So I went to my first developer conference last week, the Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2013 hosted by Adobe at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  It was my first time meeting a lot of people in the community.

The keynotes were great, they really got me excited for ColdFusion Splendor, which should come out sometime next year.  I’m skeptical of the new <cfclient> tag, but I’ll give wait until CF11 comes out and I have a chance to use it before I completely write it off.

I enjoyed “Using Solr for Better, More Relevant Searches” presented by Ray Camden.  It was really a treat to finally meet someone who has meant to much to the ColdFusion community and saved me countless hours of development time by writing some of the best blog posts not only in the ColdFusion community, but in the web development community as a whole.  I learned a bit abour Solr.  Ray actually didn’t know that the Solr version that ships with Adobe ColdFusion 10 is many versions old.  I spoke with Rakshith Naresh back in February about this problem and his response was “Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately there is no document to update the Solr engine in CF 10. This is mostly because if CF developers themselves end up upgrading the engine and if there are changes in the API or architecture that we internally use, then the functionality will break. And we do not want that to happen.”

I also had the opportunity to meet Charlie Arehart, who is famous in the community for his expertise in finding and debugging ColdFusion server bugs.  I highly recommend using his services if you ever have ColdFusion servers issue.  His session, titled “CF911: Solving Frequent CF Server Problems in New/Better Ways” was very informative.

I think the best presentation was Dan Wilson’s, presenting his session “Know SQL? Try NoSQL”.  He is a masterful presenter that knows how to use both sides of the stage.  His slides weren’t too small (perhaps that’s because he had the advantage of presenting on day 2 of the summit, ha).  Hopefully I have a chance to use MongoDB in an upcoming project.

I was a little bit disappointed in some of the sessions that Adobe Scheduled.  In particular, I went to “Pixel Perfect PDF Generation” presented by Tim Cunningham. (@TimCunningham71) Let me start off by saying Tim was a great presenter.  The problem I had with the presentation is that I wasn’t aware that it would be an hour of Tim telling us how great the features in ColdFusion 11 are going to be, a piece of software that isn’t going to be out for many months to come.

The chances to network were great.  I met Geoff Bergey and Giancarlo “JC” Gomez and hope that I have a chance to work with them in the future.  After speaking with them both (and having a big of fun after the happy hour!) I was able to learn a lot.  While having beers with Geoff and JC, a guy with green hair came up to us.  He clearly wasn’t a developer but a project manager.  He was in love with the new <cfclient> tag and told us that tags like this are how he will go into Warren Buffett’s office and sell ColdFusion over other languages.  While I do see his point, and I understand how tags like these can be great selling points to CEO’s (“Your developers don’t have to know JavaScript!!!”), I just don’t see developers actually using tags like these in the future.

After CF Summit, my girlfriend came into town and we stayed at the Palazzo.  I pulled the $20 trick (it works every time, try it!) and got an upgraded room for the weekend, waived resort fess (I HATE VEGAS RESORT FEES), and tickets to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (which my girlfriend was completely against at first).  We ate perhaps the best dinner of my life.  We ate pigeon and fallow deer (lol) under authentic Picasso paintings overlooking the Bellagio fountains and then went to see Tiesto at Hakkasan in MGM, that was amazing.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill did not disappoint and we saw Ka, a Cirque du Soleil, over at the MGM.  Those cirque shows are insane.  If you haven’t seen one, I highly recommend it.

I hope that CF Summit 2014 is in Las Vegas again next year.

Thanks for reading, I hope to be able to blog once per week or so…We’ll see how that goes.



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