CF.Objective is over, I'm at the airport waiting for my flight home (and hoping that this "tornado warning" doesn't affect things too much...yikes!). I've finished posting my notes from all the presentations I attended; hopefully some of you find those useful.
Overall CF.Objective was a huge success for me. Being a consultant, I'm always somewhat tweaked when I have to shell out money for a hotel, flights, and a conference pass. The money adds up quickly! But as always, as the conference ended, I was quite happy I spent the money! Most everyone I spoke to said they had an absolute great time at the conference, and found it worth the investment. I completely agree.
Some general thoughts on the conference...
Matt Gifford / Ray Camden's deep-dive into PhoneGap! Ray was originally scheduled to give this talk but had to fly home early, unexpectedly, so Matt stepped in to give the presentation instead. It did not show! If Matt hadn't said anything, I would have believed it was he who wrote the slide deck and put together the presentation. A great high/medium level look into the various facets of PhoneGap.
Dan Vega's presentation on Bootstrap had the best slide deck of all the talks I attended. The trend lately is to make the slide decks more humorous, and not contain so many talking points / bullets that just get read aloud. While Dan's slides very much WERE those things, they were formatted in a way that I felt really added value to the talk. The code samples and other info was very well presented and complimented Dan's presentation nicely.
The new hotel seemed to work really well, and the staff are incredibly helpful. Once or twice it showed that they weren't very technical, and didn't quite understand what location I was asking for, leading me into the wrong room. I approached one staff person and said "I was told the CFML Open Summit was in the room behind the bar, correct?", to which his response was "The Adobe thing? Yes, that's over here"...and ended up walking me into an closed-door meeting by accident. Ooops! But that was definitely the exception; staff were consciously looking for attendees that needed help, offering assistance, and were extremely friendly at all times.
I wish I'd discovered that there were roller coasters in the Mall Of America (walking distance from the conference!) sooner. That was fun. :)
I really wanted to attend the Angular talk, but must have missed the mention that the timeslot was changed for that session. On a semi-related note, it would have been nice to have the deep-dives scheduled after the 1-hour sessions (for ex: put Dan Vega's talk on Bootstrap earlier in the week, then have Kurt's Bootstrap/Angular talk on Saturday) but I'm sure it's not always possible to do such things, as many people are flying in/out at different times.
Speaking of flying in/out, why wasn't anyone from Adobe at the Closing Remarks? Why leave "the only ColdFusion conference" early if you are indeed trying to show that you still support ColdFusion? It was various things like this that caused a lot of comments by the attendees about what Adobe truly is/isn't planning for the future.
Though Adobe did also take CFO as the opportunity to announce the CF Summit, a ColdFusion conference happening this October in Las Vegas! I truly hope this conference is a huge success. I hope Adobe realizes that (especially because Max now conflicts with CFO, and there is no longer a ColdFusion UnConference at Max) that a CF "conference" should NOT be just a show-and-tell sales pitch about CF. People taking time out of their lives to fly to a conference need more than that as a return on their investment. And that probably means making sure Railo can participate in the conference as well.
Speaking of Railo, I love that both they and Adobe were able to have general sessions. It was incredibly informative seeing how the 2 companies are approaching their next versions of ColdFusion. Railo is coming at it from the perspective of "what language features can we add to make developers more productive?" whereas Adobe is (at least presently) going with the mindset of "what will make managing a team of developers/servers easier?" Both have their place, but at a conference for CF developers, I think the Railo approach may have yielded better results.
On a totally different note, it was good to see several friends again. Given some scheduling issues (I'm on vacation the week of NC Dev Con and can't attend that this year) CFO was my only chance this year to chat in person with many folks. It was great talking again with the likes of Scott Stroz, Rob Brooks Bilson, Ben Nadel (though I didn't get a chance to take a picture with him!), Jason Dean, and so on (in my sleep-deprived state, I know I'm forgetting many of you). I met several new people, made some new friends, and was happy to meet several folks that have an abundance of ColdFusion projects on their calendars these days!
Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of the CFO staff, CAB, presenters, etc. Several of the CFO team were sick this year (to the point where some could barely talk) but the conference still ran without a hitch, which just goes to show how hard everyone was working, and how well organized everything was.
Now, I just need to get home, regroup, and figure out a way to put all the things I learned to good use. :)