CFUnited Blog

CFUnited Reloaded

I have seen so much enthusiasm at this year's CFUnited I am sure it will be back in some format with someone other than me owning it in the future. If you have suggestions for CFUnited Reloaded let me know commenting to this post, by emailing me or by phone. Perhaps the location needs to change, or the format or something else. Or perhaps you have a suggestion of who might buy and run the event in the future. What ever your ideas I am interested in hearing them Thanks!

michael at teratech dot com
301-424-3903 x110

Thanks so much CFUnited 2010

CFUnited 2010, what can I say? My experience was awesome! My heart is filled with smiles, good times, great people, and wonderful memories. It was a bumpy road to get there but it was a labor of love. I am not a developer but "I heart CF" and I am in love with the CF community! This is an amazingly intelligent, generous, hard-working, hellafun, and genuinely NICE group of people. CFUnited leaves me this year gushing with gratitude. I will list a few of my appreciations to some key folks and if I stupidly leave anything out, please know I am still recovering from this whole thing.

Attendees: First of all your bona fide reputation proceeds you. Lansdowne staff has communicated that they think you are one of the nicest groups the have worked with and that they have truly enjoyed working with you in just about every way. I agree with them 10 fold. Every person I interacted with felt like an old dear friend, even if it was the first time we met. Every person who came by the registration desk and smiled, said "Hey, " and gave feedback was, to me, the beating heart of this event. We did this for you and you paid us back what we lacked in financial compensation in pleasantries, understanding, appreciation, and kind words. I deeply hope that you got your monies worth and then some from this year's event because our highest hope was to please you.

Advisory Board: We relied so heavily on your expertise and come to find out there was even more support available that we did know to tap in to. A ton of thanks for your work, diplomacy, and dedication. You are what has shaped and sharpened the content of this event and much of its fabulous reputation as an event of rich experience and learning is due to your input and guidance. This year, and I imagine in years past, you also felt and fielded some of the afore mentioned bumps in the road. You reacted with patience, support and assistance. You are such amazing leaders, advisors, and advocates of the community.

Speakers: You are the rock stars, you are the main event. So many quality people, who not only show up and do their thing with total finesse, generating energy and awe. People who also promote and facilitate creating a quality attendee experience before, during, and after the event. When you get them in front of their audience they never disappoint one fan and they are willing to sign every autograph, so to speak. As a teacher myself, I have immense respect for their willingness to give of themselves to light the way for others. You did so many things to make it special and to honor CFUnited as part of your presentation. I was really touched by that and I adore you for doing so. I also am really appreciative of those who stepped up to fill unexpected gaps in the schedule and those who offered to. We were not able to take on a lot of other speakers who I am sure would have done the same. All in all, speakers are the veins of that carry that carry the love out and then bring it back in.

Sponsors: These folks I worked closely with to make it a worthwhile endeavor and meet their sponsorship goals. I thank you so much for investing in this event and enriching the attendee experience. To me, sponsorship says, "This is the place to be and these are the people to meet." The expo floor is where sponsors and attendees network and make connections that grow business on both sides. I enjoyed working with every sponsor and I hope they can say the same of me. I think the sponsors really bring so much to the event beyond the swag they pass out. I deeply appreciate the interest and support. You are all welcome to borrow my car.

Tara: Believe it or not she is a full-time college student. From all her help and hard work last year, to co-running this event by my side this year, you should all be as impressed as I am with this chic. What it takes to do what she did is having a highly focused, organized, serious, dedicated, and mature work ethic. And those terms only begin to humbly describe her. Then you add her alluring charisma, her tenacity, her personality and outlook, her spunk, and her energy. What you have is, by and large, the finest person I have ever worked with on anything ever! And did I mention, she is still in college? Or did I mention she has 3 other jobs (server in an upscale restaurant, B'Nai Mitzvah Party Motivator on weekends, and Brand Ambassador in tri-state area cities) but that's not all. Did I mention she is an accomplished musician who takes weekly lessons and practices regularly? Did I mention she also baby-sits for her brothers and for other youngsters, all without missing a beat on what was needed from her for this particular endeavor? I have told many people that she is a soldier and I would be on the front lines with her any day. The future for Tara is limitless and the appreciation I have for her is bigger than the sky. We will all say "We knew her when... " - just watch.

