A Couple of Topic Ideas for dev.Objective()

cf.Objective() has long been a great ColdFusion conference, and one of my personal favorite speaking engagements. The organizers of cf.Objective() changed the conference name to dev.Objective() this year to better match the nature of talks given at the conference and to target a wider audience for the great content presented there.

The call for speakers for dev.Objective() is currently open, and I'm putting in a couple of topic proposals this year. I normally only put in a single, CFML-related topic proposal for the conference, but given the expanded nature of the conference, I thought it would be cool to talk about some of the non-ColdFusion work I'm involved in.

First up, I'm always happy to talk about Amazon Web Services and how ColdFusion fits in with the pretty awesome power of AWS. So my first proposed topic will be an update to my talk on using CF and AWS: "Unlock the Power of Amazon Web Services in Your ColdFusion Apps." There is so much to cover in this topic. From automatic integration with Amazon S3, to using the official ColdFusion AMI in AWS, to the myriad other AWS services that you can use with CF, there's a ton of opportunities for mixing CF and AWS.

The second proposal is about something new to both AWS and to me: AWS Lambda. It's a different way of looking at running "server"-side code: you run code, but you don't run servers. You're not really running web applications as well. You're only running a single function at a time (although that function is more like a main() in Java or C or Go). Even more interestingly, these functions respond to events from other systems, not a request from a Web browser.

The full topic proposal is below, and if you have any feedback about it, I'd love to hear it!

Node Without Servers: Event-Driven Computing with AWS Lambda

All the buzz in modern Web development seems to be about the client side, yet many tasks still require servers and server infrastructure. Many people use Node.js for their server-side code, but this still requires setting up and maintaining servers. What if you could run your JavaScript in the cloud, utilizing the full range of packages available to Node.js, without running any servers at all? What if your cloud-based code could automatically respond to events that happen in other services and entirely separate systems? In this session, we'll take a look at how you can use Lambda, a new part of Amazon Web Services (AWS), to run your Node.js code in an on-demand, event-driven fashion. In this session, you'll learn:

  1. How Lambda works and what makes it different from traditional Node hosting
  2. How Lambda listens to events from services like Amazon S3
  3. Building functions which respond to your own custom events
  4. Using languages other than Node in Lambda
  5. The trade offs between running your own Node-based infrastructure and using Lambda

Slides from My Adobe CF Summit Presentation on ColdFusion and Amazon Web Services

Thanks to everyone who turned out for my presentation on using Amazon Web Services in ColdFusion 11 at the Adobe CF Summit in Las Vegas. Attached to this post are my slides.

If you have any questions about using AWS (with or without ColdFusion), feel free to get in touch with me and I'm happy to share what I know!

Speaking About Amazon Web Services and ColdFusion 11 at Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2014!

This year's Adobe ColdFusion Summit is only two weeks away (yikes!) and I have been given the great opportunity to speak at the Summit again this year. Last year's inaugural summit was a really impressive event that was fully sold-out. I speak at my fair share of conferences, and while I do appreciate the four, five, or seven track variety of conferences, what I really liked about the CF Summit was that there were only two tracks. A lack of choices can sometimes turn into a great opportunity to learn about something you didn't think you'd be interested in learning, or an opportunity to dive deeper into something with which you're already familiar. I also liked that every session was really about "ColdFusion and...," giving you lots of opportunities to see how ColdFusion works so well with so many technologies. This year there are three tracks (choices!) and the same focus on "ColdFusion and..." in every conference session.

This year, I am again talking about Amazon Web Services and ColdFusion 11. I love talking about this stuff (I think AWS is all kinds of awesome), and if you haven't tried tapping into some of the incredible power of AWS, this session is definitely for you.

If you can't make the Summit this year, there is a recording of an earlier version of this presentation that I gave at NCDevCon. There's more that I can share at the Summit but this will give you most of what I'll be covering.

Slides and Recording from My NCDevCon 2014 Presentation on AWS and ColdFusion

Another great NCDevCon happened this weekend in Raleigh. I really enjoy this conference — it's incredibly well-run — and look forward to returning next year.

Thank you again to everyone who attended my session and for all the great questions during the session. Here are the resources from my presentation "Start Using Amazon Web Services in Your ColdFusion Apps:"

It looks like the first minute of the recording of my presentation was cut off. I started at 10am according to my clock, but the MediaSite installation at the College of Textiles (which otherwise worked flawlessly), was a minute behind the rest of the world. You didn't miss anything important, I promise!

Speaking at NCDevCon 2014, and Why NCDevCon Rocks

I'm really honored to be speaking at this year's NCDevCon. This will be my fourth year in a row as a speaker at the conference, and I'm excited to be returning to Raleigh for what I expect to be another great conference.

Why do I love NCDevCon?

  • It's cheap. For the quality, variety, and number of sessions, this conference is a steal. Equivalent conferences held elsewhere in the U.S. that don't have quite the same regional flair usually run upwards of $800 for registration. NCDevCon has always been incredibly affordable.
  • The speakers are great. The NCDevCon team puts a lot of effort into recruiting well-established speakers and finding new ones, especially new speakers from the Raleigh/North Carolina area. Fresh voices are always welcome, and they mix well with the established speakers who you see headlining conferences elsewhere.
  • There's a good mix of Web technologies covered. While NCDevCon used to be heavily focused on ColdFusion development — and there's still a track dedicated to ColdFusion — the conference over the past few years has swayed towards the front-end and mobile. This has brought in new opportunities for learning, especially for ColdFusion developers who don't see new versions of our main application server runtime for 12-18 months at a time.
  • It's small(ish). Given that there are 300 tickets for the conference, you can actually meet people, talk to speakers, and make new friends. You don't feel like you're lost in a sea of 2000 guys from Oracle and IBM (not that there's anything wrong with working for Oracle or IBM).
  • Raleigh (and the surrounding area) has great food. I'm a foodie. There's lots of good stuff to be had in Raleigh, and in nearby Chapel Hill. I make an annual pilgrimage to Allen and Son BBQ outside Chapel Hill, but that's because I'm a sucker for awesome Carolina BBQ.

