt
  • 16 new friends
...and 4 job offers. Everyone would have to agree that is some awesome conference loot!

All in all, the BFusion/BFlex series is impressive and of tremendous benefit to the community. Many people gained their first exposure to ColdFusion and Flex, others gained new skills and a good time was had by all. A big thank you to Bob Flynn, Prem Radhakrishnan, Michelle Buddie and the rest of the super cool staff for putting on a quality memorable show.

CFMeetup Presentation August 21 @ High Noon

Note: This post was updated. I am not speaking at noon, Ray is. I speak at 6:00PM.

August 21 at high noon, the illustrious Ray Camden will be speaking to the Online ColdFusion Meetup about CFC201. Hot on his heels, I'll present at 6:00. We'll be talking about ColdSpring, installation, Dependency Injection, Factories, Configuration, Dynamic Properties, Complex DI Strategies and also look at practical usage inside of production applications.

You are invited to join, all you need is a web browser and an Internet connection. More info here:

Oh, and if you haven't heard of the Online ColdFusion Meetup, it is the largest CFUG on the planet, with well over 1500 members. All Presentations are delivered online, often on Thursdays, at 12:00PM and at 6:00PM. You'll need to buy your own Pizza :)

Free ColdFusion and Flex Training Sept 6-7 at BFusion/BFlex

I don't know what they put in the water in Bloomington, Indiana, but the people there are CRAZY. The excellent leadership over at the Bloomington Flex User Group, the Indiana University Flash User Group, and the Indiana University Multimedia User Group have put together a 2 day training/conference event on Flex and ColdFusion for free. That's right, 200 lucky people will get their skills expanded on the hottest technology powering the web today, and won't pay a dime for it.

The event organizers booked leading experts in Flex and ColdFusion to run the sessions. And when they ran out of leading experts, they send me an email asking if I'd help out. I'll present 2 CF sessions and assist in the Flex Hands On. Here are the descriptions:

Refactoring In Coldfusion - From Procedural to OO

If you would like to know how to migrate an existing procedurally programmed application into an object oriented one, grab a chair and sit for a while. We'll discuss some sensible guidelines designed to help you make incremental changes towards OO nirvana.
We'll also look at lots of code samples, we all like code samples, right?

Fun With ColdSpring

The secret ingredient to modular and maintainable OO applications in ColdFusion is the ColdSpring framework. Efficient and practical use of ColdSpring is easy. In this source code based presentation, we'll cover installation, Dependency Injection, Factories, Configuration, Dynamic Properties, Complex DI Strategies and also look at practical usage inside of production applications.

So if you can make it to Bloomington, IN, Sept 6-7, and want targeted training on Flex and ColdFusion, Sign Up for BFusion/BFlex today!

More than you wanted to know about Flex and 360Flex

I recently interviewed John Wilker. We talked about a variety of topics, his long ColdFusion career. His migration to Flex, His migration to Conference Co-Superstar... Snoop Dogg even gets a mention somewhere in there.

We even go behind the scenes at the 360Conferences series and hear some of the funnier things that go on in producing a top-notch technical conference. Even though he is busy preparing for the 360|Flex conference in San Jose, CA (August 18 - 20). John made time to talk with us. John is really fun to talk to and makes for a great interviewee. Listen to the John Wilker CFConversations Interview and let us know what you think.

Refactoring from Procedural to OO presentation files

I've just finished my first CFUnited presentation on Refactoring from Procedural to OO. The presentation was slated for 8:30 and frankly I didn't expect many to show for it. We ended up with a pretty good group and had a nice time talking about sensible ways to migrate into better architectural practices.

While I've made the presentation available from my blog, and you can download the PPT (with CF.Objective Branding), and the supporting code files from the pod on the right titled Refactoring Preso, a better choice would be to view the presentation online at here at slidesix, a slidecasting project by the illustrious Todd Sharp.

If you missed the presentation at CFUnited this morning, I'll be giving another at 4:00 on Saturday. If you missed the CFUnited conference completely, I'll be giving it to the CFMeetup some time in the near future.

