Software Development, Web Design, Training

ColdFusion Summit 2017 Recap

The ColdFusion Summit 2017 ended on Friday and as best I can tell it was a big success for everyone!  

This year’s conference was held at The Mirage (a first for CF Summit).  Hotel staff were all very nice, everything I needed was available, no complaints from me.  (My personal favorite is still The Aria.) All the conference staff were very helpful, answered any questions I had, no major logistical issues, etc.  Everything was well labeled, easy to find.  The food was good - it was wide variety of otherwise pretty standard conference foods.  (Lots of vegan and vegetarian options that were well labeled, and my friends that had food allergies were well taken care of — thank you, Adobe!)

Attendance was on track to hit 500 this year, but after the Las Vegas shooting, the numbers dropped.  Last I heard there were 420-ish.  Frankly I don’t know how it would have worked with 500 people; every session I attended was jam packed; ditto for the keynote and my pre-conference training session, which sold out at 40 students!

Pre-Conference Training

On Wednesday, Carl VonStetten and I teamed up to teach a full day class on moving from legacy CFML into modern MVC.  It was only a few days beforehand that we were told we had 40 students!  Originally Carl and I were slated to have a couple of Adobe TA’s helping but something came up and it was mostly just the 2 of us for the day.  With that many students, we needed significant extra time in the morning to address technical issues on all the student  laptops before we could start class (more on that in a future blog post). Still, we were able to cover all the essential content, we received several nice compliments afterward, and the students were all able to take home the code samples and lab exercises so they can complete the remaining content on their own.

Keynote

Thursday began with the keynote.  Adobe gave some information about the current state of ColdFusion, how they continue selling more licenses, new versions being planned for the future and so on.  Also discussed were the CFFiddle, ColdFusion Portal, and the new Performance Monitor -- essentially a built-in version of Fusion Reactor.

Personally my concern about the Performance Monitor is a) we already have Fusion Reactor for this (which is actually more useful as it also monitors non-ACF Java servers) and b) this smells like the kind of thing Adobe likes to make "Enterprise only", which makes it cost prohibitive to many of my clients.  This is just my speculation; I hope I'm wrong! On a more positive note, all of the language enhancements I've seen slated for CF-next look interesting -- I'm a fan of having more modern OO and Functional programming constructs added to the language.

Other Highlights

My talk on connecting AngularJS to CFML was Thursday afternoon and I kept running back to my hotel room to prep and make tweaks to the slide deck.  I think it was well received based on the feedback I heard.  (I’ll be submitting a variation of this talk to Into The Box 2018 where I’ll use ColdBox REST to do the CFML/API portion - hopefully it gets selected!)  But I ended up skipping several sessions in order to finish the prep or to talk with clients and other attendees. (You can download the slides and code samples here.)

Pete Freitag’s talk did its usual job of scaring the bejeezus out of the audience, myself included. :) Pete’s talks always have so much content; 2 minutes into his preso I gave up trying to write down any notes. Instead I just took pictures of his slides and recorded all the audio to my phone.  (Side-note: Pete’s pre-conference training on security in CFML apps received a lot of great feedback; if I don’t teach a class next year, I may sign up for his workshop myself.)

Rick Buongiovanni's Solr presentation was great.  He’s got a great flow with his delivery, throwing in well placed jokes and Bon Jovi references regularly to keep things interesting, and there was a ton of useful content!  I don’t currently have any projects that need advanced Solr development, and after Rick’s talk, I wish I did!

Masha Edelen lead a very informative session on the PDF features in Adobe CF, and had a jam packed room of attendees!  She covered basics of various PDF related features in CFML, then moved on to a variety of intermediate and advanced techniques with several demos to show things in action.  Much like Rick’s talk, I wish I had a more PDF-centric project on my plate right now to take advantage of those features.  

Closing Remarks

At the end of the closing remarks, the ColdFusion Summit 2018 was announced.  This time it will be held at The Hard Rock Cafe; the music nerd in me is quite pleased with this choice. :)  

I ended the night by getting dinner with a few friends before finally getting my first good night’s sleep in what seemed like ages.  Currently I'm sitting in the San Diego airport on my way to a MUCH needed and long overdue vacation.

See you all next year!

-nolan

 

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