Adobe CF Summit 2022 Recap

October 07, 2022

The Adobe CF Summit 2022 is done! I'm down in the hotel lobby waiting for my ride to the airport which means it's officially time to work on my conference recap!

Honestly I can't think of any reason that this conference wasn't a huge success for everyone involved. I saw no clunker sessions, no tech issues, overall a very smoothly run event!

Everything was hosted at The Mirage in downtown Las Vegas; CF Summit has been here a few times now and it always seems to go well. We don't have to walk super far from the hotel rooms to the conference itself, and there are various food stops along the way if needed. Everything is very clean, staff are super friendly too.  Breakfast on day 1 at the conference was a more well-rounded assortment of food which I really appreciated. Day 2's conference breakfast was more "grab-n-go" style, which surprised me a little as I was looking for something more filling before starting my day like we had on Monday. Maybe Adobe just didn't want people to linger in the food area too long because...

The special guest speaker for day 2's Keynote was Joel Cohen, writer for The Simpsons and overall super funny and engaging guy! I really like this idea of having the day 2 keynote be someone outside of the CF space, and outside of tech entirely. Joel was funny and engaging and delivered a great keynote in which he discussed working on The Simpsons, having creative work environments, collaborating with others, and told a few stories about his background as well. It was one of the most fun keynote sessions I've ever attended. As someone very into creating art and always looking for inspiration, this was great.

All the sessions I attended were excellent. One talk ended kind of early, but had enough questions from the audience to fill the time (and the content that I heard was exciting enough that I didn't mind the shorter preso anyway). And I saw one person's code including use of the CFForm tag, which I meant to ask them about privately later but didn't get the chance. In either case, I'm nitpicking here. :) Excellent presos all around -- the CAB did a great job.

Initially I meant to go to something in every time slot as you can see by my earlier blog post "My CF Summit Schedule" but as often is the case, things popped up and plans changed.

My role as "stand-by speaker" was put into action as one presenter had an emergency come up (I hope all is okay). On Sunday night at about 9pm I found out I'd be giving my talk "Web Components and CFML" the following day. So I skipped one session and used that time to warm up. And I got into a few great hallway conversations that kept me out of a couple other sessions...which pretty much never upsets me. We can all learn things via YouTube; half the reason to attend a conference is the opportunity for hallway conversations. That saying is true: the best conference sessions happen at the hotel bar after hours. The conversations I had at CF Summit made it clear just how much we've all been missing because of the pandemic.

Several of us discussed how much content this year was covering modern architecture, rather than mostly introductory talks. It really is great to see the level of content at the conferences move forward as much as it has. While I'm sure we still have work to do in terms of moving the community toward modern CFML development, it's great to see CF Summit taking steps forward here. I attended several talks about high level architecture and design -- things that likely wouldn't have even been selected by the CAB in previous years for fear of scaring away the attendees.

Session highlights for me included...

Kevin Wright's talk on CFSpreadsheet included a ton of great real-world examples of just how much can be done with the spreadsheet functionality in CFML. He demo'd several different spreadsheets and ways to interact with them, each of which was impressive just by themselves. I fully plan to swipe some of his code for an upcoming client project. ;)

Andy Powell and Guust Nieuwenhuis both gave great talks on how to deal with older projects while also trying to use modern architectures when moving things forward. Neither of this was really CFML specific -- the content transfers to pretty much any application stack that's dealing with these problems!

Raymond Camden's talk on Adobe Document Services was a great look at all the things that can be done with PDFs (both with and without the use of 3rd party services). Like Kevin's talk on spreadsheets, I'll likely be snagging things from Ray's talk for some upcoming features I need to build as well.

Emma Fletcher's talk on "The 7 Mistakes Developers Make Starting Their First Business" was maybe my favorite of the entire conference, for a variety of reasons. We're both from Sacramento and have similar mindsets regarding how to carve out our own paths in life. And coincidentally I took Emma's soldering workshop several years ago at Hacker Lab -- small world!

As usual, I took notes in some of the sessions, which you can read here.

(Notice a pattern? Of all my favorite talks, only one was CFML specific. There was tons of content at CF Summit that would be applicable to any engineering team!)

Depending on who I spoke to I heard attendance levels were somewhere between 350 and 400. Considering pre-Covid the levels were 500-ish, that's a very respectable headcount!

On Wednesday the latest rev of the ColdFusion Certification Workshop was taught by Brian Sappey. The latest curriculum includes the videos I created 3 years ago  plus a completely revamped test (the content for this was built by a handful of us just before the pandemic) plus some other new content created by Adobe. The feedback I've heard is that it's a much better, more well-rounded set of content. The test is also harder to pass, which is by design (the first one was way too easy) and helps to ensure those that pass are more suited for a proper understanding of ColdFusion development as it stands in 2022.

Hats off to Mark and Kishore and the rest of the Adobe team for doing a stand-up job. See you all next year!