Elliott: I call him The Boy Wonder but really that's just cause of his baby face. Really if we are going to assign him to a super hero, he is Batman. This man created, nay, invented, nay, pioneered the Stellr Intranet/CFUnited site and system, the Bat-cave, if you will. Here we have another young up and comer, a professional/student who walks tall with the seasoned gurus, and makes the untouchable look pocket sized. Like Batman, Elliott is your Everyman and your Crusader, your highly regarded authority genius and your down in the trenches people person. Not bestowed with any supernatural power, just that damn good when it comes to intelligence and chivalry. Not to mention one of the most popular speakers via votes and session attendance, boo yah! Though he is significantly younger than me, I have always looked up to him. He is an amazing mentor and a dear friend who works hard to keep the city safe.

Caroline and Lansdowne: Conference Planner extraordinaire, Caroline is so fit for her job and represents the Lansdowne standard beyond perfection. She did everything for this event with such eloquence and care, she took the utmost amount of importance in every detail. I worked with her so closely and am blessed to have had such a good planner and such a good friend through this whole year. And Lansdowne staff Bree, Mark, Denise, Mike, Sheila, Bob, James, Julie, Stephan, Lisa, etc. and the numerous techs and tenders who did us so wonderfully, you are so superb. I am so impressed and I am so grateful. To do these folks justice I feel like I have to invent new words because I can find none to truly express the magnitude of my appreciation. You held our hands and you had our backs, and SO much more. All the while, you did it with style!

Michael and TeraTech: Michael founded this event and has gone out of his comfort zone on several occasions, especially this past year to preserve and maintain the culture of CFUnited. The TeraTech company has rolled up their sleeves and put in a ton of behind the scenes effort over the years, often with little recognition. The other OGs (Original Gangstas) of this phenomenon are Kim, Alison, Ajay, David, and Nii. Beyond that there is a myriad of employees and interns that had their hands in the success of this event over the years and in 2010. They deserve a medal of honor for their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty when needed; for you and for us, for each other, for CFUnited, TeraTech, and the CF community.

The Volunteers and the CF Mic Up Contributors: The volunteers Anant, Lola, Vicky, and Oguz kicked ass! They were dependable, flexible, and generous. They all really shined under pressure and I am so pleased by each of them. Furthermore, the CF Mic Up was entirely planned and executed by Vicky, Charlie, Sid, Josh, Jeff, Chaz and other great folks (not us) who wanted to lend their time, talent, and equipment to making this a fun and memorable experience. They lugged their equipment on planes and toiled over plans to provide a really great experience and make the absolute most of CFUnited. I am totally tickled pink that they did! Karaoke to "Love Shack" was just what the doctor ordered for me personally that night. I am glad to have the opportunity for that and I know so many others were too. Hats off to the party people! Silver sequined hats at that.

Nafisa and Liz: It just wouldn't be right not to mention these ladies. They have been growing this event for many years and left behind enormous shoes to fill. Liz helped to grow the event from CFUN to CFUnited and was behind many of the creative ideas and branding improvements over the years. Nafisa was key in creating a game plan to keep the conference afloat in tough times. I am so glad they were part of the 2010 experience and I am honored they came to support in one way and another. Both have moved to other endeavors but remain dedicated to CFUnited. Nafisa must be recognized for her effort early in planning and her loyalty to the event thereafter and I appreciate the support she has offered along the way in true big sister style. Both ladies offered sentiments of congratulations and pride that meant so much to me.

