CFUnited 2010 RetroSpective Part 1, Sights and Sounds

As many of you know, I started gearing up for CFUnited with it in mind that I would be representing an employer for whom I no longer worked by the time the conference rolled around. I felt especially fortunate that I still had access to the conference via the Staff volunteer gig. I had gotten so psyched up about some things I wanted to do at CFUnited, I figured “Why stop?” When it was announced that this would be the last CFUnited, that only made me want to get a li’l crazier. Needless to say, not having anyone to represent but myself gave me some leeway for fun I wouldn’t otherwise have had. Always remember, you do not need to be “representing anyone” to be involved in the community, to help others, and to get help. In some ways, it’s better when you’re not. It’s beneficial to all, no matter how you go about it.

So, here we are in the aftermath. I had to catch up on life for a week or so, and then putting this restrospective together took a bit longer than planned. So much to talk about! Better late than never. Here is how CFUnited 2010 went down, as I saw it…


Being a part of the CFUnited staff was certainly an experience and, most of the time, really fun. There were a couple of stressful moments, but overall the staff did a phenomenal job given what they did and didn’t have to work with. I *loved* helping everyone through registration. What better way get to know the people among which I’d spend the next few days? (Ok, I know you’re thinking “the pub”. I got there eventually. ;) Hopefully all of the jumping out from behind the table to hug people wasn’t too disruptive. I heard good feedback on the registration process and how smoothly it was handled, so I’m not too worried. Cara and Tara of Stellr ran a pretty tight ship, and the volunteer crew was in lock step.

I didn’t know until a few days before the conference that, along with bags of useful staff swag, we would be equipped with CFUnited Staff t-shirts. This basically cut in half the amount of time I had to make sure I got all the Ben t-shirt pics. Oops. Well, at least I could give Ben various time slots during which he knew he would not be accosted by me. (For more info on Ben and t-shirts, see CFUnited 2010 RetroSpective Part 2 – Tour de T-Shirt.)

Staff Swag

Just some of the cool CFUnited Staff Swag

I did want a decent pic of myself in a CFUnited Staff t-shirt, though, and I was happy when Simon Free came along. The only other pic I have of myself with Simon was taken shortly after I was caught out in a storm. Not pretty. Simon has many of his presentation resources on his blog. I caught Papervision 3D and Beyond at NCDevCon, and I understand a new & improved version was presented at CFUnited 2010. Speaking of presentations…

Simon Free

If Simon had a header like Ben's, the internets would surely suffer between the two of them.


Other obligations kept me from going to as many presentations as I’d have liked, but I did attend a few I enjoyed a lot.

My favorite was Ray Camden’s AIR Development with jQuery and ColdFusion. In fact, I was unavoidably sidetracked with my laptop during his first presentation on this topic, so I sat in on the repeat. To date, I’ve grabbed the AIR SDK and Aptana. He makes it look so easy with his Jedi talents that I’m not quite as far with it as I thought I’d be by now. But, I’m pleased to see he has the presentation online and then some. I will be very interested to go back through his materials now that I have the tools on my dev station.

Just Announced:
Ray will be giving this presentation via the Online ColdFusion Meetup!
Thursday, 8/12 @ 12pm Eastern.

I’m so there.

Ray Camden

Ray Camden on jQuery & AIR

Ray is a dynamic speaker. If you don’t leave his sessions with more knowledge than you came in with, you’re doing it wrong. He’s also a genuinely nice guy and very cool to hang with.  On top of all that, he gave me a copy of the ColdFusion 9 Web Application Construction Kit he co-authored with Ben Forta and Charlie Arehart. How cool is that?

ColdFusion Bookage

Nothing beats a book for "swag".

Also pictured there is a ColdBox book I begged off Luis Majano. This is what you call throwing yourself onto the fire. I’ve been wanting to give ColdBox a try for awhile. Ask a guy as nice as Luis for a book and you just may get one. Now, I’ve no excuse. Don’t let lack of the book stop you, though, as there is no shortage of online documentation! I just love books. Nothing beats nosing through a book, in my opinion. The intarwebs can sometimes be overwhelming with info. A book gives me finite start and end points and a middle on which to concentrate. I feel very privileged to have come home with these books.

Other presentations I attended and enjoyed:

  • Charlie Arehart’s Keynote CFCommunity – You’re Never Alone – Phenomenal presentation about the many resources within the ColdFusion community for support not limited to development. We, along with people who weren’t present, tweeted to #cfkey with our favorite resources and some points of nostalgia. Sadly, the hashtag seems to have been prematurely reset.
  • Dan Vega’s Developing Web Applications for Mobile Devicesstanding room only in this one! I sat on the floor in the back and wasn’t alone.
  • Scott Stroz’s Second Showing of Make Your Model Promiscuous – I heard this presentation was good the first time around, but Scott apparently had some issues. He basically quarantined himself to his hotel room until he had it to his satisfaction for the second showing. You can read more about that on his blog. Scott is a good friend, I found the topic fascinating, and I was pleased to make this the last CFUnited presentation I would ever attend.

