CFUnited 2009 Topics: Some Thoughts

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Some of the topics for CFUnited 2009 were announced yesterday. I (Marc) am happy that my Automation session was accepted, though I'm more jazzed up about the "how to learn...." session that's currently languishing in the "maybe" column. Automation Session A quick note on the Automation session: I had an unbelievably fun time delivering the ANT presentation at CFUnited 2008 last year, but I'm not the kind of guy who can recycle a presentation every year. It ain't me. And thus the Automation session will NOT be a 60-minute session on ANT. It'll cover all kinds of nooks and crannies related to automation, from super duper braindead simple to code generation to who knows what. It's a Smorgasboard presentation. Disappointed... The one session I think should be a "must see" is Adam Haskell's "Red Green Refactor" presentation. I reviewed his slidedeck for this presentation, which saw its first iteration at BFlex/BFusion, and I have it on good authority that the presentation was outstanding. Adam is top notch and he knows his TDD stuff. I'm putting a campaign sign in my virtual Lawn right here: RedGreenRefactor CFUnited 2009. The other topic I'm quite interested in is the Mate Flex framework session. This isn't because I'm some framework whore. In fact, I won't touch a framework until I feel the pain that a framework purports to mitigate. This is why I haven't simply downloaded Mate myself and started playing. I don't know enough about Flex yet to know how it -- or any other framework -- can help me. But I want to know what solutions are out there when I do need them. I'm looking forward to seeing what Swiz has to offer, and I want to see how Mate compares or complements it. Lawn sign: Mate CFUnited 2009 Yet another is the Groovy/Flex presentation by Joe Rinehart and Barney Boisvert. I was fortunate enough to see Joe's Groovy/CF presentation at the BACFUG after MAX this year... it was kick ass! I now want to see how these dudes tie it into flex. But I wanna see some code man! Code code code code code. (and config config config config). I want to walk away from this session, go back to my room, download whatever sample code they provide, and be able to start knocking some stuff out. Tall order, gents. Lawn Sign: Groovy/Flex CFUnited 2009. With Code. And Lots of it. And another is the Facebook & CF session. All the hip kids are building apps on top of the facebook platform; and it seems like it'd be fun to spend a rainy Sunday dreaming up ways to make enough money building a facebook app such that I could a) buy a Maserati or b) afford Wharton for both my daughters. Lawn sign: Facebook and CF @ CFUnited 2009. Go vote! Excited about... It looks to me like Liz and crew have made a good effort this year to get rid of some of the presentation recycling that (in my lowly, 'umble, far-distant opinion) seems to have crept in. So there's lots of good new stuff. After a quick run through of the accepted topics, here's what caught my eye right away. This is "gut" stuff, without reading the session descriptions. CFMythBusters. I love watching Charlie Arehart speak. He knows his stuff inside and out, and he's a very engaging presenter. Swiz. At least one session related to BlazeDS At least one session that answers the question, "Why should you spend a gazillion dollars on this LCDS thingamajiggie?" Skinning Components in Gumbo Hacking your own website. (I want to see this so that I can go hack other people's websites and crash the interwebs). Actually, I want to see this b/c my company is currently seeking a particular ISO certification that requires internal security auditing, and I want to know the tips and tricks for busting our sites so that we can be prepared. Why no TDD presentations from us? The incomparable Sam Larbi mentioned on the twitters that he was surprised one of us MXUnit hombres wasn't presenting on unit testing at CFUnited this year. I don't want to speak for Bill on this matter, but I will say that I know Bill's interests of late are veering toward security testing, code coverage, and other higher-minded, less gruntish aspects of testing than unit testing. As for me, my reasoning goes something like this: I hate to suck. I mean, I really, really hate to suck. Now, 7 months after my complete clusterf**k of a presentation at webmaniacs, I still harbor regret and guilt. And here's one thing I know: a sizable part of my "success" as a presenter comes from my passion for the topic. And for me to be passionate about presenting something, it's got to teach me something. If I'm not learning anything during the creation of a presentation -- the slides, the concepts, the code, materials, etc -- then I'm bored with it. And I won't do that to people in the audience. If I'm bored, they'll be bored. And I'm getting too old to fake it. I can do it, but it requires more energy to phone it in than it would be to come up with something new. I was super stoked about Bill and my presentation at MAX this year b/c it was relatively new stuff for us. We hadn't presented on it before. And Bill's BACFUG presentation, while an "intro" presentation, took a completely different angle on the topic. But for me, I've lost passion for "introduction to unit testing". It's time to let other people who have the passion for the topic share their discoveries. To that end, I do hope that Tim Farrar's unit testing presentation gets accepted this year. Another Lawn Sign: Tim Farrar, Unit Testing, CFUnited 2009. Bottom line for me: if I'm giving a presentation, I have to learn something too. It's quite selfish, I'll grant that. But a man's gotta know what lights the fire, and I know that much about me. Fear not, gentle reader. MXUnit will be on the scene at cf.Objective this year with a brand new, code-and-what-am-i-thinking-as-i'm-doing-TDD-intensive presentation. It's a new one for me, a sort of "meta" presentation to try to get into the head of someone designing code for testability. Merry Christmas!


Charlie Arehart said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Marc. As a fellow speaker, I'm sure you can appreciate that one can never get enough feedback, especially such kind comments. :-)

And glad to hear of your overall pleasure with the conference lineup. I'm always delighted to be a part of it and was of course thrilled to be selected again this year.

Congrats on your selection, too. See you there.

Marc Esher said...

Ahhh, great news: Adam's Red Green Refactor session has been accepted, as have Joe and Barney's Groovy sessions.

Behold... the power of a virtual lawn sign on MXUnit's blog.

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