CFCamp 2012 post-mortem

by kai on 21/10/2012

Ok, it’s over. I’m back at Frankfurt international, Terminal 2 – just one level above where I arrived last Sunday morning coming from Sydney and Singapore for CFCamp 2012 in Munich.

To start with the essentials: It was great. Michi Hnat and his organising helpers have done a really, really good job. The conference venue was chosen very well – for both the main conference on Monday and Tuesday as well as the workshops (CFAcademy) on Wednesday and Thursday. Across the board the speakers did a very good job, I can’t remember having been in a session of which I afterwards thought “What a waste of time” – rather the opposite is true.

It was also extremely awesome to being able to catch up with my really good friend Kay Smoljak. Claude Englebert‘s master plan of getting her sucked back into the CFML community (this time in Europe) seems to have worked juuuuust fine! πŸ™‚ Obviously I also bumped into a lot of old and new acquaintances and friends back from my days in Europe or the general European CFML community. It’s funny actually – because I hardly get to attend European CFML conferences (my last one was Scotch on the Rocks in 2008), I keep thinking the community has actually changed quite a bit. That might just be me because I’m not really deeply embedded, but it seems that there are a lot of new people, in particular being sucked in through Railo.

From a technology point of view, I’m extremely pleased with both major CFML server vendors Railo and Adobe doing well in Europe. Some of the new features coming in Railo 4 are really looking great; Adobe’s ColdFusion 10 is obviously around for quite a while already.

If you asked me what my favourite session were, I’d probably say the following (in no particular order)

  • Ray Camden‘s talk on Web Storage methods,
  • Robert Rosen’s sessions on software licensing and other legal aspects and
  • Bilal Soylu‘s presentation on Application Security.

By the way – all conference sessions were being held in English. Very unusual for a German conference, but very appreciated. Thanks to all the Germans (or other non-native English speakers) for going through the effort. My own sessions went well, even though I accidentally killed part of my Clojure-CFML demo on Tuesday morning 4:30 am (but got some of it back into a working state in time for the talk). It was quite interesting that I actually got more feedback and questions after the Clojure talk than on my session about jQuery Mobile Best Practices; and I thought Functional Programming, Clojure and CFML would be the niche of the niche of the niche…

Slides for both my conference talks (jQuery Mobile Best Practices and Clojure) are available on Slideshare.

My workshop on Wednesday went fine too. I ended up having five attendees, which is not really a crowd and a massive profit, but it should make the trip at least break even-ish. I learned a few things for the next instance of the workshop in 10 days in Melbourne:

  • I had prepared a bit too much content, we didn’t get through all of it (However – we lost some time because I underestimated the time it’d take to set up the Mercurial repository for the attendees)
  • The CFCamp wireless for whatever reason made Adobe Edge Inspect stumble and not working properly, doh! πŸ™‚
  • I’m going to add a bit of additional content on custom JS coding for mobile, e.g. things list gesture detection and/or local storage and will drop some jQuery Mobile UI component content for it.

So – to wrap it up. Totally worthwhile attending. The problem for me is and always will be the rather high amount of workshop attendees I need to at least cover my cost, if not make a small profit. Well, that’s what it’ll be in 2013 then as well πŸ™‚

I kind of assume here that Michi is running CFCamp again next year (he said something along those lines). I’ve got a few ideas on how we could maybe make the CFAcademy workshops work a little bit better (by wrapping them around the actual conference instead of having those potential “gap days” afterwards) – but that’s about it really. I herewith apply to present at CFCamp 2013 and also offer whatever workshop(s).

Michael Zock October 21, 2012 at 6:20 am

It was nice to see you slumming in our backward banana republic again. πŸ˜‰

While I was mostly lucky with how the regular talks were distributed, my biggest problem with the academy part was that there was way too much interesting stuff at the same time (seven interesting courses were split across three tracks, six of those were running in parallel on the same day). That’s just the nature of the beast.

Michael Hnat October 21, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thanks a lot!
It was really a pleasure to have you with us. I learned a lot, espacially about making the cfcamp 2013 (yes we will do it!) and the cfacademy better to attend. I think the idea of wrapping the cfacademy around the cfcamp is good and makes absolutely sense.
@Michael Zock: I had the same problem, too much interesting things parallel. May I should try to get the Delorean again to get back in time to attend the other talks/trainings πŸ™‚

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