CF Camp 2018 Recap

November 12, 2018

Two planes, two continents, a two-hour drive from San Francisco, and 36-ish hours later, I’m finally home from CF Camp 2018!

Much like this year’s Into The Box and ColdFusion Summit, the CF Camp event grew noticeably over previous years!  Attendance was up from last year, and for the second time in four years, CF Camp had outgrown its venue and moved to a larger location. This time the event was held at the Munchen Airport Marriott Hotel, and personally I hope it stays here for the foreseeable future.  The hotel rooms, food, conference rooms and hotel staff were all excellent; I’m hard-pressed to think of even a minor critique about the venue.  

The day 1 keynote was given by Rakshith Naresh from Adobe in which he mostly covered what’s new in ColdFusion 2018, and a few plans for the future.  The content was very similar to what Rakshith presented at CF Summit. In general ColdFusion 2018 looks like a great update to the product. There are several new language features that appeal to the OO developer in me, plus performance and security updates all around. I haven’t seen any throwaway features; everything adds value to the product in a viable way. Outside of the keynote, I didn’t see much presence from Adobe at the CF Camp.  There wasn’t an Adobe booth, nor any other events or staff that I’m aware of. I would like to have seen more of Adobe at the conference, especially on a release year and so many nice additions to the product.

Day 2’s keynote was of course give by Lucee.  Gert and Michael went over various new additions to Lucee, including 1 feature that was added literally the night before as a result of feedback they recieved during Luis Majano’s talk on Thursday!  You’ve gotta love it when small agile teams can push new features out this quickly!  Among many other things in the keynote, Lucee 6 was also announced.  The new version will include an updated version of Hibernate, improved performance and startup times, headless deployment and much more.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing this release!

Both days of CF Camp included 2 tracks of great sessions.  As has been the trend at conferences lately, there is much more going on than just ColdFusion sessions!  CF Camp included talks on Flutter, Yubikey development, Docker, Amazon Elastic Container Services, FusionReactor (which works on any Java server, not just ColdFusion) and GDPR among others. I saw no bad sessions; everything I attended was well organized, no major demo fails, etc.

Personal highlights for me included:

Matt Gifford’s talk on CFFractal. His code demos were well structured and real-world enough to be easily applicable to other projects, but still fun enough to keep the audience engaged (and Matt gets extra points for including a Butch Walker reference in his demo).

As always, Kai Koenig’s talk on Flutter was excellent. Kai delivers info in a way that not only does the audience learn something new, but they leave feeling excited about the topic and wanting to go deeper. I overheard several other attendees praising Kai’s talk and wanting to start using Flutter on their upcoming projects.

The Localhost Podcast recording on Thursday night was hilarious! Rob and Mark hosted what was advertised as a “Codemasters” contest: two teams competing to answer the most questions. Topics ranged from knowing what various techie acronyms meant, port numbers, solving anagrams, and other tomfoolery.  I’m not doing the podcast justice with this description; they had everyone laughing all evening long.  Hopefully the hilarity translates when the video is posted later.

My talks on Dependency Injection and AngularJS+CFML went well I think.  Related to that, another of my favorite takeaways from the conference was just the sheer amount of motivation provided by the other presenters. Everyone’s talks were so well done, I came away from the event with several ideas on how to improve my next round speaking engagements.

Next year will be the 10th CF Camp. There was unofficial chatter in the hallways about the 2019 event being expanded, not just to help with the celebrating but also because CF Camp keeps growing! Who says CF is dead? Math doesn’t lie - with Into The Box, ColdFusion Summit, and CF Camp all getting bigger year after year, there is clearly much more going on in CFML than some outsiders would like to believe.  Personally I can’t wait to see what 2019 looks like. Hope to see you all again in Munich next year!