ColdFusion Summit 2019 Recap (Vegas Edition)

October 29, 2019
Wizard 15 posts
Followers: 4 people
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ColdFusion Summit 2019 Recap (Vegas Edition)

Wizard 15 posts
Followers: 4 people
October 29, 2019

So a little late putting together my thoughts on the ColdFusion Summit 2019 in Vegas earlier this month.  Oh well, it happens but at least I’m getting around to it now.  Better late than never.

Pre-Conference

This year I again did the pre-conference session and did the ColdFusion Specialist course.  I did a write up “series” on that course and session so will just link to those rather than rehash.

Thoughts on the ColdFusion Specialist Program Online Segment
Thoughts on the ColdFusion Specialist Program In-Person Segment
Thoughts on the ColdFusion Specialist Program Exam

Location

I liked that the Summit was back on the strip this year after being at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2018.  It’s not that I disliked the Hard Rock but I did like being able to branch out from the hotel after hours both on my own and with friends I met up with during the day.  This was my first time at the Mirage and it’s what you’d expect from a Vegas resort and hotel.  They are all interesting in their own way and this one did have a decent place to watch sports since i got there Sunday and for Monday Night Football.  The conference venue was less of a hike than when it was at the Mandalay Bay a few years ago but not as close as I remember the Hard Rock rooms.  I felt that the keynote rooms, vendor, and dining spaces were bigger this year than last.  The actual session rooms themselves seemed a bit smaller though.  In every session that i was in it was a full house with many people, including myself, having to stand on the back wall or sit against it.  This could have all been perception though as the rooms may have been the same size but more people attending the conference overall.  The second day this was resolved a bit by removing a row of tables in lieu of more rows of chairs. I think the count announced at the Adobe keynote the first day was over 500 attendees.  I will also say that each keynote ended up standing room only if you didn’t get there early enough to snag a seat.

Keynotes

Both keynotes were good this year.  The first was the expected Adobe ColdFusion update where the road map ahead was laid out.  A lot of the features and enhancements were well received from what i heard discussed the rest of the conference.  In some cases they were deemed overdue and had other solutions but not explicitly supported in Adobe ColdFusion itself.  For me it all sounded good especially the part where it was said that if you don’t make use of the cloud you will still see support, enhancements, and attention.  Where I work at, a local university, I do not see us moving to cloud based solutions at any point in the foreseeable future.  It would take quite a shift in the culture that I just don’t see happening.  So with 90% of the keynote about how great this will be for using ColdFusion with cloud solutions, licensing,etc. those of us that won’t be able to use it that way needed that reassurance.  There was a french company that presented how they use CF and that one was really interesting.  I think it said they were the largest private employer in France.  Between them and another European company I got the impression they must not get the CF bashing that seems to go on here in the States.

The second keynote was about using humor in the workplace.  Like the past few years I find their choices for the second keynote to be really good.  They are always entertaining, good content, and helpful I think.  Turns out I’m a great employee according to Andrew Tarvin who gave the talk cause I’m always cracking jokes at work.  Now if only my colleagues agreed I was funny.

Sessions

Like every year I think Adobe does a good job of mixing up the sessions and finding good content.  And like every year it seems they always schedule a few of the most interesting ones against each other.  There were several times I had a couple I wanted to see and had to choose thus missing out on content.  I guess that’s a measure of a good conference vs a bad one because if you always only have one preference then the selection was probably weaker than it should have been.  I did run into a couple instances where I ended up in the same session as I had before at another location so sneaked out of the room to a different one.  That was rare and I did stay in one i had heard a few years before but found that it had been updated with newer content and advice.  So even though it may be familiar it’s not always the best idea to skip out of a presentation you’ve heard before.  I came away with a lot of new ideas of things i wanted to try.  Matthew Clemente’s presentation on API Wrappers will be particularly handy as I am knee deep in writing integrations with third party apps right now.  The tips he gave are going to be extremely helpful.  As a note he is doing what seems to be this same presentation in a ColdFusion meetup on 10/31/19 here https://www.meetup.com/coldfusionmeetup/events/266032128/. If you miss the date there will be a recording posted as well. Mark Takata’s presentation on “Rapidly Prototyping Single-Page Applications with Coldfusion & Javascript” gave me a good idea for a criticism of an app I currently have out there and how to address it pretty easily.  I call out these two specifically only because they are hitting a problem I am having right now.  If you choose to attend the Summit in the future I bet you’ll have this happen as well.

Kishore has posted all the slide decks here https://coldfusion.adobe.com/2019/10/coldfusion-summit-2019-presentation-files/ and I’d encourage giving them a glance.  There were cameras in each session so I am still holding out hope that videos will be made available at some point.

Final Thoughts

I recommend attending the Summit if you can.  It’s good to see new things but it’s also good to know that you’re not alone out there and there are still a lot of CF developers doing lots of good work just like you are.  The first year I did the sessions and headed out on my own to explore.  The second I ended up chatting with other attendees and made some good connections and put faces with the names I had been reading online for years.  This year I came and had those moments people talk about where I actually knew people and we hung out, talked CF, got some good beers, and actually had that “community” vibe going. I’d recommend skipping to step three and if you go just start mingling.

It’s not that expensive, you’ll learn a lot of new things, and you’ll get recharged by being around good developers. If you’re like me it’ll make you feel like a real slacker and head back to the daily grind and start working on improving those old legacy apps, and yourself as well, by following/implementing the new topics you were exposed to.

I don’t know if my work will spring for me to go back next year but I definitely want to.  I’ll be trying any method I can and if it means I have to get over getting up on a stage and submitting a presentation to try to cover costs then that may be what I have to do.  Hey, click the Like icon on my posts and maybe I’ll get enough points to get a free pass that way.  In the end it’s worth going so you should do the same to try to go if you haven’t been before.

The most important thing I learned

“The only part of your reflection you can lick is your tongue.”

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