I've been meaning to post about OpenCF Summit for a few weeks. If you haven't already heard about it OpenCF Summit, it's home page describes is as follows:
OpenCF Summit is a community gathering focused exclusively on advancing free and open source software in the CFML community.
If you're interested in diving into the free software CFML engines, learning more about the free software movement, and interacting with the most progressive thinkers in the CFML community, OpenCF Summit is for you!
A couple recent blog posts finally prompted me to write up this post...
First, Bob Silverberg recently posted Why Contribute to Open Source Projects? If you've ever wondered about the answer to this question, or if you just haven't had time to participate or learn more about open source software projects, I highly recommend reading Bob's post! It gets my +1 all around--I wholeheartedly agree on all points, and I can't think of anything he's left out.
Second, as if the OpenCF Summit registration wasn't already incredibly reasonably priced, it was just lowered to $30--it's a steal! From the beginning, the OpenCF Summit organizers have aimed to keep costs down, and they've really delivered. I'll highlight a few quick thoughts about why I'm super excited to be attending and speaking at OpenCF Summit, but I also encourage you to check out the OpenCF Summit blog, which contains numerous posts about what the conference is all about, what it has to offer, and how you can participate and enjoy.
For all of the reasons outlined by Bob, I'm quite passionate about open source software, and I truly enjoy participating--be it bug reports, coding, documentation or just good forum discussions. For all that makes technology conferences awesome (great opportunities for learning, sharing, networking, and just having a great time with great people), I'm passionate about attending whenever I can. So, when I first heard about OpenCF Summit, it sounded like a geek's dream come true :P I planned to attend, without question.
To make things even more exciting, I submitted a topic to present, and I'm honored to have had it accepted: Complete FOSS CFML Development Stack. I just think it's fantastic that we, as CFML developers, have the option to develop on a completely free and open source software stack--from operating system to version control system! Better yet, there are numerous options in every category (operating system, Web server, application server, CFML engine, database engine, IDE, VCS, etc.). I've been developing with Ubuntu as my primary desktop operating system for well over two years now, and I love it, so I'm very excited to share my experience.
To be clear, I haven't been strictly FOSS only, but in the spirit of the conference, I thought this might be a nice topic, because you can be a strictly FOSS CFML developer, should you choose. As great as CFEclipse is (and Eclipse, in general), there's no Flex support for Linux. On the commercial side, as great as ColdFusion Builder sounds, there's no Linux support. I've been using IntelliJ IDEA as my primary IDE for a while now, because it's a fantastic IDE, in general, and it supports CFML, Flex and Groovy development very well. While there is a free and open source version of IntelliJ (Community Edition), the non-free commercial Ultimate Edition is required for CFML and Flex support. It's very reasonably priced and pays for itself in development efficiency almost immediately. That said, I still like to support CFEclipse and use it on a number of personal projects. As for CFML engines, I'm a huge advocate of the CFML development community, and I like to spread the love ;-) I enjoy the best of Adobe ColdFusion, OpenBD and Railo whenever I have the chance!
You Too, Should Attend OpenCF Summit!
Why? Well, as I've mentioned, it's a whole lot of fun to attend conferences, and the amount you'll learn from conference sessions, unconference sessions, hallway conversations, dinner and after-hours conversations, is just incredible. That much holds true for just about any decent conference, and considering the large number of incredibly smart, kind and generous folks involved in OpenCF Summit, it's a no-brainer. If you're at all new or curious about the many wonderful open source projects in the CFML community, this is the best place in the world to learn more and get involved right now. If you're already a big fan of open source and CFML, well, this is basically a Disney World trip for the OSS geek in you.
There's a great looking schedule. There's a great group of speakers, and I know of many great attendees that will be fun to converse with too. There's a great group of partners sponsoring the event. There's a community hackfest planned, an unconference room, Pecha Kucha and BOFs.
How about networking? Are you looking for more professional connections? Is your company looking for another qualified team member? This is the place to be! I, for one, am looking to hire a couple passionate programmers right now, so if you're looking for a great opportunity, find me at the conference! (Or, better yet, contact me now.)
And if all the usual conference goodness and a great group of people isn't enough to get you psyched, read up on the OpenCF Summit blog posts for other exciting stuff. So, come and join the fun in Texas, Feb 21-23. I hope to see you there.