CFUnited Blog

Adobe MAX Day 2 reactions

Experience Day 2 through my eyes and thoughts now...

The day started with a couple cups of coffee... I don't usually drink coffee but for some reason it becomes a necessity at conferences.

I totally planned on recording interviews while I was there. I had no time and no one else really did either. So I'll recap everything instead.

I blogged about Day 1 before attending a CS4 show down. I got lots of ideas for how I could improve designs and create movies in photoshop. Yes... I said Photoshop. I was too excited because I don't like to use Flash if I don't have to. I used to generate simple Fireworks animated GIF images for banner ads but CS3 didn't come with it. Now Photoshop does simple animation and can incorporate video. Its about time!! So keep an eye for Nafisa and I to make some cool stuff to elevate the experience when visiting

I made my way up to the third floor to get into the keynote. I got even closer this time (7 rows back from the stage). I thought to myself, this is it. What I've been waiting for. This better be good. OMG, you could sense the CF developers holding their breaths. It was as if Adobe was crossing their fingers that all their hard work for the last 6 months would pay off. It all came down to this.

It wasn't just the content of what they wanted to share with the general session. It was the way they did it. It was fun and entertaining and it was seamless. Started with Design to Video then to Development. The way life was intended. So what stood out? Photoshop new features, Flash made simple, Flex Builder 3, Bolt which is like Eclispe, Centaur's enhancements, and the fact that Adobe really seems to have been listening to the general public. I think everything that has been suggested by the community is being taken seriously. Tim Buntel and Ben Forta looked so snazzy. Reminded me of Men in Black. It was too cute.

I kept wondering why there wasn't as much applause as deserved, but what I think happened is everyone's minds were about to explode and their mouths were hanging open. It was like they shocked us to the point of turning us speechless. Or they were blogging and twittering non-stop.

The evening prior I told Ben Forta that I couldn't wait for Day 2 keynote. He kept giving me a "you'll see" kind of look. At lunch he walked over to me and we hugged then gave a big high five. I told him I was so proud and I couldn't be happier for the CF community.

I was so inspired by the time lunch came around that I kicked into full networking mode. I was like a machine. I should have just had a big billboard around my neck that said " and"

The Afternoon was reserved for CF and Air topics for me. I know I'm a designer, but I have to stay in the know. Plus I'm someone who has to remind people that CF is doing so well and that no matter what level you are developing, you should learn CF and you can save yourself time and money. I believe in CF and I want to see it evolve just as much as you do.

Kristen Schofield did an excellent presentation "Be your own Ben Forta". I didn't know what that meant really but to me it was more like "Why CF?" She explained everything in the Evangelism Kit. If you've never read it before, go to:

You have to check out page 5 which tells us the future of CF. Centaur in 2009, Sully in 2010, and Link in 2011. I don't think Adobe has ever released their plans for anything other than the next release so this was a big treat. It kind of sets the tone for how I should prepare for each year.

In the new Evangelism kit she handed out at MAX it shows the cost savings from developing your applications in Java vs ASP.Net vs PHP vs CF. You can see that it saves companies almost HALF the cost if you develop in CF rather than Java (even though Java is free). Why? Kristen explained that it is easier to train in CF and the amount of time developing is also less. Not to mention the amount of mistake that can be made. She can correct me if I'm wrong but I think she said that for every 1,000 lines of code Java developers make 100-150 more mistakes than CF developers. I think the point is though that the less amount of code you have the less mistakes.

After that we had lots of questions. Some said they have trouble selling CF to their employers and this Kit is a great solution. Maybe we need more? I'm going to think about this and see how CFUnited can support the effort as well. Something with testimonials, more statistics, and case studies.

Another question was how to find developers to hire. My mouth dropped because I know if I send an SOS to the CFUnited community we can find just about anybody to pass along the information in a heart beat. And that's the other point I think Kristen was missing in her presentation. The CF community is very strong and there are many URLs and Blogs that can get you information and assistance quickly. We should be publishing this to the world, not just other CF people. I'm going to work on that idea too. That's why I'm doing this Executive Summit during CFUnited, which I'll share more soon with you folks.

My next session was Rakshith's "AIR with ColdFusion" It was good. I couldn't follow everything but I was paying more attention to attendee's reactions. Seeing what were their concerns and were they convinced. I'd say from the reactions now, yes. It looks like they have a few things to iron out but Adobe is on the right track. Their employee AIR app used CF. A great example and simple.

