cfSummit 2013 – Affirmation

This isn’t a technical piece; no arguments for or against cfClient.  It’s my big picture impressions.

When I learned ColdFusion in 2012, my employer at the time was vocally anti-ColdFusion (they’d hired me to migrate it to .Net), and there was no way they’d pay any developer’s way to an Adobe conference.

As well, all the conferences were east of the Mississippi and priced too high to pay my own way.

I was quite dejected after watching all those exuberant online accounts of cf.objective() and ncdevcon 2012, knowing there was no way I’d ever get to experience such a conference myself.  Imagine my astonishment when Adobe announced a $250 conference in an adjacent state.  I was all over that.  I’m sure I was one of the first 20 to sign up.

So yeah, of course I was excited to go (even on my own dime), but I’m a cautious and skeptical person and I try to keep my bullshit detector well tuned.  I don’t make a good fanboy.  I don’t drink a lot of Kool-Ade.

I don’t like anything about Las Vegas.  That being said, once I got into the convention center and put my name tag around my neck all the Vegas faded away and it could have been in any city.

The Adobe people had breakfast at my table.  They were very polite and personable for being hung over on air travel.  Most of them introduced themselves.  The food was awesome.

When I sat down to watch the keynote address, I looked around at My People.  I recognized a few faces, the ones with awesome iconic beards like Ray Camden and Jason Dean.  Hard as I looked though, I couldn’t find Charlie.  I knew he had to be there.  I did see a guy with a beard that SORT of looked like Charlie.  🙂

There could be no better voice than Ben Forta’s to warm us up.  His presence on the stage to me meant, “Adobe is serious”.  If ColdFusion has a voice, it’s got Ben’s accent.

Ben stated simple facts and observations about ColdFusion.  It didn’t feel like a cleverly disguised sales job or Adobe begging us not to give up on them.  In simple terms, Ben reminded us why we were there.

To be in a room with 500 ColdFusion people watching Ben Forta was moving for me.  Equally powerful was that he was speaking AS Adobe.  Adobe seemed, at long last, to be putting its name on ColdFusion.  They were serious enough about it to start up a whole conference.

If there’s a single word that sums up what I got from cfSummit, it’s ‘affirmation’.

Even though it was the first conference I ever attended, at each step of the way I could stop and consider the things that COULD have sucked.  There were a lot of ways they could have done it wrong.  I heard very few complaints from other developers.


The sessions I attended were all excellent.  The ones that turned out to be review for me still taught me little details and approaches I missed when I first learned them.  There were a few issues with audio and font sizes in some presentations, but nothing that seriously diminished the learning experience for me.

It felt good for me, the naive conference newby, to hear afterwards from veterans of other conferences that this was a great conference.

To Adobe and all who organized cfSummit 2013 – you did not disappoint.

The Surrogate Scott Stroz


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6 Responses to cfSummit 2013 – Affirmation

  1. Chris Hagood says:

    Great recap with a personal flavor that most recaps are missing. You echoed much of how I felt about the conference. Paid my own way. First CF conference. Close to home (closer for me than you). Glad you seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

  2. Dude, this recap is awesome. As one of those who helped organize CFSummit 2013 content, your affirmation is an affirmation to me. Me, Dan Wilson and Jason Dean fought hard to make sure that this was not a 2 day sales pitch. We wanted (and Adobe agreed) that we needed to educate the heck out of the attendees. We didn’t want any kool-aide we wanted our speakers to tell the full ugly truth and trust our intelligent audience to make their own informed decisions. Your post bolsters our argument that we were right.

    Keep in mind we threw this conference together with 5 months notice. We are already meeting, planning and preparing NOW. Tell me what you want to see, we won’t be happy till CFSummit is over 1000 people.

    • blippoids says:

      Thanks Tim. Glad you liked it.

      I think those thousand devs are out there, and all the glowing accounts of cfSummit2013 will bring in all those who either had doubts and/or couldn’t justify international travel.


  3. Jim Priest says:

    One of the reasons Dan and I created NCDevCon was because Adobe wouldn’t host a conference in the east. I’m glad to see an ‘official’ Adobe conference.

    I *still* wish Adobe would do *more*, *smaller* conferences geographically spread out so more people like yourself can attend.

  4. Pingback: CF User | CFSummit Wrap-Up by a Non-Attendee

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