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cf.Objective() 2011 - Deliberations Have Begun

The Call for Speakers for cf.Objective() 2011 has now ended and thus begins the gargantuan task of choosing which sessions to include at this year's conference. The Content Advisory Board is already hard at work reviewing proposals which we'll be discussing over the next couple of weeks.

For those that are interested, we've received 154 proposals from 69 speakers. Most every topic you can imagine is represented, and we've had a large number of proposals in some topic areas that are fairly new to cf.Objective(). For example we've had 17 proposals for JavaScript talks, 9 of which involve jQuery, and 6 of those involve jQuery Mobile. We've had 13 proposals for talks about Mobile development, 9 proposals for talks on REST and 4 proposals for talks about noSQL databases.

As mentioned above we hope to have some announcements about the sessions and speakers chosen within the next two weeks or so.

cf.Objective() 2011 - Call For Speakers

The Call for Speakers for next year's cf.Objective() is now officially open. We'll be using our fancy new Engage app (the same one that's being used for collecting topic suggestions) to accept proposals to speak.

The Topic Suggestion Survey will continue to run during the Call for Speakers, so feel free to add new topics, and please visit often and cast your votes for newly added topics. After the Call for Speakers closes we will be using your feedback from the survey to help us program the best possible conference for you.

Please note that in order to be considered as a speaker for a session you must submit a proposal for that session, along with a detailed description, so even if you've suggested a topic via the survey you must submit a proposal for the topic to be considered.

The deadline to submit proposals to speak at the conference is January 9th, 2011, so start thinking about what you'd like to share with the ColdFusion community, and go submit some proposals.

New Features Added to the cf.Objective() Topic Suggestion Survey

Matt Woodward and I have been working on enhancing the cf.Objective() Topic Suggestion Survey to both capture more information on what's important to you, and to add some social networking capabilities. Here's what's new:

Tell us Your Top Pick

You can now specify your absolute top pick out of all of the topic suggestions while voting. Marc Esher suggesting collecting this additional metric and we're interested to see what information it yields. If you voted before you may want to visit again and let us know what your top pick is.

Twitter Integration

If you've accessed the survey using your Twitter account, you now have the option of tweeting directly from the app after adding new topics and after voting. Please note that this is entirely optional, and you will be given an opportunity to edit the text of the tweet before you decide to send it. We hope that people will make use of this feature to encourage others to visit the survey, and to remind people to come back and vote, as new topics are being added continually.

Facebook Integration

If you've accessed the survey using your Facebook account, you will have the same option of adding a wall post directly from the app after adding new topics and after voting. We've also added Facebook Like buttons in a number of places in the app, including on each topic's detail page. You can use these to tell your Facebook friends which topics you are particularly fond of.

Remember, the results of the survey, and hence your input into the content of the conference, will only be as good as the information that we receive, so please do use the new Twitter and Facebook integrations to help us promote the survey, and also feel free to blog, tweet and use any other means at your disposal to let people know about the survey.

Vote Early and Often

In case I haven't made it clear thus far, we want to hear from you! Go suggest a topic or cast your votes now, and don't forget to return to the survey later to cast votes on any new topics that interest you.

cf.Objective() 2011 - The Wheels are in Motion

Although it's still 2010, we are already hard at work creating a cf.Objective() for 2011 which I'm confident will be the best ever. Why am I so confident? As Sean Corfield recently announced on his blog, I have the honour of taking on the role of Content Chair for next year's conference and I've formed a Content Advisory Board (CAB) with some of the best, and most innovative, minds in the CF community. They are:

We're going to do our darnedest to bring you the content you want, from the top names in the CF community and also from some really smart folks with whose names you may not be familiar.

Topic Suggestion Survey

One of the first things we want to do is ask you, the community, just what it is you'd like to learn about at next year's conference. To that end we've put together a simple survey which will give you the opportunity to suggest topics of interest to you, and to vote on topics suggested by others. The results of this survey will be just one of many forms of input that we'll be using to determine which topics to feature at next year's conference, so while it will not be determining the full list of sessions, we are very keen to hear from you about what you'd like to see. So go suggest a topic or vote on some now.

A big thank you goes out to Matt Woodward for the app that we're using to collect topic suggestions.

