Saturday, 21 September 2013

CFCamp: what am I seeing on Day 2?

I'm sitting in the pub in Portumna, having completely my paternal input for the day, and just killing time until it occurs to me what else to do. And drinking Guinness (end of pint one). It will distress my mate Brian - with whom I was discussing this at the pub in London on Thurs - that I truly cannot detect a difference in a pint of Guinness served in London, and one served in Ireland. That said, they're both good.

I've not been doing any interesting coding in the last couple of days, and I am still digesting my last Ruby tutorial, and don't even have anything to complain about (well, OK, I could come up with something, I'm sure, but I'm in a happy mood so will leave that for next week ;-).  What I am is jealous of all the chatter from people reporting on the first day of NCDevCon, and the ongoing chatter about StrangeLoop over in the States. But of course we (in Europe) have our own conference coming up: CFCamp. As I wrote earlier I'm off to it, and I've given you my thoughts on which sessions I'll be attending (probably) on Sunday/Monday.

And now for Day Two...

10:00 - 11:15am - Adobe Keynote

I hope this is different from the one at cf.Objective(), which was basically just a sales pitch. I'm sure there'll be nonsense about <cfclient>, Adobe's answer to a question I doubt many people have asked: how can we write mobile apps in CFML. What I've heard about it (not much: two presentations... one at cf.Objective(), one at Scotch on the Rocks), <cfclient> is the mobile-app equivalent of <cfform>. Not a direct one-for-one as obviously there's a lot more to a mobile app than there is to an HTML form, but the analogy seems to stand. A waste of time, it seems.

What I do hope Adobe do is roll their sleeves up and show us some code. Show us some of the stuff they're doing in ColdFusion 11. Screw the "marquee" features that only IT managers will care about... show us stuff developers will like. The sort of developers who go to conferences.

11:25am - 12:20pm

Hmmm... I'm not sure here. I want to see both gigs. The options are:

"Fusion Reactor 5" with David Stockton

If you ask me, I will say that FusionReactor is an essential tool for anyone who needs to manage a ColdFusion server (or I guess Railo too!), or do resource problem troubleshooting, or just like to be on top of server health. So pretty much essential if you are responsible for your kit. That said, I haven't been responsible for our CF kit for a number of years, so I have only had superficial exposure to FusionReactor. And I feel this is a shortfall in my CFML skillset, which needs to be addressed.

(I'm going slow... I only just started my second pint of Guinness just now!)

"Level Up! Taking your ColdFusion apps to the next level with MongoDB" with David Waterston

(BTW: apologies for the lack of links to the presentations' pages today: there are no equivalent pages on the CFCamp website yet).

I saw a bit about MongoDB at cf.Objective() where Sean gave a kinda DBA-centric presentation on how MongoDB handles "big data". It's an interesting topic, and I hope David's presentation is more developer-centric. I may have to do some stuff with MongoDB shortly, so this will be helpful for me.

I seriously don't know which of these presentations I should go to.

12:30 - 13:25 - "CFStatic and HTML Skeletons" with Dominic Watson

The Railo one at the same time "Details about the new upcoming Railo Products" could be good, but I've heard a lot about CFStatic, and want to see it in action. Plus I should support my fellow Pixl8 dude (although I did not work @ Pixl8 when Dom did).

I'm sure I'll be able to bend Gert or Mark's ears (or have them bend mine) about their new products at the bar later on!

14:20 - 15:15 - "CFML insecurity: prophylactics and statistics" with Danny Dineen

(I hope my friend Aurélien will not be annoyed I'm favouring this one instead of his presentation on "Building large Sites with Mura - A field report". Sorry mate!)

I don't know a great deal about CFML-server security, actually. I know a bit about securing a ColdFusion server, but not so much about what the issues are with Railo. This isn't me being slack: I'm simply not allowed to touch the CF servers at work, as we have a dedicated team for that sort of thing. But I should know about it, so this should be a good 'un. Danny's got a security scanner app, SecureCFML, which he'll be showing us. And I've also just realised he's this @ColdFusion10 bod I've been talking to recently on Twitter! It'd be good to buy him a pint / half-litre of beer at the bar at some stage too (it's always good to put faces to names. And then put a beer in front of the face).

15:25 - 16:20 - "Scalabilty test with jMeter and FusionReactor" with Jerome Lepage

This might tip my hand as far as my dilemma goes re FusionReactor / MongoDB. I don't think it's a good use of my time to go to two FusionReactor presentations, so I'll probably go to Jerome's one. I've messed around with JMeter a bit, but never in anger. And combining it with FusionReactor sounds like an excellent presentation.

I'd like to point out at this stage that if you're not load-testing your app... you bloody should be. It should be an integral part of your development cycle. JMeter is really easy to use (and there's other options out there too). Load testing is not a "nice to have", it's essential.

Jerome is another one of these people I talk to on Twitter but have not met. And as with Danny, I intend to buy him a beer. Or as our Twitter exchange suggested... we'll probably end up having more than just one! That's the attitude :-)

16:50 - 17:45

This is another dilemma. There are two great options here.

"Regular Expression Clinic" with Kai König

I love regular expressions. If you are going to CFCamp and don't know regexes... you must go to this. Regular expressions are a vital skill to have a handle on if you're doing text-manipulation programming (which in doing websites... we pretty much all are). They look really scary, but they're not. As a primer... I've written a fairly comprehensive series on how ColdFusion implements / supports regular expressions which might be a good read. So here's the thing... there's a good chance I won't actually get much out of Kai's presentation, depending on where he pitches it. I'll find out.

"Introduction to NoSQL with Couchbase" with Robin Johson

I'm very interested in NoSQL storage options, and I've never seen anything about CouchBase. So this would be a good intro.

17:55 - 18:50 - "ContentBox" with Jorge Reyes

Currently I'm picking this one by default as the slot opposite it is still TBC. I'm sure ContentBox will be a very comprehensive product, if I know the *box people though ;-)

Then Mike will give his closing remarks, after which I will find a bar to prop up, and commence talking bullshit to people. Cool!

The more I read up on this conference, the better it is sounding. If you're in the area, give some thought to heading along!  See ya there, hopefully.

In other conference news... Scotch on the Rocks 2014 announced tickets will go on sale 1 October @ 10am. This is another very good conference, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Dunno what's wrong with me today... 1300 words, and only half way through my second pint! Better focus more on the beer at hand.