cf.Objective() 2012 – Day Two Sessions

The second day of cf.Objective() 2012 is the big day for sessions, with six slots of sessions spanning from 9-5, followed by a dinner break and the birds of a feather (BoF) stuff. I'll go ahead and note, we didn't go to any of the BoF stuff. I'm not a social person by nature, so that part had no appeal and none of the topics seemed like something that would be of interest to me. I was also still a bit annoyed that the submissions and voting for BoF all required Twitter accounts. I don't tweet, I don't have an account, and I refuse to sign up just for that. Should have used FaceBook, way way way more users (as I learned in one of the second day's sessions).

Managing Your Software Development Life Cycle – Jason Delmore
Although we are a development “shop” of two + a manager (who isn't a coder), we are still trying to find ways to deal with our software development life cycle. We are way further along than we were a few years ago, when we basically had nothing. It was a free for all with our clients of whoever got to their pet developer first (we also had four developers back then). These days we do have a basic “contract” even though all of our clients are internal and we've been working on having set life cycles. Jason gave a great overview of some development methodologies and, even better, how to go about deciding which one might work for your situation. He threw out a lot of tools and showed some examples of their work flow. It wouldn't all work in our shop, but it gave some starting points for suggestions on ways we can improve our system, particularly if we ever get more developers.
10 Steps to Move Use of Caching Beyond Basics – Rob Brooks-Bilson
Unfortunately, this session ended up being a complete waste of time for me other than giving me some time to work on stuff from work. It really didn't match its session description at all, which said it would explore “10 steps you can take to move your use of caching beyond what ColdFusion provides out of the box”. In reality, it was all about using ehcache and I guess the “10 steps” were the ways he talked about using it. Unfortunately, he didn't bother opening by explaining what ehcache was and seemed to presume you already had pretty advanced knowledge of it. Since I didn't, most of it just went over my head.
ESAPI and ColdFusion: “Security, Authentication, and Encoding, oh my!” – Matt Gifford
One of the best sessions of the conference for sure! Both my partner and I went to this one and I think I can say we both thought it worth our time. I'd seen the letters “ESAPI” but had no idea what it was or why I should care. Matt did a great job of explaining what it was, how to use it, and most importantly why to use (and the cons of using it). Like Pete from the day one presentation, Matt didn't waste time focusing on SQL injection attacks that can be handled by CFQUERYPARAM. We both came away with the beginnings of our plans to get this implemented in our shop with our next project.
CFML Mythbusters: 10 Coding Myths Put to the Test – Mark Drew
This was a fun presentation mostly because Mark is kind of nuts and the audience seemed to have fun having random arguments over the results of his testing. Using the Mythbusters model, Mark went through a few commonly repeated “truths” about ColdFusion and tested them on both Railo and ColdFusion 10 instances. Some were kind of “oh” things but they did at least disprove some silly statements made. A few had surprising results, and I was really surprised as how many folks seemed to hate the IsDefined() function. He did debunk some ideas about its performance, but still called it bad to use which I didn't quite get. Was nice to see that the idea of “minifying” ColdFusion code would improve performance was completely debunked – it just makes the code hard to read.
How to Pimp Our Your Model – Scott Stroz
OMG, where was this session when we first got started using frameworks??? Seriously, if you are like we were two years ago, having no idea what a framework is, why you'd use it, and what the heck a model-view-controller session is, you need to go to this if it is offered next year or at another conference. Not only did Scott do a great job explaining it all in an easy to understand manner, but he also gave us permission to take it slow and not try to do it all at once!

We skipped the last set of sessions for the day. None of the ones available in that slot were of interest, so we went to dinner early instead. Other than that though, only the one session noted above felt like a waste of time. All the rest I definitely walked away from with some good info, so a great day overall.