Thanks again to the good folks that came this morning, we had a fun time!

I'd Like To Meet You At CFUnited

I'll be at CFUnited 08 this week and am looking forward to seeing my buddies whom I only see a few times a year. I am also looking forward to meeting people whom I've only interacted with via Message Lists, blog comments and other anti-personnel means. Digital communications has been a boon for our civilization and for my career, but it is a little less than fulfilling for High-Extroverted personalities like me.

I'm friendly, wash behind my ears and am nice to animals. Here is a picture of me, if you see me at CFunited before I see you, come say Hi!

CFObjective() Refactoring in ColdFusion from Procedural to OO Presentation

I presented twice at the CFObjective() conference on Refactoring in ColdFusion from Procedural to OO. I love giving this presentation because it is the culmination of many many hours of practice and research expended when I made the transition from procedural programmer to OO programmer.

The basic premise of the presentation is how to take a pragmatic approach to refactoring. Rather than feeling the need to completely rewrite your application to achieve a good OO architecture ( Managers never like this idea), I offer a reasonable, incremental approach on moving pieces and part of your application at a time.

In the presentation, there are a handful of slides with guidelines and high-level talking points about migrating to OO and move right into the code samples. The code samples show common procedural structures and then a comparible Object Oriented structure. This compare/contract method helps programmers understand how to move toward common software patterns in their applications.

If you missed the presentation, and were not at one of the user group presentations I gave last month, you can still get in on the action by showing up at CFUnited. I've also included the slides and code samples in a zip. You can download it from the Features Pod on the right hand side of the page, or better yet, from the Flagrantly Cool

Refactoring in ColdFusion: From Procedural to OO

I just finished giving my presentation on Refactoring in ColdFusion to the Triangle Area ColdFusion User Group. This was the first time I've given the presentation to a live audience and it went rather well. All the slides were in order and all the code samples were in place. We had a fun time, thanks to all who came out. I'd like to present this talk at least once more before May 1. If your CFUG is short a speaker and can host a Connect, let me know.

This presentation timed at 1:15. This is fine for a CFUG but a little over time for CF.Objective(), where the sessions are 60 minutes. To shorten it for the big show, I've whacked two of the 18 slides and have my eye on a third. Most people would rather see code samples than slides anyways, the slides are really to keep some structure in the presentation.

I could talk on this topic all day long but I'm definitely going to stick to the alloted 60 minutes at CF.Objective(). I'll save my pontificating for afterwards at the get togethers.

In other news, Phill Nacelli and I are having our sessions repeated on Sunday at CF.Objective(). Phill is talking about Leveraging Basic Design Pattern in ColdFusion and his session is the most popular of all sessions at CF.Objective() so far. Congrats Phill! We are both pretty stoked to be on the list of repeats.

If you haven't yet signed up for CF.Objective(), what are you waiting for? The Schedule is jam packed with awesome training from luminaries and experts in ColdFusion/RIA. Reading blogs can only get you so far. Come get trained by the best in the business. I plan on walking out of the conference 72% smarter, myself.

360|Flex Conference Hand On Session Recap

On the first day of 360|Flex Atlanta 2008, I presented my hands on session titled "Building an XML Reader in Flex" to a packed room. During the 4.5 hour session, we built a working application that pulled remote data and displayed it using charts and tables. The session was geared towards walking newcomers through building their first Flex application.

I really had a lot of fun during the session. The plan was a little ambitious, walking 35+ people through completing the Surfing Stats application but due to a stroke of luck, Michael Labriola graciously volunteered to play Teachers Assistant and assist course attendees while I kept us moving. It felt a little strange, almost like having Jimi Hendrix offer to tune my guitar and I was grateful for the help. Thanks to Michael for selfishly volunteering! (my offer to carry your backpack for you stands. Just say the word.) We finished the session on time and with a working application.

Through it all, we walked through basic Flex concepts, from MXML syntax to ActionScript functions, from Remote HTTP Calls, to Custom Components. Each concept was layered into the final application. The attendees were also given a copy of the fully working application to poke through on their own time.

I hope everyone left the course having learned something new. I know I did. :)