These happened to be 2 out of the 3 presentations that featured the infamous “Gillie Guy” slide. Gillie Guy was a [presumably crazy] local guy that some of the speakers encountered on the 1st or 2nd night of the conference. He was dressed in sniper gear but positioned casually on a bench outside the restaurant. Someone took a pic, and the pic morphed into slides. You will just have to click through Dan’s presentation to see what a Gillie Guy looks like. The 3rd presentation I heard Gillie Guy wound up in was Todd Sharp’s Real Life RIA Powered by the Adobe Stack though I don’t see him in the posted version.

Developing Web Applications for Mobile Devices

Developing Web Applications for Mobile Devices


One night on Facebook, a few of us got talking about our love for curry. As it happened, we were all going to be in attendance at CFUnited… so I said “!#$% it. Let’s make this official.” We did, and a good time was had by all.



Chris Phillips (@cfchris), Yancy Wharton (@ywharton), Yancy’s girlfriend, Jim Leether (@vwracer), Jim’s Wife, Lisa Kavka (@kavka), Dan Vega (@cfaddict), Ezra Parker (Ezra’s Blog), and Bob Silverberg (@elegant_chaos) were at my table. Bob was a great curry partner who knew how to do it up right. We each ordered a different dish and shared both between the two of us.

Unfortunately, I lost about half my CFUnited 2010 photos which included any photos taken at the second table. If anyone has any to share, I would love to have them and/or post them. I can remember Lola Beno (@lolajl), Lola’s husband Bruce, Simon Free (@simonfree), Jason Dean (@jasonpdean), Dan Wilson (@DanWilson), Ben Nadel (@bennadel), Dee Sadler (@deesadler), Sandy Clark, David Frazier (@susqurugger), and Saurin Shah (@vtecnrg). I’m positive I’m leaving out names.


The discussion of music started on the CFUnited blog and wound up here on CodeBass where we could process comments a little faster. As you can imagine, the CFUnited staff was too slammed by this point to deal much with the blog.

I’ve rarely been so impressed with how a team of people managed to throw together something so professional so quickly. Josh Adams (@jladams), Chaz Chumley (@chazchumley), Sid Wing, Michael Evangelista (@m_evangelista), Tim Cunningham (@TimCunningham71), Charlie Arehart and I pooled together our equipment and resources, and before you knew it… there was a poolside setup ostensibly better than you’d find in your local watering hole… with less than two weeks to plan. We had no shortage of what was needed to bring awesome tunes and a good time to the Adobe pool party. Lisa Kavka and various others provided on-site support.

CFMicUp Open Mic

CFMicUp Open Mic

We maintained a small but meaningful crowd in the open mic area while the Adobe bar was in full swing. We took turns wandering over for drinks and to make sure the music was loud and clear to the drinkers. As we suspected, once the bar turned cash-only, the crowds started to move around the corner and were really ready to party.

After a good number of tunes complemented by Chaz’s talents with a mic and mixing deck, and some spontaneous karaoke performances powered by Sid, Tim Cunningham and Michael Evangelista performed their now legendary tune, “The Day CFUnited Died”. Listen here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Then, the illustrious Scott Stroz took to the mic with his notorious standup comedy. He was about halfway through with his routine when the hotel lifeguards informed us that it was past curfew, and they’d be calling security if we didn’t leave. RIGHT. NOW. Bummer! That was the first time any of us had heard about a curfew. After some quick debate, we decided exiting the pool would be preferable to a riot. Scott made the public service announcement that “Baywatch is calling security. Paul Blart, resort cop, is on his way.”

CFMicUp Open Mic

CFMicUp Open Mic

The CFMicUp inspired CFUnited themed audio from everywhere. I had both a CFUnited Playlist and a CodeBass Playlist on my iPod. Anyone who partied in my suite was privy to these playlists. They were trumped only by Primus. You may have heard bits of it at the registration desk and various points throughout the conference. Unfortunately, power sockets were sparse outside in the areas where I really wanted to crank it up.

Two of the best things I had among my CFUnited Playlist were shows dedicated to the event.

Matt Gifford (@coldfumonkeh) streamed his show live on #monkehRadio. Thanks to Twitter, I know Lisa and I weren’t the only ones listening as we chilled in our room for a bit that day. Pretty cool. It ends with an awesome CFUnited “triple slam” dedication. Check it out on #monkehRadio or listen to it here…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

James Allen (@CFJamesAllen), of James Allen Voice and host of the weekly #80sRewind, also put together a mobile party. Good stuff! I just listened to it again. Listen to it here…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To Continue to “CFUnited 2010 RetroSpective Part 2 – Tour de T-Shirt” click here.

2 Responses to “CFUnited 2010 RetroSpective Part 1, Sights and Sounds”

  1. Dan Vega says:

    Wow, Awesome write up! It was really great meeting you, I had a blast.

  2. Thanks for motivating the CFmicUp ~ let’s do it again sometime (sans Baywatch, Blart & Co.)
    We’ve got a less-live, more-audible version of The Day CFUnited Died in the works, coming soon to an interweb near you.

Leave a Reply