CFUnited Blog

Call for Women Speakers

Hello Ladies!

A recent conversation has been sparked by Raymond Camden with someone who recently asked why conferences can't find that many women speakers. I think lots of conferences would like to see more women participate as a speaker.

See blog entry here:

CFUnited has seen increased numbers in women attending over the years and I think it adds a nice balance to the event overall. However, we don't see that many women submitting topics in the call for speakers.

Because of this recent discussion I have decided to open the call for speakers again for women only. I've open up 5 more topic slots starting today. Submit on the call for speakers until March 20th. I'll post all the choices in a survey on March 23rd and let the community vote again for two weeks. And to further my support I'm going to submit a topic as well.

I'm glad to announce that Selene Bainum will be added as a speaker soon to a Database Track. And of course Dee Sadler is currently accepted as a speaker.

Thanks Ladies and I'm excited to see ideas for new topics.

Note: I will post on this blog what topics have been submitted from women already so that they get a chance too. And as they come in, I'll try to update this entry as well in the comments section.

Community App: CF_REF by Brian Kai

Spreading the News: Brian Kai, a 2008 CFUnited Alumni, developed an iPhone/iPod Touch application available for free on the iTunes AppStore. The app is called CF_REF and is simply a CF tag reference application that allows one to browse CF tag syntax without being online or carrying around a large reference manual. It?s his very first iPhone application but I plan on updating it the more I learn about Objective-C and Xcode. He initially designed this app for his own benefit but after a couple coworkers expressed interest in it, he decided to submit it on the AppStore so others can benefit as well.

We love to share what the CFUnited Alumni community has learned and developed. If you have a cool application you'd like to share, let us know and we'd be happy to spread the word. :-)

Working while at CFUnited

We understand that it is difficult to take time off for almost an entire week to attend a conference. While the event and learning is very useful, we all still have to maintain a proper work flow.

That's why at CFUnited we have created several work stations which provide a quiet and private area for attendees to work. All provided for FREE.

This is not an internet cafe, instead it is supplied with power strips, tables, seating, coffee, snacks, and excellent wireless Internet. We've upped the expectations this year.

If you have to check in to work and get those billable hours completed on time and under budget, we want to make sure we help you keep your end of the deal.

We are focusing on your needs and your companies needs.

Please register today you have everything to gain.

Areas highlighted in Orange are designated work rooms for multiple work stations.

Missed Early Bird?

The First early bird ended Dec 31st at midnight.

You might have been thinking that the price was so perfectly low but you weren't ready.

So maybe if you contact me we can work out a deal to get you that rate.

Some ideas:

Volunteer to do some code

Help promote the conference

Donate your time to fold/ stuff mailers

Help find sponsors

I'm leaving this opportunity open for about a week. So contact me soon and I'll see what we can do. Thanks for the early support!

liz (at) cfunited (dot) com

Groups of 3 or more. We want to make you an offer

For groups of 3 or more we have a 10% discount. However, if you really want to send more people from your company I'm willing to make you a deal of a lifetime for registering early.

CFUnited is running on its own income and we want to bring the best event we can by reserving the best vendors and lock in the lowest deals for our attendees. To do this we create Early bird rates for those who want to save big and help with our early deposits.

If you are willing to help, we may just be willing to make an offer. Same with Sponsorships.

Thanks for the early support! Contact me this week to get an offer.

CFUnited Topic Survey - VOTE NOW

Finally! The topic survey for 2009 is open until December 20th 2008.

Not all topics will be accepted. And not necessarily will these categories become the tracks. We will only be accepting 70 topics for now.

This is the first time EVER that we are choosing the topics through the community picks.

On the survey you can download the PDF of all the topics and descriptions. Do not copy the information on this PDF without the permission of myself and the speaker. These have been submitted to CFUnited directly.

Thank you to the speakers who submitted on time. Thank you to the advisory board for helping me categorize and make changes.

I'm really excited about these topics. So good luck and let speakers know how excited you are about their topics. Blog about your choices so others know and feel free to twitter that you voted. Spread the word!

CFUnited 2009 is going to be Stellr!

Adobe MAX Day 2 reactions

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

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 " and"

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:

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!

Peace out.

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.

Which attendee was this? Your wish came true

I know this is going to sound funny...

During the last few events, I've heard people complain about chairs of all things. I know when I go to events my back is a wreck because of those awful chairs they use.

On one of the survey forms this past CFUnited someone wrote a detailed suggestion about having more comfortable chairs.

The conference gods have answered your prayers. I couldn't believe it when I walked into Lansdowne Conference Center and saw the room chairs. I asked if this was a joke because all the chairs are Ergonomic! I sat in one of them and thought to myself - this chair is better than the one I have a my home office!

See proof here:

I know to some people this doesn't make a difference. But to others having comfort while away from home is important.

So to whoever made that suggestion, thank you. I'm glad we could make one more attendee happy.

BTW, there are many more wishes we are granting this year. I hope its your wish, too! ;-)

CFUnited Registration Announced!

Dates: August 12th-15th 2009

Pre Conference Classes: August 11th 2009

Location: Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center

If you've attended any CFUnited event in the past you can get the Alumni discount,$100 off the current price. Therefore, now through December 31st, the cost for 3 day registration is only $599!!!

Check out our new registration system. Now you can edit your personal information and even register multiple attendees.

Prices are at

The hotel and location of the event is the Lansdowne Resort. See more details here.

Stay tuned to the and check out all the new announcements about CFUnited 2009! We are making some outstanding changes.

also check out photos from flickr!

Also, feel free to ask our Advisory Board what they think.

CFUnited 2009 Call for Speakers

I'm challenging you!

The greatest feedback from 2008 is that attendees want fresh topics.

We want new and creative topics and in depth descriptions. Suggest a topic yourself or suggest a topic for someone else to speak on.

The idea is that on December 1st we will put all the topic suggestions together and let the community vote. Everyone will have to vote by December 19th. The person who suggests the topic that is voted the most popular will win a special extra gift or free ticket.

Here's what attendees want at CFUnited (from survey):
Integrating new technologies
Hands-on sessions
CF and Flash Integration
Full life cycle development using many of the open-source tools out there
More Flex sessions
Latest technologies
Discussion topics
Advanced material
Code Samples
Some beginner to intermediate talks on using IDEs for coldfusion
Keep the technical quality and variety high
Enterprise level topics
More Advanced CF sessions
CF/Flex topics
Integrating CF with BlazeDS/AIR/Flex
Report Builder
Continuous Integration, ANT, Subversion, Flex
Why upgrade to CF8 for government employee
Centaur new features
Real world presentations
New keynote

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