It doesn't seem like 12 years since the first CFUN, but time can fly fast when you are having so much fun! I feel sad that this is the last year for CFUnited in it's current form and given the repeated requests from everyone for a "CF-Re-United" or perhaps "CF Reanimated" next year and interest from several people in helping create it I am hopeful that this wonder gang will be back another time. Perhaps the format will be different, perhaps a different location, but what will be the same is the love of ColdFusion and sharing information and ideas with others! Again, I sincerely hope I have not overlooked any person in this post, as I am still recovering from the whirlwind that was CFUnited 2010.

Sponsor topic Interview with Charlie Arehart

We wanted to get the ins and outs of our sponsor's, Intergral, topic at CFUnited! See what Charlie has to say about his session and why you should be there!

Tell us a little about yourself:

Greetings folks. I'm Charlie Arehart, independent consultant, and I'll be presenting "Continuously Improve CF code quality, Server Availability & Application Stability". This is a vendor/sponsor session that I'll be giving on behalf of Intergral, makers of FusionReactor, FusionDebug, and the new FusionAnalytics tools. While I don't work for the company, I am a long-time fan and do in fact partner with them in many ways, having written their training classes, which I also present, and also providing consulting for them for North American clients of their service.

Briefly describe what the is session about:

Well, the description on the site says it as well as I could say (since I wrote it). :-) The bottom line focus is how to use their tools (all recently or just about to be updated) to solve the common problems that many CF shops struggle with, whether it's poor performance, inability for CF to stay up, a challenge understanding the root cause of problems, and so on. While there are some tools that some people use to help with these, there are many ways that the Intergral tools offer unique benefits (and can work well with those other tools). Of course many people aren't aware of any tools at all. I'll be showing people how they can stop regarding CF as a black box that's either up or down. Perhaps most compelling, I'll show how they can more effectively analyze and compare server performance information across applications and over hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Who should attend this session?

Really, anyone with responsibility for--or simply an interest in--effective running of their CF servers (or other CFML engines, or indeed other Java EE servers). There's no particular skill level required to understand what these tools can do. Indeed, even someone with little CF skill (whether a server Admin or a newcomer to CF) can quickly use these tools to show (even a more skilled person) what's going on in their servers, which is a vital first step to resolving problems.

Why did you choose to give this topic?

Well, again, this is a vendor/sponsor topic, so naturally the intention is to make people aware of the products and services from the company. But we all know that most people don't like "sales pitches". Hopefully I've earned a reputation (as an independent consultant) for being an objective observer. Since I'm not an employee, I really am "promoting" these tools because I believe they are valuable and that more people should know about them. Intergral was happy to have me present, because like so many great IT companies, they have great engineers who are awesome at building products (and listening to customers); yet like the average person, they not exactly thrilled by the prospect of speaking before hundreds of people! :-) I love doing it and have been for over 20 years.

How will conference attendees benefit from attending this session?

The primary benefit will be that attendees will learn new tools and techniques for solving common problems that face nearly every CF shop (and those using other CFML and Java EE engines). But again the focus isn't on "features" but rather on ways that problems can be solved. The session will benefit both those who have never seen the tools before, and those who maybe have worked with or at least heard of them before. Especially for the latter audience, there will be new information as the tools have been updated (FusionDebug recently, and FusionReactor soon, and FusionAnalytics is entirely new.) For those who've never seen the tools or any like them, they'll be exposed to the amazing capabilities that they bring to solving problems. And those who may be familiar with other similar solutions (though there's none like FusionAnalytics) will learn some of the ways that the Intergral products do offer unique features/solutions.

When is the session being held?

The session is on the first day, in the first slot after the Adobe Keynote (and break), at 11 am.

Why should people attend CFUnited?

