Software Development, Web Design, Training

May-17-2015

Dev-Objective 2015 Recap

Another CF-Objective / Dev-Objective is done.  I'm currently on a flight home, with a full brain, a pile of notes, and recordings to transcribe, hopefully for future blog posts. As always, I learned a ton, met lots of people, and had a great time.  Everything seemed to run smoothly, and the venue was great, as always.  

This year I gave 2 presentations (not counting the third a day earlier at Into The Box).  I think they both went pretty smoothly.  One small "demo fail" at the end of my Ember preso, but between all 3 talks, I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 demos to run.  So 1 failure out of 17 is a pretty good batting average. ;) Based on feedback I received from folks (thank you!) I'm already planning some updates to all 3 of my talks before they get submitted to other conferences.  

Adobe decided not to have a presence at Dev-Objective this year.  While I can't speak as to why they made this decision, it did add to a change in "vibe" of the conference from previous years.  Railo became Lucee, and they had a large presence at the conference, lots of formal and informal discussions, and the Lucee folks were eager to show off their product, answer questions, and clearly explain their plans for future directions.  The only info I saw from Adobe was a brief mention of them in the "Future of CFML" panel discussion, which didn't include any details other than "yes, Adobe is working on a new version of CF due out next year.  That was it -- no info on features we can expect, changes to the language, nothing.

The lack of Adobe reps plus the large number of Lucee-related people in attendance made it impossible to leave the conference without feeling a lot of excitement about Lucee and their future plans.  I'm very excited about this, and if it's marketed correctly I think they've got a great shot at success.  Personally I don't think they should advertise it as a CFML engine at ALL -- just promote it as "Lucee, a new language with a .LC file extension".  Let the Ruby-esque people see it as a brand new product and get rid of any negative association with CFML products.  But that's a discussion for another blog post.

Highlights for me:

1) Adam Tuttle's "Node.js BoF" session, finally forcing me to sit down and spend a couple hours actively looking at Node.  I got about half way thru the labs before I needed to to take care of other things; will definitely block off time to finish those soon and give Node a more in-depth look for some future projects.

2) Dan Callahan was kind enough to give me a personal run-thru of his presentation on the Rust programming language.  Our talks were scheduled at the same time, making it impossible for me to attend his session.  Separate from that, Dan is also the first (and ONLY) person that's been able to explain to me valid reasons why using RESTful web services is actually a step forward. Until now, REST has always seemed cute, but I was never convinced it did anything I couldn't do with a standard naming convention and HTTP GET calls -- thanks to Dan I now understand the true benefits of the other verbs more clearly.

3) Too many of the sessions to single them all out in detail! Ray Camden's "Ionic" preso; Brad Wood's "CommandBox" talk; Kai Koenig's talk on garbage collection algorithms in the JVM; Jason Dean's talk on cryptography; "API Management from the Trenches" by Matt Gifford; Tim Cunningham's "Marketing For Developers" and probably lots more I'm forgetting as well!

For the last 2 or 3 years, the conference website hasn't included links to the session surveys -- the only way to do session surveys was to use the mobile app.  This is a big deterrent for me; I'm just not a fan of writing paragraphs of text on a mobile device (and I like to try and give detailed answers on the surveys when possible).  So I haven't been filling in as many surveys as in previous years.  If the Steering Committee could change this in the future, I'd greatly appreciate it.  On a related note, I didn't even see the "Overall Session Eval" form -- was there a printed form like in previous years? Or was that mobile-only as well?  While I can't speak for everyone, I'd fill out many more surveys if they were on the desktop version of the website.

(EDIT: After I originally posted this blog entry, Jason Dean sent me the following info:

...we could have had links on the session pages, and we forgot to do it.  We'll get them up for those that still want to go back and fill them out in a browser.

Second, we forgot to tell people that you can do the session surveys in the browser. The survey was not Mobile-Only and I tried to communicate that to individuals, but we failed to do it at the keynote.  Surveys can be filled out in the browser at http://devobj.meetingplay.com/

Log in to the site at the link and you'll be able go to Sessions, click on the sessions you attended and click on the 'Session Survey link.

Thanks Jason!)

I skipped a couple sessions on Friday morning, to do prep for my Ember.js talk.  Does anyone's initial schedule for a conference ever actually end up being 100% accurate? :) Once I get home and catch up on various work things, I fully plan to spend some time researching Node, Lucee, CommandBox and reading slides for all the talks I wasn't able to attend.

Thank you to everyone at Dev-Objective for another great year!

-nolan