I’ve heard cf.Objective() called “the [CFML] community’s conference.” Adobe’s MAX is all bombast and big budget, but cf.Objective() is where people go to learn, grow, and network. I can safely say, during my first experience at this conference, that reputation shone brightly through.
This year’s CF Objective (can I spell it this way, for now?) was held mid-May in Minneapolis, MN, but it connected CFML programmers and enthusiasts from across the globe. Speakers came from all sorts of backgrounds and organizations, including some from Google and a nice showing from Adobe. Some talked about technologies they use, some about technologies they’ve built, and some just shared their experiences in this crazy world of web development.
The conference kicked off with Adobe employees giving the keynote. Coincidentally (or was it?), ColdFusion 10 was newly released, and the focus of the keynote was to show off and expound on all the cool new features that were available. While it was a well executed plug for the brand new version of their product, it did introduce me to some features I wasn’t aware of; in particular, Adobe ColdFusion 10 has taken a strong stance in supporting HTML 5 technologies.
Pete Freitag is a guy who has ColdFusion security on his mind all the time. Maybe that’s overstating a little, but his company and web tools, like Hack My CF, are built around the mantra of “secure your stuff”. I knew he had a strong focus on CF security, but his talk really did outline how much he knows and thinks about this stuff. “Writing Secure CFML” was a great summary of security tips for all CFML writing and some of the new security features in ColdFusion 10.
My favorite talk was also one of the longest; it was “Running CFML on Apache Tomcat: Deep Dive” by Matt Woodward. I first became aware of Matt’s expertise thanks to the podcast he used to do, ColdFusion Weekly. This session was one of the best at balancing the lecture and the lab. We got a lot of hands-on time, but we weren’t just thrown to the wolves. In the end, I learned a lot and had something to show for it.
Long story short, it was a great conference. There are fantastic speakers and sessions; there is a strong community showing; and (for me, at least) there is a convenient location. For any CFML developer wondering, I absolutely recommend cf.Objective().