And We're Back!

In more ways than one. The first way is obvious, back from a hiatus writing blog posts. The second way is back from CFUnited 2010. The third and final way, being the least fun, is back from a server outage.

The gaps in blog posts are going to end. I think by this point I have enough to write about, I just have to set aside a block of time to sit down and write. I was concerned when I started this blog that I wouldn't have enough content for it to be worth it. I sat down the other night and though of several posts I can write, so it shouldn't take me long to pump out several quality posts. It'll be nice to FINALLY provide my readers with some fun and useful tips and tricks to use in their ColdFusion, Flex and AIR apps.

CFUnited 2010 is supposed to be the last one, unless it's picked up by a new owner at possibly a new location. It was great to see all of my old friends and meet all of my new ones. I attended with a three day package and brought along my lovely wife this time around. While I was attending the various sessions offered throughout the day, she was touring the Leesburg area and enjoying what the Lansdowne Resort had to offer. Everyone in attendance was certainly trying to make the last CFUnited the best they had seen. Despite the painful sunburn I had gotten swimming the weekend before, which many of you got to see first hand, I had a great time. I even got my own shout out from Charlie Arehart during his keynote on the CF Community. Thanks Charlie!

The server outage problem is actually a reoccuring problem. My blog is hosted on my own hardware and recently I've had two machines that seem to be having BIOS issues. At the moment I don't have an available backup supply for my servers and sometimes the AC unit causes the power to drain enough to restart a couple of them. Not the greatest setup, I know. As a result, my email server and database server like to throw a "malprogrammed rom error" at startup. This error goes away with a complete power down and restart, but if they're restarted without a complete power interruption, the error just repeats. It's pretty inconvenient because I actually have to physically be there to fix that problem. I'm in the process of building a new server that will allow me to virtualize a few of my machines, so I won't have this problem any more.

Great to be back and great to have something to write about. I'll see you all again soon!

CFUnited 2009 - One of the greatest yet!

CFUnited 2009 was a huge success. I enjoyed every aspect of this conference. I'm one of the lucky few that is close enough to drive to this conference, so it's already a convenience. Even with the travel aside, there were several reasons I found the conference a delight this year.

The Venue: This year, CFUnited was held at the Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. This facility was VERY nice. The staff made you feel welcome from the moment you stepped through the door (which they opened for you). Check in was a breeze and everything was nicely laid out. The walls were covered in upscale artwork and the high ceilings almost gave the feeling of being in some sort of palace. The rooms were laid out much like every other hotel room is, but were very clean with high quality furnishing, full length mirrors and plenty of lighting. The beds also came with an abundance of pillows, which I enjoyed quite a bit. During the sessions the staff at Landsdowne made sure we had an abundance of snacks, drinks, pastries, yogurt, cereal bars, ice cream, etc, etc, etc.....I was never wanting for anything.

The Sessions: This year offered more sessions than I think I've ever seen at CFUnited. There was a nice mix of ColdFusion and Flex sessions as well as some design and CSS sessions. I got more out of the sessions this year than I can ever say I have at a prior CFUnited or any other conference. I don't have a bad thing to say about any session I attended.

The People: I can't say enough about the people. Some I knew before, some I didn't, but I met some of the greatest people in the CF community at CFUnited. People like Dan Wilson, Dee Sadler, Lisa Heselton, Ben Nadel, Aaron West, Ray Camden......the list goes on and on. Having meals with these folks and just chatting in the halls made for great networking and just a lot of fun in general. These are some top notch programmers that know how to have some fun as well. Did anyone else drive an entire clover leaf system trying to make a U turn on the interstate while waving your hands around like you're on a roller coaster??? I didn't think so...

Stellr: To Liz and the team, THANK YOU. You made this year perfect. Without your hard work none of this would have been possible. It can't be anywhere near easy to put together an event of this magnitude and have everything go as smoothly as it did. I know I'm not alone when I express my gratitude for what went into CFUnited 2009. I can't wait to see what you've got in store for next year.

There are probably a ton of things I missed, but I think you get the idea. I hope CFUnited continues to use Landsdowne and the venue for next year and I can't wait to attend again. See you next year at CFUnited 2010!

Free Money from CFUnited!

Do I have your attention now? CFUnited announced today that they will give away $200 each month to anyone who places their "Blog Bling" on their blog and fills out their survey at http://cfunited.com/go/survey/167. The survey simply asks for your name and the URL to the blog displaying the CFUnited logo. At the bottom of the form you're asked to give a short response as to your favorite thing about CFUnited and what you would say to someone when recommending they attend the conference. It's that simple! $200 a month will be given away between January and July, but you have to proudly display your Blog Bling to win. You can either steal the CFUnited Blog Bling off of my site here or go to http://www.cfunited.com and take it from the front page. Good luck everyone and see you in August!

Not speaking, but still attending.

Well, once all the dust settled I didn't make the cut for the CFUnited speakers list. I'm not discouraged, however. It's still very early in my career and I have ample opportunity to speak in the future. I think a lot of my problem is that no one knows who I am, what my background is, or what I'm good at. I need to make use of future conferences (and certain un-conferences I might add) to get the word out. I would also like to congratulate my colleague, mentor and good friend Yancy Wharton on making the list with his topic, "How to Setup a Local Development Environment". He's a brilliant programmer and deserves the recognition of speaking at CFUnited. I will still be attending CFUnited this August, so maybe I'll see some of you there. All I can say is look out CF World, here I come!

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