My presentation is now available for download here:
The details for my presentation and bio are now live on the Adventure Summit site here.
Please make a point to come out and support me on February 11th!
My topic will be "Hiking Safely in Rocky Mountain National Park", where I will highlight some of the risks the average hiker needs to be aware of when hiking the park. I'll cover proper gear and clothing, as well as how to identify altitude sickness, etc. I'll cover my experience while there last May and share what I've learned after four days of hiking and camping within the park.
I will be presenting Saturday, February 11th from 3-4 p.m. More details will be available soon on the official site http://theadventuresummit.com.
Please come out and support me!
GearFest has really come into its own in the past couple years, growing from an extremely small event to a large-scale conference with big-name sponsors such as Subaru (the main sponsor), Yakima, Eddie Bauer, Mad River Mountain, Leinenkugel's Beer, and more. The conference includes vendor displays/stores, competitions, gear demos, live bands, and--of course--food and beer for sale.
One of the best aspects of the event includes the Yakima Beer Garden, which started last year as a Friday-only event. This year, it will be both Friday and Saturday night. Check this out for some amazing samples of Leinenkugel's, one of the best microbrews around.
There is plenty else to see an do, including gear demos and vendor displays. Each year, there are multiple vendors from local and regional state parks, reserves, climbing and hiking areas, etc. And, don't forget the free SWAG from the vendors if you like stickers, patches, pens, flashlights, 'biners, and more. Also, there are many chances to win real gear prices from such places as Great Miami Outfitters.
Additionally, this year Backpacker magazine's "Get Out More Tour" will be making an appearance both days at the event. This husband-and-wife team has been touring the country and will be presenting gear workshops and skill seminars for anyone interested in the outdoors.
The event also features free overnight camping in the Eddie Bauer Campground. This year, as opposed to previous years, I plan on pitching my tent and camping next to the Great Miami. Hopefully, the weather decides to play nice.
GearFest is located at:
1385 Harshman Road
Dayton, Ohio 45431
(937) 275-PARK (7275)
The event is FREE, so if you are close to the Dayton, Ohio area there is no reason not to at least make an appearance! Get out and LIVE!
Well, cf.Objective() 2010 is over, and it's back to the normal grind. What an amazing conference, and what an amazing experience. Being my first time there, I was not just an attendee, but also a speaker. I can't thank Sean Corfield enough for letting Aaron and I have the chance to speak and present our ideas on error handling and bulletproofing applications.
How does it feel to speak at such a conference? For me personally, imagine being a no-name, B-movie actor showing up at the Oscars. All around you are celebs--and you're hanging out with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. This is a bad analogy, I know, but the best one I can come up with at the moment. I was surrounded by bloggers, writers, framework writers, and extremely well-known individuals in the community. It was absolutely amazing. Here I was--this no name guy from Dayton, Ohio, listed among the biggest names in the industry from all over the globe.
In my mind, cf.Objective() is a whole different ballgame from CFUnited or any of the other, smaller CF conferences out there. There is an intense wealth of knowledge and passion for the industry and the language itself. The setting is intimate, and often attendees spend a lot of time hanging out directly with the speakers. Everyone is incredibly cool, from Simon Free to Dan Vega to Marc Esher--no one will turn you away for the chance to talk shop. Being a veteran attendee of CFUnited, Spring Break, and BFusion/BFlex, this conference had an aura and charm all its own.
Thanks again to everyone for putting together such a great conference, and thanks to Sean for letting us get up there and speak. I am already looking forward to next year!
As many of you in the community are already aware, the cf.Objective() conference in Minneapolis is coming, and coming quickly. cf.Objective() is the only Enterprise ColdFusion conference and, really, the only one of its kind. Other CF conferences such as CFUnited are more geared towards an all-encompassing view of ColdFusion--from beginner to expert. cf.Objective(), however, is geared towards seasoned developers and people who are immersed in the technology. That's not to say not everyone is welcome to the conference--far from it--it just means some people will get more out of it than others. See the list of sessions here.
This year, Aaron Wolfe and I will be presenting our topic Saturday, the 23rd "Bulletproof Apps: Architecting for Failure". After being slated to present at CFUnited last year and having to pull out at the last second, we are very excited to actually be heading to Minneapolis. The presentation will be great for anyone looking to build solid ColdFusion applications.
Aaron and I are honored by the opportunity to speak at this prestigious conference alongside industry greats such as Ray Camden, Charlie Arehart, Simon Free, Peter Bell, and so many more. For someone like myself who is not a seasoned presenter or "big name" in the community, it is a little intimidating to be able to have this chance. I am not new to presenting. I have taught several Web development courses at a local community college and present several times a year to our ColdFusion user group, MVCFUG. Being in front of people has become quite a natural and rewarding experience.
I hope those of you reading this who are able to attend do so. Minneapolis is a central location for most of the country, so getting there should not be a problem. For me, I have never been, and am excited to visit somewhere new. April 22-24th looks to be a terrific time.
If you have any questions about me or about our presentation, feel free to contact me.
