CFUnited Blog

CFUnited 2009 Session Reviews

Whats the good word? CFUnited 09 has gotten great reviews! Check out what had to say...

CFUnited 2009 (August 12-15, 2009 at the Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA) has provided me with a myriad of positive experiences. I was surprised at the level of professionalism and the caliber of speakers. The sessions and seminars were powerful and provided a wealth of knowledge. The speakers actually shared their experiences and knowledge! I had a wonderful time at this very enriching and rewarding event. I knew then I had found a good community to be part of.


The Biggest Thank You Ever

I am so appreciative of all the comments people have given Stellr about the event. I truly enjoyed this event from beginning to end and I am glad everyone felt the experience was worthwhile.

This is a developer's conference. If this was a "What does Liz like to do?" conference it would be purple purses as gift bags and photoshop topics and everyone would be getting pedicures during the evening event. But its about you. I've been studying the developer community for over 8 years. I know what you want and how you want it. I also know everyone deserves to be treated like a rock star. It?s my job to make CF look cool. Geek is cool, and it is about time. Being smart and creating amazing apps that do incredible things is something to be recognized for. It's also about community. People who have a common interest can do more for the world just by sharing ideas and find out short cuts to save time.

You can't build yourself a new rocket ship without knowing how the other guy did it.

And you can't build a new rocket ship without the right tools.

And you can't show off your new rocket ship without an audience.

And you can't take off in your new rocket ship without the experience of others to tell you what happens when you get to outer space.

Hopefully your new rocket ship comes with great food and excellent resort staff so that you can enjoy that success.

Anyways, that is my way of thinking. I put this conference together because I know people will create amazing online applications that will help other people and blow their minds. Information is the essential ingredient towards faster growth.

ColdFusion is just one of those things I want to be apart of. It's been the underdog and the brunt of jokes. I knew in my heart that if I could get people together and unite them with a common interest, that someday CFers all over the world would benefit. ColdFusion is cool. ColdFusion is a bad-ass language that if you are worthy enough to join this club of genius, then you will understand that in the end you have saved your company time, money, and gained free advise for a lifetime. Why do I buy the name brand items from my grocery store? Because I know if I have a complaint or the bag is busted, that company will do anything in its power to help me. If I got my meat for free, it might be a little harder to cook and I would have to do a lot more testing to get it to taste just right.

Not only that, we have welcomed the Flex community as well. There is brilliance to be combined in this great adventure. Technology is fascinating. Being involved with this community is like a roller coaster ride that has the most challenging loops at the fastest speeds.

Stellr was created as a service to this community. CFUnited is our product wrapped in platinum gift paper. What happens next? We want you to create apps with the experience in mind just like CFUnited. It deserves to be fun, desirable, long lasting, and appreciated. Stellr can help you accomplish that. And we just love turning you into a rock star!

What now? Everyone asks. CFUnited is 75% thinking about Lansdowne next year. Although I would triple the number of shuttles and take more care on travel and timing in the AM. I would make the evening events slightly more random so it's not the same event but having the same impact. I would have 3-4 breakouts but use those small rooms for several Hands-on classes through the event and repeat them during the week. I'd have to limit the event to 800 attendees. Can't fit more than that but I guess a few more than 800 could squeeze in. I would hired more room monitors to help out my speakers and I would let others organize their own activities to add some variety.

As far as express events, I m thinking about it. It is hard to break even for those kinds of things. So I will have to think up some new ideas. I will be at MAX doing CFUnited Express. We plan to help out some other events going on soon. Why, do you ask? Because the CF community is huge (750,000+), there is enough to go around. And the more we can get new members to join the conference going community, the better for all of us.

BIG Thanks to so many people. It's hard to leave anyone out.

Adam Lehman, first, because he came to me just after he got back to the states and he should have been in bed rest, but he said to me some things that were very important and he inspired me to keep things going after last year?s event.
Ben Forta, well he's going to always be at the top of the list for me. He hasn't missed CFUnited yet and I don?t think I've ever thanked him publicly for that.
Terry Ryan, I think you fit in really well with everyone and we really like you too.
Sean Corfield, he is always perfectly honest with me and he?s almost always the first to respond on my advisory list.
Raymond Camden is one of my good friends that I would do anything for and he has done so many unselfish things for everyone, I don't know how to thank him.
Scott Stroz is an insightful person and my favorite funny man.
Simon Free helped me with my Intro Jokes and he helps fill in everywhere he can, I owe him a lot.
Ben Nadel has shown me how in just a few years someone can make such an impact on a community with just an ounce of opportunity.
Joe Rinehart has this amazing way to see everything in a broader perspective and I?m glad he shares that with me.
Shlomy Gantz some how gets it right all the time and has helped me see my potential.
Charlie Arehart is the most detailed man I know and I would probably embarrass myself if it were it not for his watchful eye.
Gertz Franz is just an amazing person with a smile that is contagious and I know he is on to great things in the future that will benefit everyone.
Peter Bell is a great resource and willing participant.
Mark Drew brings the alternative perspective and makes me believe in possibilities.
Doug Hughes is genuine guy and a good business man.
Dee Sadler is a gal on a mission to educate and bring people together.
Jeff Coughlin is so much fun and wasn't scared to challenge me (even in flip cup).
Bob Flynn has been a loyal attendee for as long as its been running and we love his honest feedback.
Josh Adams has an appreciation for people and new experiences.
Andy Powell stepped up to the plate and helped me put together an awesome line up of people I never heard of but made a huge impact on the event.
Chaz Chumley turns a bad day into a good day and knows just what to say.
Nate Nelson keeps it cool and interesting.
Mike Brunt has the experience to make you wonder and appreciate the direction we are headed.
Michael Smith believes in me and recognizes my abilities.
Nafisa Sabu knows when to tell me its time to make a change.
Cara Beverage keeps us sane and takes care of everyone no matter the task.
Tara Kossari was reliable and brought lots of energy.
Elliott Sprehn helps makes it all happen and has a big heart.
Oguz Demirkapi helps document all the greatness and catches every moment.
Eric Stoike is a good friend with a ton of talent.
Brian Meloche is so excited to get the real perspective from each and every person.

