CFUnited Blog

Know ColdFusion, will travel (CF job in Germany)

David TattersallIf you know ColdFusion and love doing tech support and like the idea of living in the heart of Europe then maybe this job in Germany with my friend David Tattersall of Intergral would be interesting. I visited their office over the summer and it is a great place to work and live. And only a short train or car ride from many cool places in Germany, France, and Italy so you can take advantage of the 24 vacation days per year! (That is on top of the 12 national holidays they have)

Note: the office language is English – it is not required that you speak German to work at Intergral. Assistance with relocation will be provided. For US applicant’s they will also provide assistance with getting the appropriate work VISA allowing you to work in EUROPE.

How to get $40,000 to start a tech business in Chile

Would you like to get $40,000 and a free visa for a year to work in Chile setting up a web startup? Cool eh? I thought this might interest some of the folks on this blog or maybe you have graduating children or friends who might be. Article is from free InternationalMan newsletter

What if you were paid $40,000 to travel to another country, get a 1-year visa, and work on your technology related business? That's exactly what Start-Up Chile - an initiative started in 2010 by the Chilean government - makes possible, offering grants to small teams of entrepreneurs to come work on their ideas in Santiago. It's all part of the country's bid to become "the Silicon Valley of South America," and today we chat with Kevin Kent, a Chicago entrepreneur who recently received a grant

IM: Why Chile?

KK: Right now, the Chilean government is trying to "up the entrepreneurial bar" here - to try to turn Santiago into the "Silicon Valley" of South America. They do this with a program called Start-Up Chile - they bring in talent from around the world - people who have experience starting businesses and people from other cultures who have different levels of risk tolerance, not the same kind of blocked-off mindset that many people down here have about failure and start-ups. (Back in the States, if you give something a shot and it fails, that's just something that happens and we're proud of you for giving it a try. It's definitely not the same mentality down here.)

The program offers $40,000 grants to teams of 1-4 people to start their businesses down here in Santiago, stay for six months, and work on their businesses. Actually, it's not a grant but rather a reimbursement. So you spend $6,000 on your business and then you have a reimbursement meeting, and then (hopefully) they reimburse you. That process is getting better, but it's been very difficult. With a government agency, there's a lot of hurdles to jump through and red tape. But in the end, you're getting $40,000 for free and they don't take any ownership in your business, so it's probably still worth your time.

If you just graduated college and have a great idea, but a lot of school loans and no money in the bank, it's an unbelievable opportunity to see another continent and get some free money to work on a business. You'll meet some really cool people and make some great contacts. ...

IM: Do you get a 6-month Visa?

KK: The program is 6 months but they give us a one-year visa and residential ID cards, which are apparently tough to get if you're not in a program (e.g., if you're just an expat wanting to come down here and stay a year). It's kind of like a Social Security card mixed with a driver's license or state ID. However, if you stay past the six months you don't get all of the benefits, like access to their working space.

IM: What was the application process like and was it hard to get approved?

KK: The application process was pretty standard. "What is your product? What is your target market? How are you going to reach customers?" and so on. We had to make a short two-minute video about our product and ourselves so they could get a little taste of our personality.

In our particular group, they let in 150 teams out of, I think, 600-700 applications - so we were pleased about that. In the following round, two people we knew who had very solid ideas didn't get in, so the difficulty to get in is growing as the program gets more popular.

IM: Are they mostly looking for young start-ups in the technology field?

KK: We're actually a hardware start-up and definitely not the norm. The vast majority are web apps or web start-ups. I think it's just much easier to use that $40,000 doing a web application. In six months with that kind of capital, you can develop a lot of different ideas and business models. It's much more difficult to do with a hardware start-up.


IM: Anything else you want to add?

KK: Problems aside, I want to say that Chile is beautiful. We went to a couple towns that were 8- to 10-hour bus rides away that were just gorgeous. In one place we went on a "night star" tour where we went horseback riding for an hour and a guy gave you a tour of the stars, which was just unbelievable. We also went to Buenos Aires for a couple days, so there's a lot of stuff you can see within a very short flight from Santiago, which is great.