So now that you know why I love NCDevCon, I figure I should talk about what I'm going to talk about!

"Start Using Amazon Web Services in Your ColdFusion Apps"

Amazon Web Services provide a wide array of highly scalable tools which solve common problems in modern Web application development. ColdFusion fits right into the AWS ecosystem, and this session will show you just how easy it is to start using AWS in your ColdFusion applications. We'll look at:

  • Cheap, fast, and easy content storage thanks to ColdFusion's integration with AWS Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Creating ColdFusion servers in AWS using the official Adobe ColdFusion Amazon Machine Image
  • Plug-in points for other AWS services in your ColdFusion applications
  • A reference architecture for running scalable ColdFusion applications in AWS
  • Some hard-earned lessons about running Web apps in AWS

AWS is a huge topic (Amazon has their own 5-day conference with over 150 sessions dedicated solely to AWS), so this is a lot to cover. I'll be employing my usual, "firehose" presentation style, but if you want to get up to speed quickly with what AWS can offer your ColdFusion application (or, honestly, web application development in general), you should get a lot out of this session.

I hope to see you there!

Slides from My UBTech 2014 Presentation "Unleash Your Inner Spielberg When Flipping the Classroom"

I was asked to speak again this year at UBTech. It's an interesting educational technology conference with a pretty diverse audience of faculty, instructional staff and senior-level administrators. I always get a lot out of the conference, and this year was no different.

Attached to this post is a PDF version of the slides from my presentation "Unleash Your Inner Spielberg When Flipping the Classroom." It was another good presentation, with great follow-up from a number of attendees.

This was my favorite tweet about the presentation:

Brian Klaas' Unleash Your Inner Spielberg talk...MIND BLOWN

If you're interested in me speaking at your institution about this topic, please get in touch!

Video of My jQuery San Diego 2014 Conference Talk

The great team behind the jQuery San Diego 2014 conference has posted videos from the conference. You can see the video of my talk — Promises, Promises: Unlocking the Power of jQuery's Deferreds — up on YouTube!

I'm Speaking at jQuery San Diego!

I'm really excited that I have been asked to speak at this year's main US jQuery conference in San Diego. This is the first time I've been asked to speak at a non-education, non-ColdFusion related technology conference, so I feel like it's a big step forward for me. I'll be speaking at a conference with some pretty awesome JavaScript hackers, and hope that I can meet the expectations of the audience with all those smart people around!

My presentation is titled "Promises, Promises: Unlocking the Power of jQuery's Deferreds." It's an updated (and shorter!) version of a talk that I gave at NCDevCon 2013. jQuery Conference sessions only run 30 minutes, so I've got to cut out a good amount of material, and I want to update it to look at implementations of promises in current, ES6-compliant JavaScript engines.

Here's the description of the session. I can't wait!

Managing the order in which asynchronous callbacks in JavaScript occur can be a nasty business. Without a lot of overhead and management, you're never quite sure that a certain callback has succeeded or failed. One technique for handling this problem that has gained a lot of traction in the past year is to use deferreds and promises. In fact, if you're making jquery.ajax() calls, you're already using deferreds and promises. In this session, we'll look at how deferreds and promises bring order to the chaos of multiple asynchronous JavaScript calls -- often known as "callback hell." We'll look at how you can leverage promises when making network requests, loading content on the fly, caching resources, performing serial transactions, and building a publish/subscribe model for browser or server-based applications.

Slides from My CF Summit 2013 Presentation "Start Using Amazon Web Services in Your ColdFusion Apps"

You don't have to look much further than the relevant tweets and blog posts to know that the first official CF Summit was a great success. It was awesome to be a part of this inaugural event, and I certainly hope that I get the opportunity to give a presentation next year.

Attached to this post are the slides from my presentation "Start Using Amazon Web Services in Your ColdFusion Apps." I know I went pretty quickly (one tweet described it as "drinking from a firehose"), but I actually felt like everyone kept up and was really satisfied with what I covered. With the slide deck, you can now check out all the resources I pointed to during the presentation. You can also find the presentation slides in the Dropbox folder for CF Summit 2013 speakers.

If you have any questions about CF + AWS, feel free to drop me a line!

Slides, Code, and Links to Recordings from My NCDevCon 2013 Presentations

NCDevCon continues to be one of the best conferences for web developers that I've had the privilege of both speaking at and attending. The speakers are excellent, the location great, and the price is incredibly low compared to similar conferences. I look forward to going again next year (and hopefully speaking too!).

At this year's conference, I gave two presentations. The slides, related code, and links to the recordings of each session are listed below. The slides contain references to all of the articles, sites, and tools I used in putting together my presentations.

I apologize that the end of my talk on Amazon S3 and CloudFront is slightly cut off. That's completely my fault for going three minutes over the allotted time. (I swear, when I rehearsed -- and I rehearse a lot for my presentations -- it came in at 45 minutes!)

If you have questions, feel free to post them here!

Promises, Promises: Unlocking the Power of jQuery's Deferreds

Better (and Cheaper!) Content Management with Amazon S3, CloudFront and ColdFusion

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