I shifted focus and wandered around the Unconference sessions. Looks like those were really popular. Some of the sessions were like the ones you'd see at CFUnited. Its was good to see something informal and work so well at MAX. I put out some CFUnited discount cards (Don't forget to use them by December 5th!) and CF Tag Posters of course.

I made my way down to the Community Pavilion to hang with the Community lounge folks. Including Rachel Luxemberg and Eddie Sullivan. You could see that we were all ready for a massage or something. The humor and laughter was contagious. I got a chance to talk with Rachel about the community. She really enjoys the UG managers and says she's enjoying it so far. I'm sure you all will keep her busy. Eddie is in a good place right now although he'll always be a legend amongst user groups. I also met Sumi Lim. The International community has always had me a little hestitant and we tried CFUnited Europe once. So I guess in a year or so I'll work with Sumi and figure things out a little better.

Nafisa and I skipped the Sneak Peek and Awards. We needed to go back to the hotel and take a break. It was just too much for one day and yet we still had to make our way to back for the evening event. We carried all the free tshirts, stickers, and CDs in our book bags that we could manage. By the time we got to the room we could have literally fallen asleep. At 7pm we found the buses to take us to the museum event. It was pretty orderly. I fell asleep in the bus because it was a 30 minute ride. But good thing because it was going to be a long night.

We (Nafisa and I) started out with the environment exhibit and things that show how the world is evolving to improve our planet. Got some itty bitty burger and chips and beer (Stella beer was my drink for the night... get it? Stella, Stellr... lol) Anyways, then we hit the African exhibit with music and mexican food, a funny combination I thought. Met up with Joe, Ray, Scott, etc. Then the insect exhibit had some beef and potatoes. I got another Stella. There was a pendulum next which we watched for 15 minutes just to see when it would knock over the next pin (because the world rotates on an axis). Grabbed some sushi. Met up with Todd Sanders. Walked up to the guy with tickets for the planetarium scheduled for later that night. Made our way downstairs to the awesome aquarium with a symphony band. Finished that then saw the albino alligator. Got another Stella near the swing band and contortionists. Decided to go to the other museum across the park. Walked past the oragami lessons after grabbing another Stella because we couldn't go outside with our other beers (what a waist, but its their rules and their waste of money). Then we tookd the elevator up to the 9th floor and saw a 360 view of San Francisco. Very cool. Met up with Rob Rusher and his partner Dan. Looked at the time, and ran back across to the other museum to the planitarium. And there was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip. about 200 attendees had tickets to view the most spectacular 3D show I've ever experienced, all without wear those 3D glasses. I'm definitely bringing the family back to see this someday. By the time the evening was over it was 11pm. Nafisa and I grabbed a drink back at the Marriott, then got a midnight strawberry shortcake a la mode. We reflected on the networking we did and the things we learned. Stellr is going to do very well. We have big ideas and a fresh style. Can't wait for 2009.

A big shout out to the 5 Taggers. ;-) (I bet you are wondering what and who this is)

Thanks Adobe for everything. Looking forward to working with you on future events. Thanks for the beer, the loud music, the endless tshirts, the food, the snacks, the video games... and, oh yeah, a confidence in my future with this industry!

Peace out.

PS- Left Wednesday morning, sorry to everyone I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. We'll post all the pictures and videos soon.

Adobe MAX Day 1 reactions

Hello World.

This is my take on MAX so far. I was extremely pleased with the the over all feeling of MAX today. It was a great experience checking in and finding session rooms. Now granted, I heard some sessions were in another hotel that had some people confused but I didn't experience that problem yet.

Breakfast. It was actually good. I loved the little breakfast sandwiches and fruit. Nice touch. I went to look for a pleace to sit and eat but found out there wasn't any where to sit. I was pleased to find Jason Delmore and Tom Jordahl sitting on the floor in the middle of the room because I was planning to do the same. I realized early on that most developers are used to sitting on the floor for some reason. After about 5 minutes, more Adobe folks came to join us and some community members we recognized. We sat in a big circle and talked about everything we've experienced last night.

