CFUnited Blog

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. :-)

Adobe MAX Day 1 reactions

Hello World.

This is my take on MAX so far. I was extremely pleased with the the over all feeling of MAX today. It was a great experience checking in and finding session rooms. Now granted, I heard some sessions were in another hotel that had some people confused but I didn't experience that problem yet.

Breakfast. It was actually good. I loved the little breakfast sandwiches and fruit. Nice touch. I went to look for a pleace to sit and eat but found out there wasn't any where to sit. I was pleased to find Jason Delmore and Tom Jordahl sitting on the floor in the middle of the room because I was planning to do the same. I realized early on that most developers are used to sitting on the floor for some reason. After about 5 minutes, more Adobe folks came to join us and some community members we recognized. We sat in a big circle and talked about everything we've experienced last night.

Keynote. We all got up and made our way to the keynote. Ok, correction, we litterly rushed to the entrance like a tornado was behind us. It was a race to the front. Nafisa and I sat about 15 rows back from the stage with other community leaders. I even ran up to give Ben Forta a big bear hug. I swooned when I saw Kevin Lynch on stage. (its a harry potter thing) I was well aware that no CF stuff would be talked about yet so I didn't get dissapointed. I did find a few things inspiring but nothing that had me going gaga. I was more occupied with not having Wifi access on my ipod touch. So I resorted to twittering on my cell phone. If you didn't hear about everything at the Keynote go to And lastly, I realized as it was ending someone yelled out "Bingo" which was an inside joke I later found out about. (If you guys pull that while I'm on stage I'll clobber you) lol, but it was really funny. I was making my way out and got into a big crowd again so I hopped over the chairs and I got a few hoot and hollers. I'm not dancing on chairs yet guys. At least I was a little graceful (ok, but I didn't fall). My wonderful Mr. Potter was charming as usual and very classy. Although, I'm excited for tomorrow's keynote when I get to see my main squeeze, Mr. Forta. There is so much buzz and wonder about what we will find out next. I'll be twittering constantly under "cfunited" as fast as my fingers can go. (Hopefully the wifi is up then as well @adobemax)

Lunch. Very good. Very organized. I was late in line because I just had to stop by all the booths on the way. But I was pleased to still have plenty to eat. Thanks for the creme brule, it fulfilled my craving.

Sessions. A little weird. You check in with your badge. If you are not on the list, you have to wait... which is understandable. But I was on the list but my badge didn't register on the scanner. It actually said "Sorry, you are not permitted" or something like that. I wanted to tell that machine to fly a kite. I understand how it is though. Not everything works all the time. The few I've attended so far have been pretty ok. I'm actually here to network and do interviews. I've had lots of good luck so far but now my camera is dead again. I've gone through 4 batteries just today. Sorry if I didn't catch you.

Exhibits. I want more free stuff. I feel like Adobe has all the cool stuff this year. Tshirts, stickers, etc. They know what we really want. BTW, the CF tshirt rocks. It has a guy holding a bottle of beer. Awesome.

Other stuff. The game lounge is cool. The snacks rock. The support is excellent. AV is good.

Generally great as expected. Again, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. The night is still young though! See you pals later.

Last note. I had to share this point. Everyone who knows me, the first thing they say is "I love the new venue for CFUnited"! Sweet. Exactly what I was hoping for. Its all for you folks. And if you tell me I'm doing something right I'm encouraged to keep going. Thanks for the support.

Until tomorrow. -Liz

PS- Sorry about putting this under Admin, I forgot my personal password. I'll change it when I get back to the hotel.

BFusion/BFusion Awesomeness

BFusion/BFusion Awesomeness

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? ;)

Simon Free - CFUnited 08 Review

Simon Free, who spoke on Bring your CF application to Desktop with AIR at CFUnited, sent us the following review of this years conference.

"I am pretty new to the conference scene. I have only attended a few but have been lucky enough to be a presenter each time. From the experiences I have had from those, I am able to compare them to CFUNITED and whole heartedly say that CFUNITED was by far the best conference I have attended to date. Let's start with the venue. There were a lot of attendees for CFUNITED, so it was important that they chose a large enough space to hold the conference. I feel that the DC Convention Center was a great choice.

Many people feel that the backbone of the conference is not in fact the presenters, but the food. If that is the case, then I would say this conference had a pretty solid backbone. I was very happy with over 80% of the meals and even delighted by the finger foods available to us during the evening networking events. The foods varied from chicken dishes to pasta dishes to even some amazing deserts. There was even some sweetened ice tea that had the ability to put even the healthiest among us into a sugar coma. The only negatives I would say about the food were the bagels and sandwiches, and I only mention those as I always see those at the conferences, and for anyone who regularly attends conferences, they can be pretty monotonous.

There were 2 main networking events during the conference, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday night. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these events. Even though there was an open bar at both the events, this is not in fact what made me enjoy them so much. I enjoyed them because people actually networked! This may sound strange, but I have been to a number of different networking events where people stayed with their crowd of friends and people they know and do not try to talk to new people. This was far from the case with these events. Not only did you have new attendees walking around, introducing themselves and striking up conversations, but you also had seasoned veterans and presenters walking around, meeting and greeting people. I was very excited by the fact that I was able to stand and have a conversation with the people who I follow and admire the most in the industry and have them actually be excited to have a conversation with me also. There was no looking over my shoulder trying to find the next person to talk to; everyone seemed genuinely interested in talking to people.

For a conference to be successful I believe it is important to have a good selection of presenters, and I feel that the selection for this conference was very nicely balanced. All the speakers I saw were very knowledgeable on their subject and were well equipped to answer questions from the audience. The selection of topics I had to choose from was nicely varied. I love the track approach that the conference takes. Often with conferences they will choose a single technology, but for CFUNITED they had a number of different tracks, such as RIA, Frameworks, Management, and Advanced ColdFusion. This gave us the ability to move away from what we normally learn and experience something new. I got a lot from the number of management sessions I attended as well as from some of the framework sessions. I feel that I was able to make myself into a more well rounded developer and that I will be able to take the knowledge I learnt and not only become a better programmer but also a better business person.

I feel that the organizers (Liz, Nafisa, and Elliot) truly understand the industry and the developers within it. With the help of the advisory committee, they were able to devise a varied and rewarding schedule of presentations that I think was rewarding for everyone. One of the things that stood out most to me and amplified that they care about what they do, was the speakers diner. This was the first conference I experienced where the organizers actually stepped up and said thank you to the presenters. To me it is these little gestures that have the biggest impact.

I would definitely have to say that CFUNITED was a total success for me. I have learnt a lot of new techniques and have walked away with a lot of new ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations that I gave. Everyone that attended my sessions seemed to be interested in the subject which makes it even more enjoyable as a presenter. The only major negative (and I mean MAJOR!) I have of the conference is that it is once a year. I am not sure how I will last 12 months until CFUNITED 09."

- Simon Free

CFUnited venue review by Sam Farmer

Sam Farmer, did an awesome review on his blog about CFUnited new venue. It talks about the DC Convention center and its surrounding restaurants, bars and other attractions.

"The Road to CFUnited" by Ben Nadel, HOF

Ben Nadel attended his first CFUnited this year and was happy to share his experience with us in this detailed review. CFUnited would like to thank Ben for sharing, we enjoyed your perspective of how the journey to CFUnited was one never to forget.

"This review is a must read. I loved every minute of it and the laughs. Thanks Ben! Hope we see you again!" -Liz

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