All the attendees made it really easy for us. Even with the badge printing hiccup and shuttle confusion, we still managed to keep everyone happy. It's just one more thing I get to improve on and blow everyone's minds next year.

I hope this experience makes you appreciate your career choice. I hope you go into work this week with a twinkle in your eye and an extra skip in your step. I can't wait to see everyone again and please don?t hesitate to share your ideas with the Stellr team.

Thank you again.

Here are some of my favorite moments.

More photos at

Why I didn't come to CFUnited for years by Ben Nadel

We recently reread the article on Fusion Authority that Ben Nadel wrote in 2007 about why he didn't attend CFUnited for many years.

Read how Ben overcame his fears and what his first time was like, plus tips for first time attendees at

And thanks Ben for sharing your experience!

BTW, that was Ben's first year and we think Ben is doing really good for himself now. He's been nominated for several categories in the Community Achievement Awards and now he's even speaking this year! What could CFUnited do for your career?

Demo Mania

Its Demo Mania!!! (formerly known as "Demo Derby", but the name was misunderstood)

At CFUnited, on Friday August 14th, we will have a series of Demos from anyone in the community willing to show off their their cool app in 7 minutes or less.

Fill out this survey to enter.

Not everyone will be accepted but everyone will be mentioned

How your app makes it on stage: Must be new. Must be cool. Must be able to demo in a short amount of time.

Types of Projects include: Website Apps, Air Apps, iPhone Apps

Oh yeah, You must be attending the conference to enter and watch ;-)

CFUnited Express loves Atlanta

I kept the best for last.

Atlanta showed lots of love for CFUnited. It was a great experience from beginning to end.

Leif Wells was my host and he did an amazing job helping me with the event. It was the smoothest event ever run in my 8+ years with these types of events. Not only did he taxi me around but he went above and beyond what was expected. Its people like this that encourage us to bring great speakers and great attention to a deserving community.

The venue at RoundBox Global was awesome. A nicely renovated factory is how I can describe it. The attendees were great. They asked a ton of questions, they enjoyed all the food, and gave me wonderful feedback.

Atlanta, we will certainly be coming back. I enjoyed every minute. Thanks again!

Slidesix demo of Why Should You Attend CFUnited

Todd Sharp put together this really cool slide show of CFUnited. It also demonstrates what you can do with

Our speakers this year will be asked to put their presentation here and we will give a password for attendees to get access. Then at a future time we will make some of them available to the public.

View Slide show here and show it at your next User Group meeting or get together at a cubicle near you. :-)

How was Denver Express?

Someone asked me on twitter how was Denver Express? (@chrishough)

I went to Denver with only a few expectations, to meet cool new people and too put on a great event. I'd say I accomplished both of those. The people in Denver are great. So nice and really easy going. Everyone showed up to the conference with a positive attitude and ready to learn. They asked great questions and really appreciated all the work involved. We had about 20 people attend, which is a good size for something like this. I met a few guys who said that this was their first time ever going to an event for CF ever. They were just really appreciative to meet other local developers and talk code.

I gave so much stuff away, seriously. From software to ThinkGeek toys, it was a good time for all. Someone even won the Annoy-a-Tron (which is a prize in every UG package and Express event), and couldn't resist testing it out. lol It really is annoying!

I've posted 4 out of the 6 presentations on the topics page.

Rob Rusher was first with AIR development. Comments were "Good knowledge of info", "Very good info for getting started with AIR", and "I learned a couple of things. That is always good."

Mike Brunt was filling in for Patrick Quinn on Wholesum Performance. Comments were "Mike has a Killer Accent :-)", "Depth of knowledge", "Provided good tricks and tips about most common performance issues" and "lots of great info Wow!"

Nate Nelson talked about DB tips. Comments were "Professional and Knowledgeable", "Tons of great info", and "Detailed examples, relevant to my specific needs."

Mike Brunt talked about JVM. Comments were "Its good to know these techniques are available.", "Like the demo, Interesting overview", "Great in depth info on tuning the JVM and I'm really scared of the JVM - now I feel enabled to tune it!"

RJ Owen talked on Component LifeCycle in Flex 3. Comments were "Great info on how Flex 3 works informally", "Instructor's knowledge", "In depth and informative on an important topic that not many people seem to know a lot about"

Kevin Hoyt talked on CF/LCDS. Comments were "Kevin always makes it look easy", "Easy to follow", and "Overwhelmed!! Excellent".

Comments about the event itself: Wish we had longer sessions. More time for Q&A. More hands on. It was a solid one day. I got some good info. Good advanced content. This was great!! Thank you!! Come back to Denver.

Jeremy Kadlec on CFUnited video

Simon Free and Ben Nadel on CFUnited Video

CFUnited Manager Guide

This is the Ultimate Manager Guide for CFUnited 2009.

If you do anything today, print a copy of this document and hand it to your manager. It has great information and I hope they realize that CFUnited is the place for you to be this year.

*Also, please tell your friends :-)

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