Learn more about cf.Objective():
BFusion/BFlex is rapidly approaching. Tomorrow afternoon, Aaron and I will leave Dayton for the drive over to Bloomington. We're still furiously working on tightening up our presentations, which are going to be great.
Aaron and I will be doing two sessions, one on error handling, and the other on maintaining server uptime for SLA agreements. Both of these topics are critical for any developer to be aware of (not just us CF guys). Anyone who has ever had to deal with a corporate site, or even a freelance site for a customer, should be aware of these issues and how to deal with them. We're confident these topics will give everyone tangible and valuable knowledge to walk away with and start using right away.
Remember, if you haven't signed up, it's only $10 per day to register. This is a great price for a great conference, and it is well worth it. Do not pass go! Sign up now!
We hope to see everyone in Bloomington!
In just ten short days I will be heading over to Bloomington, Indiana for the BFusion/BFlex conference. This conference is shaping up to be another great one. Bob Flynn and company are working very hard to make sure this year is even better than the last. I encourage anyone who is a developer or interested in development and able to go to attend this conference.
The cost is only $10, so there is no reason for anyone not to go. Registration is now open, so sign up today!
I apologize for not updating the blog sooner. Things have been insanely hectic. September was literally a blur that flew past in what seemed like an instant. I seriously cannot believe today is already the 2nd. What's even more terrifying is the fact that I have a huge amount of work to get done before the end of the month (and I mean HUGE).
Now, October is here, and three great conferences are rapidly approaching. Of course, there's MAX, then CF in NC and BFusion/BFlex. I will be at two of these, CFinNC and BFusion. Additionally, I will be doing two presentations at BFusion with Aaron Wolfe. Check out the info here.
I personally am really looking forward to CF in NC, the first-ever of this event. I'm looking forward to the drive from Ohio to North Carolina (and the warmer temps down south) and getting to see my sister-in-law and little niece, Abby. I need to get some of that southern barbecue, too! I think the conference itself is going to rock with Dan Wilson and Jim Priest at the helm. The location looks amazing, and the list of provisional speakers looks great. Aaron and I are also looking forward to the opportunity to present at BFusion/BFlex and redeem ourselves after having to miss CFUnited at the very last minute. Just as it did when we were accepted for CFUnited, it feels mind-blowing to have our names in the company of such names as Simon Free, Dan Wilson, Aaron West, Ben Nadel, etc. We hope everyone will take some time to consider checking out our sessions. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly! I hope to see everyone at a conference soon!
It was unfortunate. I was supposed to be speaking with Aaron Wolfe at CFUnited this year--one of the first presentations right after the keynote, to be exact. So, let me tell you how incredibly hard it was when Wednesday came and gone and the closest I could get to the conference was my Twitter feed. Of course, everyone has been saying this has been one of the best years so far, and I missed it. What does that mean? No teaching. No learning. No networking. No peer interaction. No socializing. No fun. No free drinks. No stay at a resort. No cool swag. No inspiration!!!
It's been a rough year for conferences for me. First, I missed Spring Break in Athens, OH. Then, it was the Centaur User Group Tour event here in Dayton. Then, CFUnited! Arrgghh!! For someone trying to stay active in the community (and a UG manager), I have failed miserably. Fortunately (or unfortunately), all of these instances have been out of my hands. Luckily, I might still get the chance to get some CF event love in before the end of the year. If any of you are in the same boat, you might get your chance as well.
There are two more events that I know of coming up in the next couple of months. The first is the first-ever FREE "CF in NC" cfinnc.com, a ColdFusion event in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event is being put on by the Triangle CFUG in Raleigh and spearheaded by Dan Wilson of nodans.com fame (and an accomplished developer and speaker). The event is October 17-18th over a weekend and is just getting off the ground. I am going to try to make this event as I have a sister-in-law who lives an hour away from Raleigh. Hopefully the drive won't be too daunting.
Another event closer to me personally is BFusion/BFlex in Bloomington, Indiana the following weekend, October 24-25th. This hybrid CF/Flex event is also over a weekend and has taken place the last few years. I attended last year and it was very well put together. There is a slight fee this year but it is miniscule and definitely shouldn't deter anyone from going. If anyone is within any reachable distance from Bloomington, they should be attending this conference.
While these are much smaller venues and not nearly as high-profile as CFUnited or MAX, they are also more intimate and often times a much better way to get to network and meet other developers. There is usually still some good swag from Adobe/sponsors at events like this, and the community interaction is always great.
If you're in the same position I've been in this year as far as conferences go, try to make one of the aforementioned events, or start your own! Talk to your local user group manager(s) about putting together a local event in your area. If there are other CF events you are aware of that I've not listed here, please leave a comment for all to see.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention one other small conference--MAX. I think I excluded MAX from being a CF conference despite the fact it is put on by Adobe mainly for two reasons: 1) I never get to go to MAX anymore because it is WAY too expensive and my company will never foot the bill 2) MAX is really an "Adobe" conference as opposed to a "ColdFusion" conference. Yes, there are quite a few CF tracks, but not the high concentration of CF-related presentation that comes with a CF only conference such as CFUnited or CfObjective(). There is a lot of concentration on other Adobe products I frankly never, ever use, like InDesign, After Effects, Soundbooth, etc.
