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.

Vote for Adobe Napalm

Go vote right now on the name of the next Flash Based RIA Framework.

I voted for Napalm. Think about it. Listen to the ring of the syllables. Imagine the really cool icon. Now vote for it.

Adobe Napalm belongs with awesome product names like ColdFusion, AIR, Catalyst....have you voted for it yet?

Maybe we should have a role-play where you introduce the framework to your boss...

    Me: Check out our ultra-cool, elegant branded application that saves a hundred baby seals per hour.

    Boss: Looks amazing! You built that in a week all by yourself? What powers it?

    Me: Adobe Napalm.

    Boss: (in Neo Voice) Whoa! Can I Vote for it?

P.S. I didn't come up with the name, but I'm kinda partial to it.

P.S.S Have you voted for it yet?

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Why You Should Register for CFinNC before Sept 4th

As you know, we are hard at work planning the CFinNC.com conference. CFinNC is 2 days of jam packed training and sessions on the Adobe platform (CF, Flash, Flex and AIR) and other web development topics. In this time of evaporating training budgets and non-existent funds for conferences, our free conference is the most compelling way to get trained and fired up.

We've opened registration yesterday and are pleased with the results of the last 24 hours. A big goal of the conference is to reach and strengthen existing users of the Adobe platform by offering all levels of content. We have another goal, which is to reach and impress students and developers of alternate platforms on the power and potency of the Adobe platform.

So to reach the first goal, we've opened registration and are initially promoting through the usual Adobe-centric information channels to reach the existing user base. We want to serve the needs of the Adobe platform users as this was our original driving force to start this conference.

To reach the second goal, we'll begin heavy promotion through user group channels, social channels and through a registration drive partnership with DZone.com. This second wave will likely push us to capacity and give us a large attendee base that will be getting their first exposure to the Adobe platforms.

So, if you are interested in coming, and happen to read this post, please decide and register soon. The floodgates open somewhere around September 4th.


Free ColdFusion, Flex AIR Conference in North Carolina

The organizers of the CFinNC 2009 Conference are proud to announce the ColdFusion in North Carolina 2009 Conference to be held October 17-18, 2009 on the Centennial Campus of NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference will be aimed at ColdFusion and Flex developers and others who are interested in web design using these technologies.

Registration for the event will be FREE which includes entry to the weekend event and all presentations.

In preparation for this conference, we would like to hear feedback from you and your members on what types of content you would be interested in hearing. We hope to make this conference relative to all levels of developers, so your input will be invaluable.

Please visit our website www.cfinnc.com for more information. We are currently accepting submissions for presentations. If you have a topic you would like to speak on, please go to www.cfinnc.com/page.cfm/presenters for more information.

Please announce this to your members. We are really excited at the opportunity to organize this conference and hope that it will be a useful resource for you and your members.


The CFinNC 2009 team

Senior Flex/AS3 Engineer Wanted In Research Triangle Park NC

I don't post too many jobs on my blog, but this specific job is with a really cool company and (more importantly) working for a really cool manager named Isaac. I used to work for Isaac and he is a really good manager who knows how to let technical people be superstars.

This position is full-time, full benefits and on-site so please keep that in mind when you apply. You'd be right in the thick of Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, which is a great area, even ranked in the top 10 by Rolling Stone for the music scene. Oh, and Hey! We'd be neighbors.

If you are interested in applying for the position, simply drop me a quick note and let me know. I'll make arrangements to get your resume. No agencies please.

Here is the information for the company:

Digitalsmiths provides the industry's only studio-grade, video monetization solution with an advanced metadata framework that empowers digital media companies to distribute and publish video content across multiple screens, open up new revenue streams for film and TV assets, build audience, increase viewer consumption and boost audience engagement.

Digitalsmiths full time employees receive comprehensive benefits including stock options, vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and retirement program. We have a relaxed, open and collaborative work environment where both achievement and fun are valued and everyone plays a key role.

The Research Triangle Park area is a great place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy life. The area is within a couple hours drive to both the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Our natural beauty is a boon for the outdoor enthusiast. There are typically 220 days of sunshine per year with rain being well distributed throughout the year. There are award winning restaurants, as well as, a good variety of art, music and entertainment. Please visit http://www.digitalsmiths.com to learn more about the company.

Here is the information for the position and desired skills:

The Senior Software Engineer position reports to an Engineering Team Lead or directly to Engineering Management and is responsible for designing and implementing software products and services. Candidates should have a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science related technical field of study plus at least three years of work experience using Flex/ActionScript. Five years experience with software engineering and familiarity and desire to work with Flex/ActionScript may be accepted in lieu of three years of experience with Flex/ActionScript.

