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It came to my attention today that one of the most famous ColdFusion conferences, CFUnited, will cease to exist from 2011 onwards. While the fact that one of the most important and longest running ColdFusion conferences in the world will not be around next year deeply saddens me, but at the same time I see it as a door opener for the new and more modern conference models.
I have never been to the American version of CFUnited myself, and believe everyone that say it’s a Summer Camp for developers. On the other hand, I have been to the European Version back in 2008, and have to say I wasn’t impressed at all. After talking to people during the conference who have actually been to the American version, I was left underwhelmed by their comments about it being 50% marketing. My first impression about the whole thing was the companies would pay a top price to have their stands around and offer their products while we tried to get something out of the conference itself. While I understand conferences aren’t cheap, i’ve been to other conferences before, and marketing wasn’t so aggressive.
Anyway, the objective of this post is not to slag CFUnited off, but to bring some hope to the hopeless, and happiness to the sad.
The end of CFUnited DOES NOT mean the end of ColdFusion (CFUnited.dead() NEQ ColdFusion.dead()). ColdFusion is alive and kicking, and after CF9, it’s been livelier than ever. Ever since Adobe bought Macromedia, ColdFusion has never been in a better situation than it is right now.
ColdFusion currently has an entire team of engineers working actively on it, and a really capable team working on it’s evangelism. Better than all that, this entire team can be easily reached by anyone willing to do so.
Some examples are:
- Terrence Ryan (@tpryan)
- Adam Lehman (@adrocknaphobia)
- Liz Frederick (@lizign)
- Ben Forta (@benforta)
And many others. That is without mentioning the great community the CFML language has. Some people there will remain my friends, even if I one day decide that ColdFusion is not the main technology I’ll be using.
That said, what really triggered me to write this, was a blog post by Hal Helms earlier today, where he tries to somehow tie the fact that CFUnited is only halting because ColdFusion is not strong enough, and that although people should not over-react, they should not under-react either.
This in my opinion (with all the due respect to Hal Helms) is just plain FUD, and was intentionally posted to generate flame. While I truly believe someone like Hal Helms would not need this sort of “notorious popularity”, I fail to understand what exactly his point was on posting such a thing.
I believe knowledge is the key to everything, so you should keep learning constantly, and try your best to keep on top of everything on your domain, and agree that Hal made a good point by saying this. It’s just that it doesn’t really seem like the same person who wrote this just the other day.
Now, in terms of conference, there are tons of good ones around, and just to mention some of them:
And many others as Terrence Ryan mentions here.
With that said, we still can’t forget that the CFML community got recently a tremendous addition when Railo was made open-source. This takes CFML to a whole new level, where developers coming from other languages can’t complain any more about ColdFusion being too expensive, or it’s source being too strict. There is no excuses not to use CFML. It’s got a great community always willing to help, some excellent resources all around, development of complex systems is made a breeze, and more and more companies are adopting it.
Long live to CF!