MAX is a great conference, if one can afford it. But you know it's expensive when there is a "convince your boss" page on the site! I was lucky enough to get to go in '05 when it was in Anaheim, CA, the year before when it was in New Orleans, and the year before that in Salt Lake but haven't been back since. I don't know if I'd go back anytime soon. I'd rather attend a smaller, more intimate conference that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Yes, I enjoy traveling to locations like California, but it's just not cost-effective and honestly I'd rather go to California to play rather than to work. Just being honest!
MAX takes place October 4th-7th in L.A.
How can I say this without shedding some tears? It turns out Aaron Wolfe and I won't be speaking at CFUnited this year. Let's just say it's due to issues out of our control. We'd like to apologize to everyone who was looking forward to our session on error handling best practices. We know a lot of people were really looking forward to it. It breaks our hearts to not be able to go this year after all the preparation and planning.
This will be the first time in five years I personally won't be attending a major ColdFusion conference, and it's very, very disappointing. Aaron and I have been preparing for this talk for almost a year, and to drop out at practically the last minute, well, sucks.
On the bright side, for those of you fortunate enough to be able to attend the conference this year, there are some absolutely fantastic sessions at CFUnited '09. Check them all out here. I highly recommend anything by Ben Nadel--he is a major contributor to the community and one heck of a nice guy, so be sure to introduce yourself to him. I also recommend any sessions by Hal Helms, Ray Camden, Dee Sadler, Adam Lehman, and Elliott Sprehn, to name just a few.
I'm hoping we have another shot at speaking next year--right now we'll just have to wait and see.
The countdown is on! CFUnited is just a mere 49 days away, and the excitement is building. I think everyone has great anticipation for Centaur this year--I know I do! I think the sessions are going to be absolutely great as well. I've never seen a lineup this good.
I'm also looking forward to speaking for the first time at a major ColdFusion conference. It's a little nerve-wracking, but I'm glad to not be alone. Aaron and I make a great team, and our presentation is going to be awesome! If you haven't checked it out, see all about it at CFUnited's site:
We're covering error handling with ColdFusion--a very hot topic and a highly popular request by the community. We're looking forward to sharing our experiences and knowledge gained through the years on this important subject. Hope to see you there!
With less than 90 days to go, the countdown is on! Enjoy!
Have you spoken at CFUnited in the past? This is my first time speaking at CFUnited.
What would you tell someone who hasn't been to CFUnited before?
I've attended for the past three years and would tell anyone who is in any way a CF developer to get themselves here! This is by far the best CF conference around.
Why should people attend your session(s)?
Most developers understand the importance of error handling in an application, but many don't utilize it to its full potential. Error management is critical in site development and having the right information at the right time can save you and your customer a lot of headaches.
Do you have any projects in the works that you will be revealing at CFUnited?
Unfortunately, all my projects are top secret. Ok--not really, but still can't show them ;-)
Besides your topic, what other sessions are you looking forward to?
I'd like to see Ben Nadel's presentation and some of the more advanced topics as well as John Paul Ashenfelter's bleeding edge technology presentation.
What are some of the hot topics you'd like to see at RoundTable discussions?
Nerd talk--Star Wars, Transformers, G.I. Joe/80's toys...stuff like that.
Where can people find you at CFUnited? (At the bar, networking, working, in your room, etc.)
I will be everywhere this year except the room! I hope to get some networking in with the greatest minds in the biz! Oh, and I'll be in that Thinkgeek room for sure...
What's the latest news with you? Has anything changed since last CFUnited?
The biggest change since last year is that I'm now the father of twin boys! After Ray Camden, I feel like the busiest man on earth.
What is unique about CFUnited?
I personally enjoy CFUnited more than conferences like MAX because it's a little smaller and more intimate, and you can really get to know some people here. The CF community is full of such great people--it's unlike any other dev community in my opinion.
When you are not working what do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my two boys, digital photography, travel, hiking and camping, general computing, and in my spare time rebuilding my collection of 80's G.I. Joe's.
Aaron and I are presenting at CFUnited this year--"Handling Errors with Error Handling". Check out our short vid!
If you haven't registered for CFUnited 2009 yet, you'll want to be sure to do so TODAY to take advantage of the early bird pricing option. CFUnited, now in its fifth year, is the #1 ColdFusion developer conference in the world. This year, it will be bigger than ever with more speakers and topics than ever before. If you're a CF developer, do whatever you have to do to get to Washington, DC this August for the CFUnited ColdFusion conference!
Also, don't forget that Aaron Wolfe and yours truly will be presenting the topic "Handling Errors with Error Handling". A funny topic name, perhaps, but definitely one of the most important and informative sessions at the conference this year. We'll be covering the importance of error handling in a site and the potential consequences developers face with little or no error handling in place. It's definitely going to be a worthwhile session.
Managers, if you're still not convinced about sending your team members away for a week, follow this link for an informative manager's guide: http://cfunited.com/images/CFUnited2009_managerguide.pdf.
See you at CFUnited!