Well, I've been spreading the good news of CFUnited since its inception over 10 years ago, first in a CFDJ article in 2000, and most recently in the farewell interview I did with Michael Smith and Judith Dinowitz in FusionAuthority. As a speaker at every one of the events (along with Michael), I can say it's been a conference that people have gotten great value from every year. Just as there are many tools to solve problems, and I recommend that people make the most of each, I say the same of conferences. Sure, some have their preferences (in tools and conferences, perhaps sticking only with one), but just like a large toolset can bring value to anyone, so too can a wide-ranging conference like CFUnited bring value to everyone who attends.

Whether you're a newcomer to CF or an old hand, an expert in OO technologies or still on the fence, someone who loves to meet people or prefers to just take in the content, you will not only be at home and welcomed at the event, but you'll likely find many other "birds of a feather". Speaking of BOFs, I should add that I'll be doing one called CF911 - Server Troubleshooting, which of course will cover a wide range of tools (free and commercial), techniques (from myself and I hope others), and experiences. As I'll discuss in my keynote talk on CFCommunity, we need to stick together and learn from each other! :-) CFUnited is a great place to do that.

Evening Events at CFUnited

We are excited to announce our evenings events for this year's CFUnited:

On Wednesday night, from 7-9 pm, we are hosting a networking reception event in the Ballroom Foyer. Our reception is the most opportune time to meet and greet with our wonderful speakers and sponsors and of course, our attendees. Make sure you bring plenty of business cards! And don't worry, we will have a bar and passed hors d'oeuvres such as buffalo chicken skewers, vegetable spring rolls and curried wonton shrimp! yum!!

On Thursday night, Adobe will be hosting their Pool Party from 7:30 - 10:00 pm. Take a dip in any of the three refreshing and super awesome pools at the Lansdowne Resort. You may also enjoy the scrumptious cajun seasoned french fries (yes, we're bringing them back), chicken cashew spring rolls, roasted mushroom fritters and glamorous deserts! Make sure you bring your bathing suits!!

On Friday, our last night, the Lansdowne Resort will have a fabulous concert, as part of their Sounds of Summer Concert Series. To our luck, this week's band is The Reflex, an ultimate 80s tribute band! Cara and I will be rocking out in our leg warmers and cut off t-shirts - it's going to be rad, totally.

If you are already registered, but would like your spouse to take part in these awesome fabulous events, check out our packages for a guest pass!

Last early bird ends today

Hi everyone!!

Today is the last day to register with Early Bird Pricing. Also, due to many requests from folks who have found themselves unemployed in this recession and still want to attend we have created a special discount for them. We want everyone to have an opportunity to make it out this for the last CFUnited!

As always, if you are eligible for a discount, please contact info (at) cfunited (dot) com.

Check out our Prices page for more information.

Make sure you register today!!!


Who's been keeping up with their schedules lately??

Well....if you haven't noticed, some of the Saturday repeat sessions were posted some time ago, but I didn't want to announce it until it was full!

So yes, you can now see the Saturday schedule!! It consists of our most popular sessions from this year's CFUnited (yes, I can predict the future).

Also, there have been a few switches to the schedule for the week. If this has affected your scheduling, make sure you fix it so that you're all set.

So far, the most popular session has about 125 attendees, which is nowhere close to being even half of the attendees registered!! Come on people! I know you can do better than this.

Make sure you are adding your favorite topics to the scheduler. We base the room selections on attendees that schedule the topics. So make sure you save yourself a seat by adding your topics in!!

Lansdowne Booked - Overflow Hotel Info

Hello everyone,

Lansdowne is officially booked solid! We would like to let you know about our overflow hotel for CFUnited. This year, the Holiday Inn Leesburg at Carradoc Hall will be able to accommodate our attendees.

The regular rates start at $109/night for advanced bookings. However, they offer discounts, depending on your affiliation. For example government rates start at $97/night.

Be careful though! The AAA discount and the state government discount have a higher nightly rate than the advanced bookings, so I suggest you book early to ensure the lowest rate!!

The Holiday Inn will also provide a shuttle service to the Lansdowne Resort, also to and from Dulles Airport.