Read more here


Memories of CFUnited from years past

As the final CFUnited is only 15 days away I want to share some memories from the last 12 years of CFUnited and CFUN. If you have some special memories please share them here too!

The first one in 1999, DCCFUC'99 ColdFusion User Conference, I remember staying up to 2 or 3 am coding the website, emailing about the event and phoning the Dinowitzes who seemed to be up at all hours too. Come the day seeing 900 CFer filling (and overfilling) the room at NIH was amazing. I was feeling nauseous as I got on the stage to speak - I had only spoken at smaller user group meetings before - but after a few minutes I just felt the rush and excitement. Thought I do recall drinking a few beers that night to recover!

We changed the name to CFUN-2K the next year (CFUC-2K seemed a bit too naughty a name!) and that was the last year at NIH with 9/11 happening and security clamping down there. We moved to a local Holiday Inn and I remember trying to walk in the corridor at CFUN-04 in a sea of people going passed the vendor booths. It was time to find a larger location.

In '05 CFDynamics, New Atlanta and other advisory board members helped us upsize the event to be CFUnited-05 - new branding, new website, new location in Bethesda. We also opened up the speaker selection with the board too. The event was fun with Simon Horwith organizing a dunk the CF speaker for charity booth. And some local CFers who were in a band playing rock music into the night. And so many more speakers, including a memorable keynote from Joel Spolsky and a new gold sponsor Microsoft. Plus the Host My Site waiters serving bottled water in white suits.

We stayed in Bethesda for a few years before trying DC convention center - not my best idea as the event was lost in the enormous space. But the Steve Nelson cream pie fight in the hotel parking lot was a blast to watch!

Back to the suburbs, this time Virginia near Dulles airport - easier for the 50%+ of attendees who come from outside the DC metro area to get to. And what a nice location with pools, spa and golf courses. But most important finally a hotel that could deliver wifi that worked most of the time in the large rooms!

So what are your CFUN memories?

Charlie Arehart's Day 2 Keynote

Hey everyone,

The big day (or week) is almost here! We wanted to give you all a sneak preview of Charlie's Day 2 Keynote: CFCommunity: You're never alone:

One of the hallmarks of the ColdFusion community has long been the way it's banded together. People helping people: sharing knowledge, solving problems, giving away code, pointing to resources, making recommendations, and so much more. Yet as powerful as that network of resources is, it's easy to presume, "well everyone knows where to turn for help". In fact, a lot of CF developers do work heads down, in their bunker, on their own, just getting their job done. They miss out on these great resources, this great community, and their work suffers for it. Things take longer to solve, when someone may have the answer. They get frustrated with problems that have been solved.

In this session, veteran CFer Charlie Arehart will highlight many of the most important--and some little known--places to turn for help. An inveterate "resource librarian" himself, Charlie is known for being able to point quickly to where in the CF community a solution may exist. He's benefited from those resources over the years, and he's also paid it forward by creating more of his own. Come find out just how many resources may exist that you've not known about. Whether you're new or experienced in CF,there's a suitable resource for you. You're never alone.

Charlie's Bio:

A veteran ColdFusion developer and troubleshooter since 1997 with over 25 years in IT, Charlie Arehart is a longtime contributor to the community and a recognized Adobe Community Professional. As an independent consultant, he provides short-term troubleshooting/tuning assistance and training/mentoring for organizations of all sizes and CF experience levels (

Besides running the 2000-member Online ColdFusion Meetup, an online CF user group, he also hosts the UGTV repository of recorded presentations from hundreds of speakers and the CF411 site of over 1000 tools/resources for CFers. A certified Advanced CF Developer and Instructor for each version since CF 4, Charlie's spoken at each of the major CF conferences worldwide and is a contributor to all three volumes of Ben Forta's ColdFusion 8 and 9 WACK books.

Make sure you attend his keynote speech!!

MDCFUG Meeting with Adam Lehman

Hey everyone,

I wanted to give a quick heads-up about MDCFUG's meeting, this Tuesday, June 22nd from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm.