Keynote. We all got up and made our way to the keynote. Ok, correction, we litterly rushed to the entrance like a tornado was behind us. It was a race to the front. Nafisa and I sat about 15 rows back from the stage with other community leaders. I even ran up to give Ben Forta a big bear hug. I swooned when I saw Kevin Lynch on stage. (its a harry potter thing) I was well aware that no CF stuff would be talked about yet so I didn't get dissapointed. I did find a few things inspiring but nothing that had me going gaga. I was more occupied with not having Wifi access on my ipod touch. So I resorted to twittering on my cell phone. If you didn't hear about everything at the Keynote go to And lastly, I realized as it was ending someone yelled out "Bingo" which was an inside joke I later found out about. (If you guys pull that while I'm on stage I'll clobber you) lol, but it was really funny. I was making my way out and got into a big crowd again so I hopped over the chairs and I got a few hoot and hollers. I'm not dancing on chairs yet guys. At least I was a little graceful (ok, but I didn't fall). My wonderful Mr. Potter was charming as usual and very classy. Although, I'm excited for tomorrow's keynote when I get to see my main squeeze, Mr. Forta. There is so much buzz and wonder about what we will find out next. I'll be twittering constantly under "cfunited" as fast as my fingers can go. (Hopefully the wifi is up then as well @adobemax)

Lunch. Very good. Very organized. I was late in line because I just had to stop by all the booths on the way. But I was pleased to still have plenty to eat. Thanks for the creme brule, it fulfilled my craving.

Sessions. A little weird. You check in with your badge. If you are not on the list, you have to wait... which is understandable. But I was on the list but my badge didn't register on the scanner. It actually said "Sorry, you are not permitted" or something like that. I wanted to tell that machine to fly a kite. I understand how it is though. Not everything works all the time. The few I've attended so far have been pretty ok. I'm actually here to network and do interviews. I've had lots of good luck so far but now my camera is dead again. I've gone through 4 batteries just today. Sorry if I didn't catch you.

Exhibits. I want more free stuff. I feel like Adobe has all the cool stuff this year. Tshirts, stickers, etc. They know what we really want. BTW, the CF tshirt rocks. It has a guy holding a bottle of beer. Awesome.

Other stuff. The game lounge is cool. The snacks rock. The support is excellent. AV is good.

Generally great as expected. Again, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. The night is still young though! See you pals later.

Last note. I had to share this point. Everyone who knows me, the first thing they say is "I love the new venue for CFUnited"! Sweet. Exactly what I was hoping for. Its all for you folks. And if you tell me I'm doing something right I'm encouraged to keep going. Thanks for the support.

Until tomorrow. -Liz

PS- Sorry about putting this under Admin, I forgot my personal password. I'll change it when I get back to the hotel.

CF_Underground San Francisco - Early bird ends in 2 weeks

CF_Underground SF's early bird ends in 2 weeks, October 31, 2008 with a registration price of only $50! The first 20 attendees to register receive a CF_Underground beer mug, and all registered attendees receive a free ColdFusion 8 tag poster.

CF_Underground SF is a pre MAX event, it will be held on Sunday, November 16th 2008 from 1pm - 5pm at the Adobe headquarters in San Francisco, and then will resume from 5:30pm - 9pm across the street from the Moscone Center at Cheiftain's Irish Pub with free beer and food.

Visit for more information on speakers and topics.

Part 3- MAX review by Liz Frederick

Keynote Day 1:
CF8 well received overall. Cool demos, very inspiring. Loud music and it got the audience really pumped. I saw AIR applications like snipage, anthropology, pownce, AOL top 100 and more. It was so cool to see what people have done. I want an AIR application for CFUnited so badly. If anyone wants to help me out, I'll make you popular beyond your dreams. lol. I love buzzword, that was cool, an online processor is great. Ok, so the keynote went a little over, but who cares, this was great stuff! (honestly I could have attended just the keynote and networking event and I would have been happy)

Sessions on Day 1:
I hardly remember what I saw because my feet hurt so much from walking. The conference center was HUGE. I just wanted to go back to my room and relax, but no, I have to stick around for the sponsor reception. Ugh... no break. I promise you, I will work on providing CFUnited attendees time to relax.

Sponsor Expo:
Very nicely spread out. Lots to do and interact. Community pit was cool. I saw they had massage people, which we did one year at CFUnited and it was a great idea that I'll try to have them back again in 2008. There was ok food and an ok band. Lots of people attended. So it was to be expected and my feet still hurt. Once again I made my way to the speaker hotel, actually I had a meeting with some folks as a follow up from an earlier conversation. Went really well.

Keynote Day 2:
Yikes, yesterday was nothing compared to today. As a designer, I almost fainted! Thermo was the highlight of my day. Best way to put it (correct me if I'm wrong) is that it is tool for designers to create a design in photoshop/illustrator, import into Thermo and indicated in a simple way, what the website should do. Meanwhile, it writes code for the developer to work with using Flex. Saves time, money, headaches, and is perfect for any type of designer/developer environment. Amongst the other cool things to note, Share, Scene7, Pacifica, Cocomo. I love MTV's contest for new AIR apps. Very cool.