Check out the Holiday Inn Leesburg and make your reservations!

BOFs Added to Schedule

We have two more BOFs that have been added to the schedule!

CF911: Server Troubleshooting
Host: Charlie Arehart
Date: Friday, July 30, 2010
Time: 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Do you have to deal with CF server problems--whether as a developer or an admin, responsible for your own or your organization's server(s)? If so, this is the BOF for you. Led by veteran CF troubleshooter Charlie Arehart, we'll open the floor for knotty challenges you may have faced, or if there's a lull he'll lead a discussion of any of several common (yet frequently perplexing) problems.

ModelBox - Why you need to use open source frameworks and tools
Hosts: Dan Wilson and Luis Majano
Date: Friday, July 30, 2010
Time: 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm

When you build a house, do you cut down your own trees? Why would you do the same when building software? There are millions of open source projects, libraries and tools to help you with application development. In this BoF, Luis and Dan will talk about some very useful open source projects that will help you out a lot.

Be sure to add these BOFs to your schedule!!

New session by Intergral for CFUnited

Our Gold Sponsor, Intergral, has just released their topic for CFUnited 2010!

Charlie Arehart will be speaking on: Continuously Improve CF Code Quality, Server Availability & Application Stability.

When your CF servers are troubled, there are often a wide range of possible explanations, some code-oriented, some configuration, some load/traffic, and so on. To solve them, you need an equally broad range of diagnostic and analysis tools. Until recently, most CFers could turn to one or two common types of tools, but lacked coverage across the entire software solution lifecycle.

The Fusion product suite from Intergral offers just that: from improved code-level debugging tools (with features not available in CF Builder), to new and improved request/resource monitoring (with features that expand upon and go beyond the CF Server Monitor), to brand new server analytics tools, which allow you to analyze and compare server performance information across applications and over hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Working in complement with, or instead of, built-in ColdFusion troubleshooting tools, come see how you can improve your complete CF environment across the whole software lifecycle.

This session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Make sure you reserve your spot and add this topic to your scheduler if you wish to attend!

Farewell to CFUnited, Early Bird Extended

The word has just come down from the powers above that 2010 will in fact be the last CFUnited. I have not hesitated or procrastinated to pass this news along to you, though it is a little tough to announce. CFUnited has a special place in my heart. I have been involved over the years in some way or another as a guest, a partygoer, a volunteer, an intern, an assistant, and now as Conference Manager. I am truly blessed to have been a part of the experience. I have made so many friends at what I like to call "Summer Camp for Developers." I have learned so much from this tight knit community of uber-smart people. I can say with all honesty that I am only in this Manager position out of love for the people and the joy brought from watching such a diverse group united by a common thread. Through this past year the lyrics of NOFX have played again and again in my head... "It isn't for the money, no it isn't for the fun. It's a plan, a scam, a diagram for the benefit of everyone... The cause, we're just doing it for the cause!" I think I can speak for both Tara and myself when I say we were just doing it for the cause, and what a worthy cause it is!

I will try my best not to gush or get all "Bridges of Madison County" on you and just keep it short and simple. But I will say this, if you are not yet registered for CFUnited, you should rethink that. This is your last chance to get down with something amazing! CFUnited is like a beehive buzzing with ideas and collaboration. The developers leave with the knowledge, tactics, and connections to pollinate the community and grow their business and organizations to be strong, healthy, and successful. Furthermore, let it never be said that brilliant people don't know how to party. Aside from the rich, informative content and the invaluable networking opportunities, CFUnited is where self-proclaimed geeks party like rock stars!

With this sudden news coming so abruptly, we insist on extending the Early Bird pricing till July 15, 2010. We fully intend to go out with a bang in true Stellr style and we want everyone to be there to give CFUnited a proper farewell.

If you still have yet to register, please do so now! As always, if you are eligible for a discount code (check out our prices page), please contact info (at) cfunited (dot) com.


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