The meeting will be held at AboutWeb's Training Center: 6177 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852

ColdFusion Product Manager, Adam Lehman, will provide an update for everything ColdFusion-related. From the release of ColdFusion 9 & ColdFusion Builder to the next release (Sully) to plans for ColdFusion on Amazon EC2. Adam will even demonstrate some of the new features in Sully which include integration with LiveCycle Data Services 3. Finally, Adam will elaborate on the future of ColdFusion and hold an open discussion about what you'd like to see in Link (codename for ColdFusion 10) and Storm (codename for ColdFusion Builder 2). Don't miss this opportunity to interact directly with the ColdFusion product team and provide direction for the next version.

Did I mention that the meeting will include a raffle for CF Builder and CF 9 Standard, only eligible to meeting attendees??

AND did I mention the free pizza and beer???

If you're in the area and don't have plans (which I can't imagine why you would on a Tuesday night :p), make sure you attend the Maryland ColdFusion Users Group Meeting!!!

Don't forget, Adam Lehman will be one of CFUnited's keynote speakers, so if you want a chance to meet him and chat, this meeting is the most opportune chance.

Friends of Aaron West

Speaker Aaron West has been affected by the flooding in Nashville. Lets get the community together to see if we can help.

"Aaron West's home is currently underwater in the Nashville floods. He and his family had about an hour to pack as much as they could before they needed to evacuate. Aaron West's home is currently underwater in the Nashville floods. He and his family had about an hour to pack as much as they could before they needed to evacuate."

A blog has been created on Aaron's behalf that gives images, video blogs, and other updates regarding his current situation. The blog site has a "Donation" area, which already has shown some tremendous love.

It's quite hard to imagine what he's going through, so any support and help is much appreciated.

What developers are saying about ColdFusion and CFUnited

Here are some comments from the State of the CF Union survey the other month:

  • (Roy Martin Emerge Interactive) It is very exciting to see the passion and growing involvement in the ColdFusion community since I joined it in 2005. I'm looking forward to joining members outside of my immediate community events and experience the excitement from the conferences first hand.

  • (Seth Aaronson sethron) ColdFusion still makes difficult stuff easy.

  • (Steven Rubenstein Emaze, Inc.) CF still beats all other development languages. But it would be much easier if CF were more accepted in general. Everyone wants Ruby or PHP because they are free and there are more developers available for those languages.

  • (Chuck Stazo UPS) I enjoyed attending CFUnited in 2009; I was able to meet and listen to many of the people whose blogs have helped me become a better coder. Having only been a CF developer for a few years, attending CFUnited really gave me a good sense of what people were doing with the technology and how they were pushing the boundaries of what the technology could do. At the time CF9 was only in beta and it was amazing to me how many people were out there working with the new product and how much they really knew about new features and functionality. I have worked with other development languages and have struggled in the beginning to get up to speed on syntax and best practices, resources were hard to come by and web search results were mediocre at best. With CF and CF users I have never felt that way, I was able to easily grasp the concepts and learn the language, and if I have questions or are unsure of how the best approach, I know the answers I find out on CF bloggers sites are top notch.

  • (Gabriel Roffman etesters) Congratulations on having such a long running conference!

  • (Mike Kelp EdomGroup, Inc.) I've worked in .Net, Java, PHP, Ruby, and Python and still find ColdFusion the absolute best tool for the web development job.

    The biggest disappointments I'm seeing in the community right now are the obsession with cfscript and the number of people getting overexcited about Ruby. There are many far better languages, but it seems people get excited about some of the utility functions that in most cases only help you out of very poor logic or Rails, which has many good ideas but falls short of being the all powerful framework it is pitched as.

    Most people also far underrate CF's capabilities in memory management and efficiency compared to others. Opening your mind a little past the general buzz of the blogosphere you can find some very unique (behavioral, dynamic) design patterns that are so easier to work with in CF than other languages.

  • (Kevin Pepperman Liquid Blue LLC) CFML is my preferred language for web accessible content.

    I feel that it leverages the best ways to deliver and manage web based content, and now that there are open source alternatives to ACF, that the language will continue to be adopted.

    The CFML communitys are second to none.

  • (Daniel Fredericks Alion) Now that I have started seeing CF in a whole new light, being one of the if not the most knowledgeable CF'er in terms of new stuff at my job, I've seen how CF really has advanced. I see how the community is very passionate about CF and how helpful they are as well. CF has really come a long way since I started, and well, so have I. I may not be the best developer, but I really want to learn more and more.

