Tuesday 27 October 2015

CFSummit: what am I gonna go see?

Rightio then, I've had a look at the presentations on offer at CFSummit, and have tentatively decided what I'll probably try to go and see. Note that I always make one of these plans, and it always ends up bearing very little resemblance to what I end up doing. Often I just stay put in a room after one presentation, and check the next one out, or I accidentally walk past the bar and go "ooh! A bar! I wonder if they sell... beer" (in my experience: yes they do, but I need to continue this research, I think).

I have another challenge now that I don't do CFML on a daily basis (well: I do it seems, but I don't do it for a job any more), it gets trickier to pick sessions that are a good fit for my interests. So this time I'm kinda looking at the schedule and wondering less what I'm interested in, and more where there are gaps in my ColdFusion knowledge which I might be able to fill, so as to be able to help out in the community over a broader range of topics. Can you see my halo? ;-)


I arrive on Saturday @ 17:45, having flown LHR -> IAH -> LAS, taking 15h30m. That's not so bad... when flying to NZ (around 24-30h) I don't usually start getting stir crazy until we're about 4h from AKL, so I doubt 16h will seems so grim, especially with scope for a quick beer in Houston. My plan is to do something Saturday evening, although this will most likely amount to scouting around the Aria for a low-key bar which sells something at least mildly interesting in the beer dept. I've had a look at what the Aria's website suggests is on offer... and they all look very much like the sort of places one finds in a chain hotel, which is... predictable.

In reality I'll go "I'm too old for this", and collapse in a heap.


I have identified this outfit, down at the Venetian: "Public House". From the look of the website, this place is as much a proper pub as the pyramid at the Luxor is a proper pyramid, and the various other LV-copy-cat edifices are to their inspiration. Still, it has a list of over 200 beers, and some of them look interesting, so how bad can it be. I have absolutely zero interest in gambling (actually my reaction to it is more one of revulsion), and I've already looked at all the excessive gaudiness of The Strip, last time I was there (got married in Las Vegas in 2009), so I have no need to see any of that stuff again. I think I'll find a post card to write on (and a pen to write with, and a stamp to afix to it), write a postcard to my boy and slurp beer whilst being eyes-glued to my laptop. Oh, and perhaps get trinket shopping out of the way.

I s'pose in the evening I should lurk around our digs to see if I spy anyone I know doing likewise.



9:45 - 10:45am: Building Multi-Tenant SaaS Applications (Brian Ghidinelli)

"Leave this session with a hit list of the issues a SaaS app must solve and the strategies that work to help not just write code but achieve a successful implementation."

I dunno much about the finer detail of approaching SaaS, so this could be interesting even from a non-CFML perspective.

Up against this is Rakshith giving his "All About ColdFusion Raijin – Next Version of ColdFusion", but I'm on the pre-release programme so I expect I know everything he's got to say on the topic, so don't feel compelled to see that. Although it'd be good to know what he talks about which therefore implies it's no longer under NDA and that I can write about it. I suspect it'll be the same presentation as he gave last week at CFCamp?

Also in this slot is Fabien Sanglier talking on "Scale Coldfusion with Open-Source Terracotta Distributed Caching for Ehcache" (it seems Fabien has taken the mantle from Rob Brooks-Bilson, doing this topic on the conference circuit) which I would have found very interesting had I still been doing ColdFusion.

11:00am - 12:00pm: Building APIs with ColdFusion

A look at how ColdFusion makes it easy to build APIs for integration with remote users and client-side applications. This will be a comprehensive look at using ColdFusion as an API provider, looking at techniques for using CFCs as well as Web Services and REST.
I dunno who is giving this one, but I wonder if it's a look at ColdFusion 12's new API Manager? Or whether it's actually code-centric? Either could be OK. We do a lot of API work at my outfit (although in PHP), but I think a lot of the considerations are ubiquitous, so this could be good. And if it's on the API Manager, I want to see it in action.

Up against this is Tim Cunningham talking about "10 Good Reasons ColdFusion PDFs Should Rule the world". I simply don't care about PDFs. Indeed I am irritated every time a website makes me look at one.

Unfortunately Charlie is in the same slot too with "Hey, My Web App's Slow. Where's the Problem?". This has little relevance for me these days, but I think it's an area in which CFMLers generally let themselves down in, so people really ought to go to this one.

1:00 - 2:00pm: Using ColdFusion-Tomcat Logging to Improve ColdFusion Performance and Tune the Web Server Connector (Mike Brunt / Milan Chandra)

This session will ably demonstrate how to enhance the ColdFusion Tomcat logging with such things as log-level adjustments and is based on 15 years of experience working with ColdFusion and Java logs. There will also be focus on the web server connector which is the vital link between any external web server and ColdFusion-Tomcat.
This is another one which should be essential viewing for any CFMLer. It's critical to anyone with an app in production. Mike is an excellent presenter, and has unmatched knowledge in this area, so is worth listening to.

This is up against Kev McCabe presenting "ColdFusion Builder 3 & The Missing Plugins (+ productivity tools & tips)". I don't care one jot about CF Builder, so have no interest in this.

2:15 - 3:15pm: Making Bad Code Good

In this session, we'll look at lots of code samples and walk through making incremental changes to speed development, reduce errors and make life easier for everyone involved

Dunno who is giving this one, but I think it's the sort of thing that can transfer across languages, so I should get something out of it.

But listen... dedicated CFMLers should go to Dan Fredericks presentation: "CFML Features for More Modern Coding". I'm only not going to it (although I'm undecided...) because I know the content already, and I'm pretty up-to-speed with what Dan is presenting on. But a lot of CFMLers really aren't, and this will take them outside their comfort zone a bit. It'll be a good presentation.

