Since the ending of CFUnited, cf.Objective() seems to have stepped up to become the premiere ColdFusion conference. It's held each May in Minneapolis, has many of the same sponsors, and seems to be continuing to grow and expand each year. The cost is about comparable as well, at $949 for the three day event (with the usual early registration and various discounts available). Flights there will be about the same cost as it was to CFUnited's Maryland location, at least for us since we are in Texas. The venue, the Hyatt Regency, has a negotiated room rate of $169.
Unlike with the CFUnited folks, cf.Objective()'s organized have negotiated with the venue hotel to also have government rates for applicable attendees. For those not in state/federal jobs, the government rate is basically the max a state or federal entity will pay per night for a hotel room in that particular city/region. In this case, its $121 a night. So if the venue's rates are higher and they won't honor government rates, you either have to stay elsewhere or pay out of your own pocket. When my partner and I attended CFUnited, we had to stay at a cheaper hotel nearby, though the event sponsors did have shuttles going back and forth around the hotels which helped. Still, being able to stay in the venue hotel is nicer, especially if there are after session events. But I digress a bit.
I have yet to attend cf.Objective() myself. Before the end of CFUnited, it was too small, too focused, and honestly gave off a bit of a snobbish vibe. Since then it has really upped its game and showing itself to be more open to all levels, filling the gap CFUnited left behind. So I'd rather like to go. Last year, however, we only had the funds to send one person, after the scholarship program we used to cover the actual cost of the conference changed their policy to only cover one person per unit per event. After lots of discussion, we decided my partner would be the one to go. This year, I'm hoping we can both go, particularly as we will finally be moving to ColdFusion 9 in 2012.
So if I do get to go to cf.Objective(), what tracks would I want to attend (the point!), not taking into account what the actual room schedules will be?
- Application Security – Myth or Fact – Dave Ferguson
- Authentication made Easy using Twitter, Facebook, Google, and more – Billy Cravens (although it isn't something we are likely to use right now, I think it would be useful to see how it is done for potential customer-centric projects later, and for personal projects)
- Building high availability services – Elliott Sprehn
- CFML Mythbusters – Mark Drew
- Creating Enterprise Dashboards with ColdFusion – Fred Anderson (Something we've been asked for by clients more than once)
- Deep Dive: Running CFML on Apache Tomcat – Matt Woodward (Again, something we'd like to move towards, as we have more than a few problems with JRUN)
- Do's and Don'ts regarding performance – Gert Franz
- Enterprise Search with ColdFusion Solr – Dan Sirucek (we have apps using Verity now, so obviously with the move to CF 9, I'll need to learn more about Solr and switching them over)
- ESAPI and ColdFusion, or 'Security, Authentication and Encoding, oh my!' – Matt Gifford (another area of interest – always want to know more about being more secure)
- Get started with code review using Review Board – Jim Priest (we don't do it here, with only two developers, but I think it would be good to at least see what its about)
- Getting closure on Closures – Mark Mandel (no idea what they are, so an intro seems appropriate)
- Getting Started with Mobile Development – Jeff Tapper (something else we're getting more requests for)
- Going Deeper with jQuery Mobile – Andy Matthews
- Introduction to HTML5 Concepts – Raymond Camden (gotta look at it eventually)
- LESS CSS, meet ColdFusion – Nathan Strutz (curious…)
- Making High-Performance Caching Easy with ColdFusion – Brian Klaas
- Managing your Software Development LifeCycle – Jason Delmore (as we continue to mature, seems like a good topic to explore)
- Multi-Factor Authentication in ColdFusion – Denard Springle
- PhoneGap: Yea, its that easy…. – Scott Stroz
- Practical Performance – Make it go fast! – Dan Wilson
- Ten Steps to Move your Use of Caching Beyond the Basics – Rob Brooks-Bilson
- Using Amazon Services – Simon Free (mostly for personal projects for now)
- ValidateThis – From Zero to Hero in 60 Minutes – Bob Silverberg (writing the validation stuff tends to be sludge work…speeding it up would certainly be nice)
There was also an ORM deep dive, but I don't feel ready for that yet. What about you? Going to cf.Objective() this year? What sessions have you interested?