Tuesday 21 October 2014

CFCamp 2014 hindsight

So CFCamp 2014 is over. First things first: Mike, you're a star. Everyone who attended thinks this. Thanks so much for organising yet another excellent CFCamp, and dealing with all the various... erm... "idiosyncracies" that sponsors and speakers and others threw at you.

I'm not flying out until tomorrow afternoon, and I don't fancy going into Munich for a night out, so I'm just hanging @ the Stadthalle in Germering. As I just said on Twitter: I seem to have the place to myself, other than the four people working on the bar here. I'll probably go over to visit my favourite wolpertinger later on for dinner, but it's too early for that. So beer and blogging it is. I've just started my third pint (well: 400ml rather than a pint, anyhow).

This is my wash-up of the conference.

Best thing

As you know I'm not a daytime CFML dev any more: I'm doing PHP now. So why am I at a CFML conference? It's a two-parter. Firstly I'd decided to go to CFCamp this year before the PHP thing came up, and it'd kinda got into my mind that this was my summer holiday (rather a busman's one, I admit). But secondly, and chiefly: because we've got a tight community, and I've got to know a bunch of you lot really well. It's not a "networking" thing, it's "catching up with mates". And putting names to faces that otherwise only exist as an avatar on a social media profile. I really looked forward to having a yarn with Mike and Gert, Kai, Matt, Guust (and the rest), and even the likes of Alex and Dom who I see in London every now and then anyhow. I was also pleased to finally sit down and have a chat with me mate Ross (aka "Salted") from IRC: we'd said g'day in passing @ SotR, but we'd not talked bullshit at each other before. Bullshit's been talked now. This is the best thing at a conference in my opinion.


The quality of the presentations this year was slightly better than last year, I think. Last year was good, but this year seemed better. Today wasn't a great day for me because I drank too much ouzo and beer last night (Greek restaurant for dinner), so my attention span was absent. You can tell this if you read the article I wrote earlier today about DI/1 ("A quick look at DI/1"): the writing and the flow is shocking. However everything still kept me engaged to varying degrees.

There wasn't a single presentation that I went to that I wasn't pleased with, and got something from. This is a first for me at a conference.

There's a few I'll single out.

Matt Bourke 

This was Matt's first presentation at a conference. He'd done his "The next Javascript, ECMAScript 6 for those still using 3.1 and awaiting 4.0" presentation at his local user group, but it's a bit different doing it at a conference. He did a bloody good job, is a natural speaker, and was one of the best presentations at the conference.


It was great to hear some more about Railo 5 (when? When're we getting it?!), and the Event Gateways presentation was also pretty good. Gert's become kinda the patriach of the CFML community, I think. At least in Europe.

Matt Gifford

Matt's a great presenter, and even thought I'd seen his "Get Grulping with JavaScript Task Runners" prezzo before - at SotR - I got more out of it a second time. I'm shaking my head as I type this (because I'm not exactly made of  "spare time"), but Grunt/Gulp is now at the top of my list of "make time to check this out". I've just started looking at Wirebox as a "response" to my DI/1 article, but I think these two are next on my list to have a look at.


Thanks to Chris for piquing my interest in DI/1; thanks to Luis from all of us for a) creating CommandBox, and b) picking up the keynote at the last minute. And also to Nolan for a thought-provoking presentation on when not to follow best practices. And everyone else.


Adobe, what the hell are you playing at? Where were you, and why did you pull your sponsorship? This is the main (only!) CFML conference in Europe. What sort of messaging are you sending by not only not showing up, but actually pulling out? You'll trot out the excuse of your poor planning deciding to put CFSummit on within a week of CFCamp, but this didn't seem to stop Luis, Charlie, Nolan, Kris and probably others from making both. This is not an excuse. The messaging I'm inferring from this (and I know I'm not the only one) is that for you it's all about The States, and Europe can just sod off. You've got a big client base here, and you kinda owe it to them to participate, listen, and respect.


Thanks to everyone @ the Stadthalle in Germering for hosting us again. And the bods at Agua for selling me beer (note: there are now five other customers here, besides just me ;-).


I can't see me being at CFCamp 2015. It's a bit too much of an indulgence going to an "off-topic" conference, and I'll probably be focusing on PHP events next year. But I think I'll be going to the WAIT conference, for general web stuff, and catching up with the "usual suspects".


Railo 5... when? ;-)

Good work Mike, thanks for the gig, and it's good we've got some people looking after the CFML community over this side of the world. Thanks to everyone who presented (even the ones I wasn't able to catch), and it was really good to see y'all again/for the first time.