All candidates must be comfortable working in a fast paced early stage environment with tight deadlines.

The main duties of this position are as follows:

  • Deliver engaging, state-of-the-art, high quality products.
  • Design and implement product initiatives under general supervision.
  • Produce accurate estimates and participate in daily task tracking activities.
  • Adhere to core design, development and testing principles set by team and group leadership.
  • Produce clear and thorough technical documentation.
  • Other duties as needed.

Job Requirements and Qualifications include the following:

  • Demonstrated expertise in AS3, Flex, MXML, and the Flash runtime.
  • Demonstrated competence in at least one programming language other than ActionScript.
  • Experience with Object-Oriented Programming and Design.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Other Skills and Technologies that are desirable include:

  • Experience with MVC (e.g. Cairngorm, Mate, PureMVC, Spring).
  • Knowledge of software design patterns and architecture.
  • Experience writing Flex custom components.
  • Experience with Web service development using AMF, SOAP, REST, XML-RPC, and XML.
  • Experience with Unit Testing and Continuous Integration using Flex in a team environment.
  • Experience with media player design using Flash and ActionScript.
  • Experience with Digital media (FFMPEG, FLV, MPEG4, MP3, AAC, WMV, 3GP, etc.)
  • Experience with source control (SVN is a plus).
  • Experience with bug tracking/defect management (Bugzilla is a plus).
  • Exposure to agile development (SCRUM, Lean).

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Want to learn more about Drag and Drop in Flex?

Douglas Knudsen is talking about Drag and Drop in Flex tonight on the Flex Meetup. If you are a Flex developer or want to learn about Flex development you should go watch his presentation.

You might remember Douglas from our interview on the CFConversations Podcast where Douglas shared lots of good information about how to hook up ColdFusion to Flex. He is an interesting guy, excellent presenter and really knows his stuff!

See you there!

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Fix For Eclipse RCP Patch 2 for 3.3.1 (3.3.1.v20071204_331) requires feature "org.eclipse.rcp (3.3.1

I'm blogging this before I forget what I did. Sorry if this is jumbled.

I was trying updating Flex Builder (Eclipse) and got an error message:

Fix For Eclipse RCP Patch 2 for 3.3.1 (3.3.1.v20071204_331) requires feature "org.eclipse.rcp (3.3.1)
Clicking around, I also got this message:
The current configuration contains errors and this operation can have unpredictable results. Eclipse RCP Patch 2 for 3.3.1 (3.3.1.v20071204_331) requires feature "org.eclipse.rcp (3.3.1.R33x_r20070802-8y8eE8sEV3Fz0z0GlHJrXvTAUS)". Eclipse RCP Patch 3 for 3.3.1 (3.3.1.v20080102_331) requires feature "org.eclipse.rcp (3.3.1.R33x_r20070802-8y8eE8sEV3Fz0z0GlHJrXvTAUS)"

No matter what I tried to update/install, I'd get these errors and there seemed to be no way around them.

Sometimes I feel like an idiot trying to decipher these error messages because there is no clear way to find out how the heck to update the RCP stuff anyways. The good news is I did find a solution. Here's what you do to resolve this:

  1. In Eclipse (or Flex Builder) go to Help -> Software Updates -> Manage Configuration
  2. When the Product Configuration box pops up, expand the tree until you see the plugins listed. Some will have red error icons next to them. These are the ones we want to disable.
  3. Click each product identified with a red icon, and click the disable link in the right hand pane.
  4. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Once you disable the products with red icons, go try to run your update/install once again. It will work this time!

What can you code in 90 seconds?

I just finished reading an interesting blog post from Raghu, a flex evangelist at Adobe, and was left with the thought, what can I code in 90 seconds?

<CF_DayDream mode="begin" />

After daydreaming was over, I came to the realization that I can code nothing in 90 seconds. See, I am a terrible typist. Really really bad. So my 90 seconds would be filled with furious pressing of random keys, followed by several impolite words, then rapid jamming of the backspace key. Certainly nothing award worthy.

Thankfully, Raghu has more skills than I. He and Harish won an award for their 90 seconds worth of coding.

Read more at:



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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 NoDans.com thank you to Bob Flynn, Prem Radhakrishnan, Michelle Buddie and the rest of the super cool staff for putting on a quality memorable show.

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!