Day 2 and 3:
All just a big blur, I'm tired and I miss my family. The evening event was fun with an 80's, 90's, etc. approach. Kind of a fun carnival. I really would have enjoyed being out on the town more instead, but I guess I can't expect Adobe to move over 4,000+ people to another location.

Thank you Adobe for a great event. I appreciate everything that was offered to attendees and thanks for having it in Chicago, great idea. I hear its in San Francisco next year. Sweet.

Hopefully everyone understands that I feel for you when I say conference going is such a huge commitment and really takes a chunk of your time, money, and energy. I hope from my experience at MAX I can improve CFUnited and make it as smooth as possible for everyone to gain knowledge, inspiration, connections, and lots of fun.

The biggest question on people's mind is when is CFUnited 2008? I'm 80% sure it is the same hotel and same week in June. However, there will be more sessions and repeats, more to do, awesome special events, and more show casing/demos. We are improving our Audio Visual (if you have suggestions, RFP goes out now). And... CFUnited is bringing a special gift to attendees upon registering, more details soon.

Don't forget CFUnited Express Bay Area and CFUnited Europe in UK! See you soon! Thanks friends and fans!

CFUnited Europe Website

CFUnited Express Bay Area Website

Part 2- MAX review by Liz Frederick

Entry at 7:15pm, September 29th

Noon on Saturday I find out my flight is delayed 1 hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours. Ugh.... Enough said. I started thinking that some CFUnited attendees must have the same experiences traveling to DC. Well, I feel for you. I've been traveling since I was 6 years old but now that I'm a conference go-er all on my lonesome I find traveling to be boring and a pain in the rear. Just something I have to get through to get to the end of the rainbow. Arriving in Chicago, I picked up my luggage and pack myself into a shuttle on my way to the Hotel I'm staying at and not but 1 minute into the ride do I bump into 2 people on the same ride going to MAX as well. Tells me I'm going to be bumping into a lot of designers and developers this week. I love it! See, I adore developers but did you know I'm a designer by nature? Yup, I attended University of Maryland for my degree in Art Studio Graphic Design. I'm obsessed with design and I'm so excited for this year's MAX conference because I'll not only be learning what CFUnited should cover in 2008, but I get to learn about my own love in life. I recently installed my CS3 and I am ready to find out what I can do with it.

Entry 10:05pm September 29th

I'm finally here. I can't wait to have a beer. Chicago is amazing. Beautiful city. Lots to see and eat. Eat. I'm so hungry. Found cute little Ma and Pop places.

Entry September 30th:

The Welcome reception wasn't a welcome for me because I stood in line to check-in, seemed like forever. While everyone was at the reception, I was in the longest line of my life. I bumped into some Adobe people along the way and got some hot tips on who to talk to. Thanks guys! I saw there were almost 2 dozen people behind the counter in a mad ciaos, I had to laugh. It is hard to perfect conference check-in. With only 5 people at CFUnited, we busted through 700 people in 1 hour. I'll be working to still improve that process. Maybe play a movie or some music, cause it really sucked just standing there (I won't say how long cause I stopped counting after a while).

I made it to the reception with 15 minutes left. I grabbed a glass of wine and started reuniting with my speaker buddies and CFUnited fans. It was nice to relax. I found out early on that the place to be after hours was the nearest hotel to the conference center. It was wear all the Adobe Staff and Speakers were staying and it was networking heaven. I really got a chance to hear and be heard. I never realized how people have misperceptions of our speaker picking, sponsor processes, and generally how CFUnited is created.

Speakers are chosen in a selection process including about 10 or so Advisory Members. We allow them to vote, then we create track chairs who help arrange the topics by popular vote to complete track sessions. NOt everyone gets in, but they have the opportunity to submit whitepapers or become a backup speakers. We are working to improve the process. The Call for Speakers is open really early so we can get some topics committed. A lot of people want to register early to spend training budgets from their companies. Also, just to plan early over all. The sponsor process is very simple and there are so many opportunities. We provide the booth structure for silver and gold, tables for bronze. CFUnited is created by myself and Michael and a team I've hired to help me. I can't give away all my secrets and I can tell you I'm not a big fan of third parties.

I always want to hear suggestions on how to improve. Some will tell me "I suggested something last year and you did it! Thanks!".

