CFUN is the national ColdFusion
and Web programming conference hosted each June in the Washington, DC,
area by IT firm TeraTech, Inc. The initials CFUN stand for ColdFusion User
Network. These annual 2-day
conferences are packed with opportunities for attendees to learn, network, and have fun.
|"The CFUN series of conferences are by
far the best ColdFusion (CF) conferences. Each year Michael [Smith] puts
together the most advanced and sophisticated set of ColdFusion topics and
speakers to be found--anywhere--for any price. Nowhere else do you get
to network with the real CF gurus and peers alike in a fun, friendly, casual
atmosphere. . . . Year after year, CFUN provides a first look opportunity with CF server and Fusebox product releases.
"Best courses, best learning, best
timing, best networking, best price--best meeting. Period."
--Jeremy Ridout, 2003 CFUN Conference Attendee
A Little CFUN History
"Conferences are important
because of what you learn and who you
meet," says Michael Smith, president of TeraTech, and a CPCUG member, who in 1998 envisioned hosting an annual CFUN conference.
In 1999 TeraTech and CPCUG
organized the first CFUN conference. We
held it at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, which
for many years had been the home of CPCUG General Meetings and free Saturday morning seminars. Because more than 900 people registered and attended that first CFUN conference, exceeding the capacity of Masur Auditorium, a second room, Lipsett Amphitheater, was set up in advance with a live audiovideo link so all attendees could participate fully.
Since that inaugural event,
there has been a CFUN conference each
June, growing from 12 speakers in one track to 30 speakers in five tracks.
Multiple Tracks and Dozens of Topics
At this year's conference, CFUN-04, there are five tracks:
CFUN is a fantastic place to market your skills by connecting with other consultants and small companies. You'll talk about the market, where it is going, and what you can offer. Although the job market is tight, and almost everyone has been affected, there are companies looking for the right people. Actively participating in a conference like CFUN demonstrates your commitment to staying on top of the learning curve experienced by Web programmers, and can give you the edge you need in landing the job you want.
Participants will have fun
meeting people from across the United State
and learning ColdFusion and other Web programming techniques they can put to immediate use. CFUN, however, is not a "party." As Sunday draws to a close, attendees will be exhausted, their brains still processing new knowledge and related insights.
CFUN is a great opportunity to make a place in the ColdFusion
community while continuing to build a personal knowledgebase.
Consultants know that work isn't likely to arrive continuously without a push (or even a tug). Meeting colleagues and being remembered can
relieve the stress of workflow uncertainty. Those who attend CFUN-04 will be exposed to new ideas, make new friends and contacts, and leave
with a pocket full of business cards.
Organize your resume and portfolio before CFUN-04, and you'll be
ready to act on your new leads Monday morning following the
To Like About CFUN
Guru programmers, authors, and other players in the ColdFusion
community throughout the nation look forward to coming to Washington,
DC, each year for CFUN. Local Web developers who can't afford the time (and money) to travel to the big conferences can attend the local CFUN conference and share the experience and the rewards of spirit,
motivation, and education. Most important, perhaps, CFUN brings the
local community together for one weekend each year.
There is a tendency for
those in the development community to become
isolated. At CFUN, participants are immersed for 2 days in "best practices" and fresh ideas while connecting or reconnecting with friends and mentors. By meeting the experts speaking at the conference, attendees put themselves in position to be remembered and to get answers they can use when they need help. The planned events of CFUN are value packed, but the informal interactions that take place can be of even greater value.
The "CF Doctor" attends the conferences to answer questions and give
advice. Sponsors demo new products and raffle door prizes. And, did I
mention breaks? Throughout the weekend there will be fun-filled games
and contests that challenge attendee knowledge of programming and
ColdFusion, and give brains a chance to change gears and assimilate
their new knowledge.
Speakers include famous
authors and recognized authorities in the
programming community. Macromedia guru and author Ben Forta will be giving a keynote. Local book authors Jeff Peters (former CPCUG
Monitor columnist known as "The Webspinner") and Steve Drucker (recent presenter on content management at the CPCUG Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG) are speaking.
Microsoft .NET evangelist Geoff Snowman (of CPCUG TV fame) will be
talking about new SQL Server features. ColdFusion Developer Journal
writers Hal Helms and Charlie Arehart are on the CFDJ panel with editor Robert Diamond. And, of course, TeraTech's own Michael Smith will be speaking. In all, 30 speakers will be giving more than 40 talks during the 2 days of the conference.
CPCUG at CFUN 2004
CPCUG members will be staffing
a membership information booth at CFUN. We will be sharing this booth with
Byte Back, a Washington, DC,
service organization of more than 600 volunteers providing very low cost, job-oriented, computer training for underemployed and unemployed
seeking computer and programming skills to improve their career and
Visit our booth while you're at the conference!
Additional Information About CFUN
The 6th annual ColdFusion
User Conference (CFUN-04) is being held
Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, 2004, from 8 am to 5 pm at the
Doubletree Hotel in Rockville, MD. It costs $269 (after June 15, $299; onsite, $350). For additional information and to register, visit
Barbara Conn is CPCUG Director of Corporate
Communications and Chair, CPCUG Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG. In real
life she is a publishing strategist and technical communicator. She may
be reached via e-mail or on the Web