Jason Dean also has a presentation in this slot: "Security Enhancements in ColdFusion Raijin and ColdFusion 11". This is also something CFMLers really ought to take in. Hmmm. There's a lot of collisions on this agenda.

3:30 - 4:30pm: Adobe Panel Discussion Q&A Session (Elishia Dvorak)

[...] an intriguing panel discussion with Adobe along with ColdFusion customers and community members where we'll discuss topics relevant to ColdFusion. [...] The focus of the discussion will be to present different views on various topics that are highlighted.

I'm really interested to hear what sort of questions CFMLers want to ask Adobe. And, obviously, what Adobe's answers are. It's a pity this is only an hour, really!

I'm also interested to see who is going to be on the panel...

This is up against Pete Freitag doing another "essential" presentation: "Locking Down your ColdFusion Server".

Oh, and also Dave Ferguson with "My Database Skills Killed the Server". This should be an interesting one too. My SQL skills are good enough to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me back out again. Exacerbated by the fact I have not had to do any SQL for 5-6 years now (although this is something I am quite content with).


Phew. That's just the first day. I'm getting tired just writing about it, so I'll be nackered after that lot. Where's the closest bar?


9:45 - 10:45am: Continuous Delivery of your Legacy Application (Kev McCabe)

In this session we’ll look at technics and tools that you can use to make it possible to perform Continuous Delivery

I think some of the stuff Kev discusses here will be transportable across to my current role too, so I'll give it a look-see.

This one is up against Nolan Erck going over "MVC With and Without a Framework". This was my second pick: Nolan's an excellent presenter, and I want to see how he articulates this topic. I know a lot of CFMLers are resistant to using frameworks (why. just why?), but this might be a way to get them into standardising their application architecture approach, and perhaps get them into a better place to realise they should be using a framework.

Also I'll be missing Dave Ferguson a second time (oops,sorry dude) as he discusses "Mobile Apps Made Easy with ColdFusion 11". I suspect he's doing a shill job for <cfclient>.

11:00am - 12:00pm: How do I Write Testable Javascript so I can Test my CF API on Server and Client? (Gavin Pickin)

Attendees will learn:
  • How to use Testbox to test CFCs and CF Apis on the Server
  • Different types and ways to test JavaScript
  • Structuring your JavaScript to be unit testable
  • Overview of client side testing tools
  • Overview of server side testing tools
  • Building testing into your workflow
  • You are one of many that are not testing your JavaScript
Gav's a mate and a fellow Kiwi, so I'd go along to this anyhow. But also I want to see what he has to say about JavaScript testing. Something I've been trying to get into our shop (without success) for about three years now.

Hopefully we can also bask in the glow of a Rugby World Cup victory, the weekend before ;-)

Up against Gav is Michael Collins (not this one. Or this one either) and Priyank Shrivastava taking people through "Load Balancing, Scalability and Failover with ColdFusion". This isn't really my cup of tea.

Simon Free is giving this one: "Thinking Outside the Box with Mobile Interaction", which could be fairly interesting as long as it has nothing to do with ColdFusion's entrance into the world of mobile (I'm not ging to mention <cfclient> again. [beat] Doh!), and more just about mobile UX.

1:00 - 2:00pm: Migration to ColdFusion 11 – Making it Seamless and Easy (Anit Kumar Panda)

The focus will be on challenges faced during Migration, such as Tips for migrating your web Application, Tweaks to migrate the Legacy application, role that connector configuration plays.
I'm looking forward to seeing Anit present (no pressure mate ;-), and I really have no need to know this stuff, but I get asked a lot of questions about ColdFusion 11, so this might help me round out my community-support knowledge a bit.

This is up against Luis giving "Killing Shark-Riding Dinosaurs with ORM" which I'd not go to just on the basis of how stupid the presentation title is. For people less jaded than myself, it might be interesting anyhow! Giancarlo Gomez is also presenting "Realtime with Websockets". I've no use for the knowledge Giancarlo might impart here, so not so relevant to me. It should be pretty interesting though!

2:15 - 3:15pm: Inside the ColdFusion Engine (Rupesh Kumar)

You would learn about
  • Detailed Lifecycle of the request
  • How a request is parsed, translated, compiled and processed.
  • How various scopes are managed and how they are resolved.
  • Various class loaders
  • Various configurations used in the request lifecycle and how they would impact the application.

Could be interesting! I've always wondered how ColdFusion goes about doing its... stuff.

This is up against Shirak Avakian presenting "Building ColdFusion Workflow with PDF, Digital Signature, Directory Watcher", which has "PDF" in the title, so I actually fell asleep whilst writing this paragraph. No. And Brad is presenting "Go Commando, with CommandBox! CLI + REPL + Package Manager for CFML". I'm torn between Rupesh's presentation on this one. Rupesh is currently in the lead as the idea of Brad going commando is a bit too much for me.

3:30 - 4:30pm: ColdFusion and NoSQL (Akhila Srinivas)

[The] Audience will learn:
  • NoSql database concepts with focus on few widely used noSQL databases
  • Its relevance in current web application development
  • Effective data models to support application needs
  • Interacting with noSql database using ColdFusion
  • Simple workflow and application development using ColdFusion and noSQL
I'm actually non-commital about this session, and am not sure if I'll do this one, or Charlie's "10 Common CF Server Challenges and How to Find/Solve Them", or Brian Klaas's "Expand Your ColdFusion App Power with Amazon Web Services".

Or decide I've had enough of conferences, and just skip to the bar early.


I'm flying at 2pm, which gives me enough time to not rush out the door Wednesday morning. My chief concern is making sure I'm not too hungover from the previous night.

So all that seems fairly interesting, and I'm quite looking forward to it!