  • (Tom Tedeschi Information, Inc.) Over the years we've found CF far and away the fastest environment to develop in, and have yet to come up against a problem we couldn't solve with it.

  • (Bob Stobener Raley's) ColdFusion is the Macintosh of programming languages. Back when Apple and the Mac was on the ropes in the 90's, everyone had written the platform off. Today the industry follows their lead. I hope the same will happen with ColdFusion. Adobe and the ColdFusion community has to become more aggressive in promoting CF to consultant agencies and IT departments (the ones who make the decisions). It has to gain MindShare. Also, you have to be able to convince Java programmers that their life would be much simpler with CF as a front end, if nothing else. Adobe should be extremely thankful for open source engines like Railo as well as the CF community. They promote externally to Adobe's customer base (while Adobe seems content with it's dwindling customers). Just like Apple and the Mac reinvented itself with a determined commitment to succeed by aggressively showing the world its products, Adobe must relentlessly elevate ColdFusion to the industry and promote its tremendous value.

Speaker Spotlight - Aaron West

Aaron West - For the past nine years I have been heavily involved in the Web development space building enterprise-level, database-driven Web applications and leading technology teams. I'm incredibly passionate about what I do and attempt to inject my enthusiasm and love for technology in all those around me.

CFUnited session: New Caching Features in ColdFusion 9

1. Have you spoken at CFUnited in the past?

Yes! I've attended CFUnited for years but last year was my first time speaking. I did a talk on ColdFusion 9, BlazeDS, and AIR integration.

2. Why should people attend your sessions?

Because it will be the best? Ha, all kidding aside, my talk on caching should be attended by those who need to make the most out of their Web apps. It's not enough to write code and deploy it to a badass server. You need to write code a certain way to ensure it performs as expected and scales as needed. Understanding caching in ColdFusion 9 (as well as how to use it) should be a critical component in every developers toolbox.

3. Do you have any projects in the works that you will be revealing at CFUnited?

Absolutely. I'm currently working on a new technology startup that's using ColdFusion (and other Adobe technology) as part of our development stack. By the time CFUnited rolls around we should have our first customers in production.

4. Besides your topic, what other sessions are you looking forward to?

What interests me most are the ColdFusion integration topics. My favorites are the ones that tie Flex/AIR and ColdFusion together, but anything that involves building compelling Web applications with ColdFusion and other technologies are the most intriguing.

5. What are some of the hot topics you'd like to see at RoundTable discussions?

Personally, I'm interested in the role cloud technology will play in the application server space. I used to think this was cutting edge stuff until I started researching and found people deploying cloud solutions as early as 2006. From a developer perspective, it's still somewhat new and there's not a lot of exposure to folks using ColdFusion in the cloud. I think this will be changing throughout 2010 and beyond. Roundtable discussions are always fun, and one centered on the impact of cloud technology on ColdFusion would be delicious!

6. Where can people find you at CFUnited?

Simple, where the action is! During the day I'm attending sessions and hanging out in the hallways and vendor booths. I love chatting it up with other developers and enjoying hearing about other folks projects. At night, I can be found wherever the beer is located.

7. What's the latest news with you? Has anything changed since last CFUnited?

What hasn't changed? The last several months have been quite awesome. Toward the end of 2009 I made a big decision to leave my employer of 5 years. I'm now working on a new technology startup and loving every single minute of it. It's amazingly challenging work but comes with some great rewards too. I've had to break out of my shell and learn several new technologies and bone up on a few rusty ones. The experience has been positive and I hope to be sharing much more about what I'm doing at CFUnited 2010.

8. What is unique about CFUnited?

CFUnited presents the most unique opportunity to learn from other developers. Sure there are fantastic topics and speakers - all of which are extremely valuable - but CFUnited is the one spot, all year, where hundreds of ColdFusion developers get together to talk shop. If you can't engage with others and learn something from both the sessions and the unstructured time, you are simply discarding a big part of what CFUnited is all about. Forget about going to bed early; you can sleep when you get home. Attend sessions, talk to the speakers and other attendees. Learn what others are doing (and what they aren't doing) and leave the conference having capitalized on every opportunity to grow as a developer.

