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 CFUnited.com.
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 "CFUnited.com and Stellr.com"
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: http://www.adobe.com/go/cfevangelismkit
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!
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.