November 2015

Gavin Pickin

CF Summit is coming to a close - thinking ahead to dev.Objective()

CFML Language, cfObjective, Conferences, Dev.Objective

Idea for Community / Conference Project to Make dev.Objective() - Bigger, Better and reach new Group

I don't know the title we should use for this idea, there are a few options: Nothing good, just a few randoms

  • A Little help from my friends
  • CardsAgainstDevelopers
  • GamesAcrossBoundaries
  • AppAllTheThings
  • GamesAgainstDiversity (grammar fail maybe)
  • GamifyTheConference


This year’s dev.objective() was again a joy to attend, and have the pleasure of speaking at. I had the pleasure of talking with old friends and new friends, and during the process, I had several conversations about what makes dev.Objective() great, what could be better, and how to reach out to new people and group.

While at the airport on the way home, talking with a few new friends, we came up with an idea that evolved, and is what I wanted to share with you today. This is an idea, and a commitment to work on it, from me and several contributors.

I enjoyed Matt Giffords’s keynote, how as a developer we need to keep learning new skills, adapting and growing, and in the end, you might be a jack of all trades, but you can be a great integrator. This idea builds upon this idea.

I am proposing we could/should create a special track, that begins in the Keynote, encourages attendee participation from the start, and continues through to the extravazanger, at the BOF with the remaining sessions on Friday completing the track with additional topics. You don’t need to be able to do all of these things to be a great developer, but understanding the pieces of the puzzle will make you a better developer.

The core concept… a start to finish app, which is a community card game service, which needs a community to build it, source the content, and then build the clients in hands on sessions to be able to play the game at the BOFs.

We have always had content from all the steps of the process, but having a track that walk through the whole process would be amazing. The keynote could build on the idea of integrating lots of tech, working through a workflow, and bringing the community together, from concept, design, api, db, nosql, rabbitmq messaging, consuming API’s with mobile apps, js frameworks ember react and angular, deployment, server monitoring open source etc.

The keynote can invite people to participate in Family Feud style survey which will load the game up for the BOF. I believe this community driven, diverse technology stack, with a focus on building an open source fun family friendly game, showing each step would make dev.Objective() stand out, and maybe even be a newsworthy story.

NOTE: The idea of a conference app did come up, but this is a simple front end game client, easy to build, more achievable, and can live on beyond the conference.

I think having several hands on sessions, with supporting adhoc, to build simple client to be able to play the game will make it more compelling. Personally NodeSchool BOF was fun because it had  deadline, a prize, some competition, and the Boardgame BOF afterwards was a huge highlight of the conference. Combining those pieces, and add the continuity of the sessions with a central app, I think would be a big win.

I think Cards against Humanity would be a bigger pull but would be an issue with Anti Harassment but we could build the structure, and attendees could build their library of questions and answers. Maybe Cards against Developers, with geeky jokes, and tidbits of experience of dealing with customers. Family Feud style questions might be interesting, asking questions like tabs vs spaces, sublime, intelli-j builder etc, ColdFusion Railo Lucee, and maybe even open up the Framework War.

Obviously this is not a small task, but with a little help from our friends, we could do this. We will no doubt have the same content in the conference anyways, but we could build on top of the talent of our speakers, and tune their sessions to support this overall goal / track. Those I have talked to liked the idea in concept, and would be willing to step up with help in the process and present trainings based around the app.

Sponsors could chip in with a VPS maybe, Fusion Reactor license to monitor conference traffic to the app etc.

Session Ideas

Some ideas of the sessions that could be linked together, to form the track, not final, but a good starting point.

  • Keynote
  • Planning and building service side
  • Planning a Big Saas project - identify pieces, lays roadmap fo sessions, maybe could be done as Keynote.
  • SQL vs NoSQL - Picking a Platform
  • ORM Services
  • Rabbit MQ - Messaging Service Layer
  • Designing an API - Styles, auth, and examples
  • Implementing an API - compare coldbox rest, sinatra and taffy… implement all 3? maybe node too?
  • API, Doc generation and debugging tools - can explore api and load the questions / and answers via api - ColdDoc etc
  • Server side vs client side testing
  • Designing a User Community - oAuth + security / crowd sourcing,crowd funding,
  • working in git with teams and open source
  • Collaborative Coding Tools and Workflows


Hands On Client Building

Could be one or two big hands on or parallel sessions. I recommend first day for hands on, feed into first night hackathons to help people build them maybe.

  • Hands On CFML App
  • Hands on Ember App
  • Hands on Angular App
  • Hands on React App
  • Ionic App
  • Meteor App


Launching / Deploying / Maintaining

  • Grunt / Gulp / Build tools
  • CI - Jenkins / Travis CI
  • capistrano for deployment
  • docker / vagrant / ansible
  • deploying to aws / other sponsor vps
  • server monitoring - fusion reactor


This is just an idea, but I think it could shape the conference, and give a complete workflow for people to educate themselves.
Lets discuss this... comments welcome, lets make our community and our conferences great.

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