Read my next blog entry about the rest of my time in Chicago on Monday. :-)

Part 1- MAX review by Liz Frederick

After several attempts at writing this blog entry, I finally found the words to describe my experience at Adobe MAX. Though, I figure I don't have any real technical insight to offer. I'm a designer trying to describe developer content. I came to the conclusion that what I need to let the CF community know is that after attending MAX, I learned a lot about what developers are thirsty for. I did a lot of one-on-one's with speakers, sponsors, and attendees. Something I never have time to do at CFUnited. I really enjoyed hearing how much people loved CFUnited and the stage for ColdFusion that we've created. What I really liked hearing was new ideas for presentations.

I came to the realization that Adobe has put a lot of effort into finding out what tools, developers and designers alike, want and need to advance themselves and their work in the future. This includes CFUnited in my case. I want to create useful applications that mimic the message I've worked hard in creating. Uniting the community, spreading knowledge, and creating opportunity for those who are passionate about this technology. I think CFUnited can be more than just a one-week experience. With the number of people we can reach, I think we have a responsibility to display in a tangible sense the possibilities of these technologies. In addition, I think CF is great, however I think CFUnited should address more like Flex, AIR, Ajax, LiveCycle, Framework, etc. Keeping CF alive is all about keeping the community advancing. Its like if I bake chocolate chip cookies over and over again. They might get better and better each time because I stop burning them and learn how to use the oven correctly. But then I bring in some other tools and components to improve the recipe for the tasty experience I'm creating for my audience. I want to bring you the traditional chocolate chip cookie at its perfection and also introduce you to the many different flavors. Offering a taste of all these different languages and technologies lets you renew pleasure in these experiences. ... while still bringing you the down home goodness of the chocolate chip cookie we love.

The most exciting part about MAX was the keynotes! Wow, I have never been so blown away with what people are creating with these technologies. It almost makes me want to learn how to code so I can start making my own applications. I have tons of ideas! I was disappointed that ColdFusion was shortly mentioned, however it was positively displayed and made me think that CF has found its calling and will be around for a long time. They just announced ColdFusion 9 Centaur, I think for a 2009 release.

Stay tuned for the rest of my blog entry about MAX on Monday.

CFUnited 08 MAX show discount

It was great seeing the many CFUnited attendees at MAX this past week. There were may of you sporting the CFUnited t-shirts and backpacks during the conference, which was nice to see. For those of you who got to meet us we passed out lolly pops, buttons and a CFUnited 08 MAX show discount card.

This is a reminder to everyone who received the CFUnited discount card during MAX, the expiration for the MAX discount is October 15, 2007. Its one of our best discounts so don't miss the opportunity to use it! CFUnited 08 will be held June 25th - 28th, 2008.

Adobe MAX sold out!

Wow, MAX in Chicago is sold out! I'm so glad I got my ticket. Looks like there has been a little last minute madness, but that's what makes it all exciting. 4300 people at one event, that's amazing.

Nafisa and I will be there. We will try to use the CFUnited Blog to let everyone know about our experience. Feel free to use this blog to add comments so we can see links to your blog too. I wanna know what I missed while somewhere else because I know I can't be everywhere at the same time. I have my favorite blogs I read a lot like Sean, Ray, Simon, Ben, etc... (heck all my speakers are my favorites, and yes I too should belong to Blog-Readers-Anonymous like the rest of you)

Oh and I have CF tattoos if anyone wants one, its helps when wandering around and people can be like "Hey, you're a CFer too!"

CFUnited Team at MAX

If you see anyone from the CFUnited team, come say "hi" because we have a special gift for MAX attendees!

Come find:

Liz Frederick

Nafisa Sabu

Michael Smith

Find us at MAX because this is one of the most rare opportunities when we can sit and have a one-on-one with so many in the community. Let us know how we can improve on uniting the community and help the industry remain strong. If you have any interest in becoming a sponsor or speaking at a future event, this is the time to ask questions and get more insight into our plans.

CFUnited Express Chicago is another way to join us on Sept 30 at the pre-MAX event.

To make an appointment with myself or Nafisa, please contact us via the intronetworks system provided by MAX for attendees. Or just shoot me an email at liz (at) Thanks!


It was nice meeting with some of you who attended MAX. We got a lot of suggestions for 2007.

Please continue to let us know what you think.

Also I know many bloggers out there talking about all the exciting things that happened at MAX, please comment this blog entry with a link to your blog. We will soon have a BlogNation section for everyone to link their blog.

Also Post links to your Photos.

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