CFUNITED : Final Day

Today was my final day in DC. After checking out of the hotel, Stacey and I abandoned our bags, and hit the White Flint Metro.

We debated about going to the Mall to a Smithsonian museum or the music festival they were having, but ultimately decided to go to the National Zoo since we had never been there before.

We got off the Red Line at Woodley Park and had lunch at Chipotle (Mexican). After lunch, we walked a couple blocks up Connecticut Ave to the zoo.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, given the mixed reviews I had heard in the past. Overall, it was pretty decent. I especially liked the Giant pandas *awesome*!

After the zoo, we took the Metro back to Bethesda to get in the car and head to Wegmans in Fairfax of the Beltway/I-66! You know it…Wegmans! This time, we bought a rolling Igloo cooler and stocked it up with Sahlen’s hot dogs, and other assorted Wegmans specialties, of course. This was all after downing a Wegmans sub in the Market Cafe!

After leaving Wegmans, we hauled ass down I-95 (with all the other 4th of July traffic). Despite stopping around Lorton, Fredericksburg, and Ashland due to volume, we made ot from the Beltway to our driveway in exactly 4 hours (not too shabby for 280 miles!)

CFUNITED : Day 3

I started today with “CFMX Mobile SMS Applications Made Easy”. It was interesting to see the possibilities opened with this functionality in CF 7. After this, I attended the House of Fusion’s book auction in the sponsor area. I can’t believe that more people didn’t show up for this! Maybe it was because there was a session going on simultaneously? At any rate, I won a couple of good titles at very good prices. The most valuable to me professionally will be a SQL Server performance tuning book with a cover price of $50 that I won for $20.

Following the book auction, I attended to “CF in Government” session to see if there was anything valuable that would also apply to an educational environment, but there really wasn’t. It turned out to be more of a marketing presentation than anything else. But, hey – free CF 10th birthday t-shirt to add to the collection! Lunch was next on the agenda.

After lunch, New Atlanta presented the keynote on Blue Dragon. I haven’t really used it before, but it does have a lot of great features and is available for free (with limitations). I especially liked the advanced debugging features that are coming in a future release (most likely not free).

I closed the day with an overview of Farcry, a CF based CMS (free). For being free, Farcry has a ton of functionality and looks like it would be really cool for template driven sites.

The wrap-up was next. The remaining presenters (very few) were honored on stage as well as closing comments. Then came the prize giveways. I didn’t win anything (forgot my survey) but Stacey won the biggest prize (a full version of CFMX 7 = $1200) after saying that she never wins anything! Go, Stacey!

CFUNITED : Day 2

Today opened with “Designing and Coding for Search Engines”. This session pointed out several issues relating to how to improve your site’s ranking, some of which I was aware of, others that I wasn’t.

After this, I attended “SQL Server Performance Tuning”, which I would say was the most relevant session to my current work projects. I felt like I would be happy if this session went on for the rest of the day, or better yet – a whole week!

The keynote was next – from Microsoft on the future of IIS. MS seems to be incorporating many of the features that Apache has had for years into its IIS 7 release, and it’s about time! I particularly enjoyed the ability to monitor individual requests that will be part of the new IIS.

After lunch, I hit the gym again and took a break before going to “Consuming Popular Web Services”. It was interesting to see how the incorporation of external data has evolved from screen scraping to SOAP and how everything seems to be moving in the direction of web services.

I closed the day’s sessions with another search engine optimization presentation as well as an overview of Flash and .NET integration on the desktop before dinner (cool). After dinner, I went to the blog readers/writers BOF session (a bit late) followed by the CF birthday event on the terrace of the hotel. Free beer and wine, and cake! A busy, but good day!

CFUNITED : Day 1

Today started off with a great keynote about the direction of CF from Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, as well as a short overview of each of the presenters’ upcoming sessions.

Following the keynote, I attended the CFML Developer’s Guide to .NET and SQL Server 2005 for CF Developers before lunch. Both of these sessions had a heavy emphasis on the .NET platform and its evolving role as it tries to enhance (replace???) CF.

After lunch, I snuck in a workout and fixed a work problem before heading to part of the CSS Box Mocdel Demystified session. I missed most of the session.

Advanced SQL was next which was very helpful and gave me some good ideas. I ended the day with Advanced Regular Expressions, which will also be very valuable for me.

For dinner, we hopped on the red line to Metro Center and ate at the Capital City Brewing Company.