New Content

Of course every year cf.Objective() is chock full of new content, but we're going to be looking at zeroing in on some new areas in 2011. Some examples include:

  • Front-End Development - In addition to the usual Flex, AIR and Ajax talks look for talks on advanced JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and, of course, Mobile Development.
  • Deep Dives - These talks will go deep into one specific aspect of a technology or technique, designed to teach you something new about a familiar topic.
  • Pushing the Envelope - These mind-expanding talks will introduce you to ideas and technologies that many CF developers have never been exposed to.

Pecha Kucha and Lightning Talks

Those who were lucky enough to attend last year's Pecha Kucha will tell you it was an awesome experience; both educational and entertaining. This year we'll be holding an official Pecha Kucha which will not be running opposite any BoFs, so the whole community can come together and cheer on our brave PKers.

We're also planning on having a series of lightning talks, which will also be limited to six minutes and forty seconds apiece, but won't have the strict rule of 20 slides for 20 seconds. This will allow people to do code talks and demos of interesting technologies and solutions. We'll be looking to you, the community, to present at both of these sessions. Stay tuned for more info on how to propose a talk.

Just the Beginning

We're only just getting started, so now is the ideal time to have your voice heard. Visit the Topic Suggestion Survey, leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me personally with any ideas or suggestions that you have. Next year's cf.Objective() is going to be the best not because of us, but because of you!

View the Presentations from the cf.Objective() Pecha Kucha BOF

If you weren't one of the lucky ones who were able to attend the cf.Objective() Pecha Kucha BOF in April of this year, you can still have a chance to see these nine fantastic presentations. The event turned out to be just as fun and interesting as I had hoped, which is entirely thanks to the hard work of the presenters. Fortunately Michael Canonigo recorded all but one of the presentations, and Anthony Israel-Davis managed to somehow magically record his own, so they are all available for viewing via YouTube.

I've created a YouTube playlist that you can watch to see the intro followed by all nine of the presentations, or, if you want to check them out one at a time they are each linked to their respective speaker below.

Thanks again to all of the speakers and all who attended. Hopefully this can become a regular event at cf.Objective() and even possibly at other conferences.

ValidateThis Futures from cf.Objective()

I returned from cf.Objective() a few days ago and have been catching up on all sorts of things. I hope to post a review/discussion of the conference as a whole soon, but for now I just want to touch on some things that came up around ValidateThis.

I gave a presentation entitled Easy and Flexible Validations for Objects during which I described what ValidateThis is, and showed how easy it is to work with. I demonstrated that you can add client-side validations to a form with a single line of code, and can perform server-side validations with just a few lines. I also discussed the different types of validation scenarios that VT is designed to address. There were some questions and suggestions which have prompted me to think of future enhancements to the framework, so I wanted to discuss them here.


Sign Up for ColdFusion ORM Training and Get a Copy of the "Hibernate Bible"

Mark Mandel, and I have decided that we're going to give a copy of the book Java Persistence with Hibernate to each and every student at our Developing Applications with ColdFusion 9 Object Relational Mapping workshop, which is running from May 20-21, 2010 in Minneapolis, MN, which also happens to be the two days immediately preceding the cf.Objective() conference.

I've discussed this two-day, hands-on workshop at length in a previous blog post, so I won't repeat myself here, but one of the goals of the course is to teach you what you need to know about Hibernate to be effective with ColdFusion 9's ORM features. Although the Adobe engineering team have done an excellent job of integrating Hibernate into ColdFusion, it is still essential to understand quite a bit about Hibernate to make appropriate use of the features. Hibernate is a complex beast, and although we'll be teaching most of what you'll need to know in the course, it's always helpful to have a reference manual handy.

There is a lot about Hibernate that is not covered in the ColdFusion documentation, and Mark and I both feel that Java Persistence with Hibernate is the best book currently available on the market about Hibernate. We want to arm our students with the tools they'll need to continue their ORM education after the workshop, which is why we've decided to give a copy of the book to each student.

There are still spaces available in the class, so if you'd like to become a ColdFusion ORM ninja in just two days, and get a free copy of the "Hibernate Bible" as well, sign up today.

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