9. What do you like to do in your free time?

Many geeks will say they don't have free time but I'm not one of them. Having time to recharge my batteries and focus on non-technical things is very important to me. Most of my free time is spent with my wife and son who are the most important things in my life. I love coming home to them and simply hanging out and playing cars or trains. I'm also big into reading and spend a lot of time with my Kindle. I try to read at least one book a month and often get in two. I'm also an avid motorcyclist - I ride a Yamaha R6 sportbike - and scuba diver.

The Heart of Virginia Foundation!

We wanted to thank to everyone who registered during November, December and January. A dollar from each of those registrations was added on our $300 donation, which came out to be a generous gift for a worthy cause.

The Heart of Virginia Foundation is a non-profit foundation formed in response to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. They offer charitable and educational opportunities to promote emotional well-being through the arts and to fight the stigma of mental illness.

They are currently looking for volunteers, so if you're in the Leesburg area and want to help out, check out their site!

Speaker Spotlight - Bob Silverberg

Bob Silverberg - has been developing software for nearly twenty years, the past ten of which have been devoted to web application development with ColdFusion. He runs a small development company from his home in Toronto, where he divides his time between client work, open source development and taking care of his two young sons. He is an active participant on a number of ColdFusion mailing lists and blogs at

CFUnited sessions: Automagic Validations for ColdFusion Objects
What Your Mother Never Told You About ColdFusion 9 ORM

1. Have you spoken at CFUnited in the past?

No, I have not.

2. Why should people attend your sessions?

In my "What Your Mother Never Told You About ColdFusion 9 ORM" session I'll be covering a number of topics that are important to understand when working with CF's new ORM features, but that are not covered in the Adobe documentation. These include some advanced techniques, but also a number of gotchas that you are likely to fall prey to if you don't take the time to learn a bit about what goes on "under the covers".

My "Automagic Validations for ColdFusion Objects" session covers the use of a tool which will address all of your application's validation needs. If you're tired of writing both client-side and server-side validation code or are wondering exactly where to place the validation logic in your object oriented application, this session will offer some useful solutions.

3. Do you have any projects in the works that you will be revealing at CFUnited?

My validation framework is continually evolving so no doubt I'll have some new things to show off at CFUnited.

4. Besides your topic, what other sessions are you looking forward to?

Well, there haven't been that many sessions announced yet, but of the ones that have been announced I'd say I'm looking forward to Dan Wilson's session on Making Bad Code Good, because any session by Dan Wilson is sure to be fun and enlightening, and also Jason Dean's session on Practical Ajax Security, because when it comes to security Jason is da man, and it's a topic that I really need to learn more about.

5. What are some of the hot topics you'd like to see at RoundTable discussions?

I'm always interested in hearing about how people apply object oriented principles to ColdFusion development. A roundtable on open source development in the ColdFusion community would be welcome as well. Of course I'm hoping that Marc Esher and a bunch of other fun folks will get a chance to host an end-to-end testing roundtable this year - that will be fantastic, and a topic that should be of interest to any web developer.

6. Where can people find you at CFUnited?

In sessions, of course, and in the common areas between sessions. Those "hallway chats" are often the most interesting and inspiring of all. At the end of the day I'll likely spend some time in the bar, catching up with old friends and making new ones. If you see me anywhere, please introduce yourself and say hello.

7. What's the latest news with you? Has anything changed since last CFUnited?

Things are pretty much the same for me as last year. My sons are now 3 and 5, so they keep me busy. I recently started playing tennis again, after a two-year hiatus. From a technical standpoint the new stuff I've been working with includes CF's new ORM features and Git (version control software). Oh, and I made the switch from a PC to a Mac around six months ago and have been very happy with the change.

8. What is unique about CFUnited?

I'm not in a very good position to answer that question having never attended a CFUnited. I did attend a couple of CFUN conferences many years ago and they were, as the name suggests, fun.

9. What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy tennis and skating (which I'm just now learning to do), cooking, spending time with my family, and I've been trying to learn to play the guitar for a few years now.

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