I had the pleasure of speaking at the BFlex/BFusion conference this year, and wow, what a great conference!
After missing my flight Friday (Doh!) due to some scheduling conflicts, I finally arrived at the Bloomington Courtyard Marriott around 1am on Saturday. Thoroughly exhausted, I was pleased to find that the hotel rooms were massive. It honestly felt like a tiny apartment it was so large.
They had a shuttle that ran from the hotel to the university which made it really easy to get to the conference in the morning. When I got there I was quite pleasantly surprised at the huge turn out they had.
All three of my presentations went pretty smoothly. It was really nice having the conference at a business school since that meant every room had several monitors for watching my own slides, two projects, two white boards and plenty of seating with power outlets.
I was quite happy I got a chance to attend a few advanced sessions in between my own. Unfortunately, I didn't ever have a chance to wander over to the other side of the school to see what the beginner and intermediate sessions were like.
Adam Haskell - Opensource CFML Engines
I learned a lot about the history of the "Other" CF engines in this presentation. I'd never realized quite how the TagServlet, New Atlanta, OpenBD thing had come about, and this was quite informative. It was also interesting to hear about various implementation quirks between the implementations. Hopefully we'll have a documented CF specification eventually.
Adam Haskell - Head First TDD w/MxUnit (hands on)
I didn't get to attend this entire presentation, but it started out really well. Adam approached TDD in a really nice, non-scary way for beginners. He made an interesting point about only testing what's necessary at each phase and building up the code iteratively. Not sure if I completely agree with that, since I usually like to work out one complete function at a time, and then map out the test cases based on the final product, but I certainly plan to give this approach a try.
Adam Lehman - ColdFusion Application Security
This was actually quite a fun presentation that I really enjoyed. Adam went through a huge number of security holes people leave in their applications and how the issues have changed over the years. I'd definitely recommend this presentation to everyone. Even if you think you know every possible exploit, or have your CSSP, having someone beat the points over your head for an hour makes you think.
Overall the sessions were quite good, though, looking back, it's quite hilarious that every session I went to was done by an "Adam"! Lunch the first day was some kind of burrito sandwiches which were amazing.
That night Bob Flynn took all the speakers out to a nice Fusion (cute eh?) restaurant. After which several of the speakers and myself all hit up a bar and met up with several attendees. This was quite a lot of fun, but it made me incredibly tired for Sunday when I needed to help with the hands on Flex sessions.
I especially want to thank Adam Lehman for talking with me about the future of ColdFusion, licensing, marketing, product features and all kinds of other things. I know I can be quite the pain with my barrage of questions and opinions, but Adam took it in stride and hopefully wasn't too terribly annoyed.
Sunday started off alright, spare the super tiredness. The beginner hands on Flex session was fun to help with, and Zach Stepek is a great teacher for an intro class like this was. It takes quite a bit of patience and a different teaching style, and he was quite good at it.
The pizza served for lunch Sunday, unfortunately, was pretty disappointing. I'm also biased though, as being a student I end up consuming copious amounts of pizza throughout the semester, which makes me want more variety when I go out.
After lunch several of the speakers and I headed out to the airport, and back at home I had to hit the books and read up on scheduling algorithms and quadtrees. Oh well, the fun can't last forever, right?
Overall this was a really incredible conference. And, considering the price, I'd hessitate to not recommend it to anyone who'd like the conference experience. It was really great, and I can't thank Bob Flynn, Prem Radhakrishnan, Michelle Buddie enough for inviting me out there.
Hopefully I'll get to go next year! Maybe you can too? ;)