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cf.Objective(ANZ) Day 2 Wrapup: more wizardry than you can poke a mouse pointer at

Wow, this is late huh? Day 2 of cf.Objective(ANZ).

Day two started early for me, as I woke early to spend some more time polishing my presentation. After meeting Kevin Roche at breakfast, I decided to go to his session on “Fusebox Scaffolding” first up, over Terry Ryan’s session “ORM Basic to Advanced”.

Kevin demonstrated a project he’s been working on intermittently for some time, which allows users to generate basic Fusebox starter code simply by pointing the scaffolding application to a database. The resultant files can then be tweaked and customised as required.

Kevin’s system uses a template system developed by Peter Bell, which allows developers to write their own output templates using CFML itself – a mind-bendingly clever concept. Kevin will be releasing the SQL Server version of the code soon, and is looking for developers interested in helping out with Oracle and MySQL versions.

Next I had a choice of Dan Wilson’s “Model Glue 3: Gesture” or Mark Szulc’s ColdFusion + LiveCycle = Enterprise Innovation”. I chose a third option: make final last minute panicky adjustments to my presentation, which was up next.

Finally I was up, opposite Ron Hopper’s “Behaviour Driven Development with CFSpec”. I’d reversed the colours in Dreamweaver to try and make my code samples easier to see on the projectors, which were quite low contrast, but an unintended side effect of this was that it was hard for me to see my mouse cursor, which made things a little more difficult than they had to be. Nevertheless, the presentation went well and there were some nice comments in the Twitter stream (admittedly, mostly from my friends).

After another tasty lunch of various wraps, sandwiches, salads and cake, followed by a show of card tricks from the Magic Industries camp, “The Ancient Art of Software: Wisdom of the ages applied to today’s software developers” with Toby Tremayne was on at the same time as Mark Stanton’s “Masters of WAR”. I’d heard that there was going to be fire in Toby’s presentation so that’s where I headed.

Toby is the best known magician in the ColdFusion world today and his presentation presented the four archetypes of magic practitioners: The Trickster, The Sorcerer, The Oracle and The Sage. Describing the traditional attributes of the four, Toby then likened each to a type of software developer, using well-known members of the ColdFusion community as examples, with strategies to help acolytes ascend through the ranks.

And of course, there was magic – Toby made a cube disappear from a wooden chest, produced a list of words provided by random audiences from a locked box displayed at the beginning of the session, and finally burnt a card marked with audience supplied words in a wall of flame before producing it again, only slightly singed, from the deck.

Straight after, I chose to see Mike Brunt’s “Clustering ColdFusion” over Terry Ryan’s “Extending ColdFusion Builder” – not so much because I have any need for clustering in the projects that i do, but mostly because Mike is a well-respected expert in that topic as well as a very funny bloke, and I wanted to see what he had to say.

Mike didn’t disappoint. As well as imparting some good advice – for example, the default install settings for ColdFusion are mostly incorrect for high performing sites – he also delivered some humorous gems.

After afternoon tea, the very last sessions of cf.Objective(ANZ) for 2009: “Testing Testing 123” with Robin Hilliard, and “Using a Java Domain Layer with ColdFusion” with Jaime Metcher. I went to Robin’s session, wherein he promised that anyone who took up unit testing as part of their development process would, within one week of starting, have an epiphany about the usefulness of the system and would never go back.

He then demonstrated using RocketBoots’ own testing framework, RocketUnit, and how he uses it to unit test continually while coding the model layer of his applications, ensuring logic errors are caught right away.

And then it was over. Assembling everyone in the ballroom for Closing Remarks, Mark Mandel thanked everyone involved and acting as barrel girl, I drew the winners of the three raffles from the attendees who had completed evaluation sheets: one copy of ColdFusion Standard, one copy of Flash Builder and one copy of Fusion Reactor. The organisers present toasted with a glass of champagne and then it was time for us to vacate the venue.

See you all next year!

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