Friday, June 14, 2013

SotR 13 - Wrap Up

Well, a) it's been a helluva looong time since I made a blog post, well a public one anyways and b) I'm going to try and do better so...

It was almost a year ago that I announced on here that I had the pleasure and privilege of being on the CAB for SotR ( 2013 edition.  This was an awesome experience, sure it was a ton of work, but it all seemed to be just enough distraction from client work that it was enjoyable.  Plus, I really liked my first/last Scotch Experience, and wanted to help out in any way that I could.

Anyways, so the years worth of work culminated last week at the actual conference.  I flew into Edinburgh on Tuesday, so that I had lots of time to help set-up and make ready the hotel.  The hotel was lovely, I was quite happy with it once I had had the tour and looked at the set-up.  The rooms were all a good size and the smallest room was quite a bit larger than the smallest at SotR11.  We (Andy, Leanne and I) talked with the Hotel about the timing of all the services etc.  very cool be involved in all of that.

We then started packing the Speaker gift packs... which I was so happy to hear that all the speakers enjoyed... The box was a bit small and the Glenfidditch a bit big, so some of them were 'difficult' to close, but well worth the effort.  Wednesday was spent in similar preparation, packing 200 attendee 'grab bags' who knew that mugs would be so popular this year?

The CAB all got together for the first time on Wednesday to go over a few things, and make sure we were all on the same page.  Matt Gifford and I were set to do registration, somehow it turned into a competition, which I lost (due to Matt's voraciousness - checking in delegates in the bar, or as they walked into the hotel...)  And so began SotR13!

Thursday morning brought more registration fun as we checked in the remaining delegates before the Welcome and Keynote.  Time sort of started to accelerate at this time, and I don't really know what happened, but it was suddenly lunch, I grabbed some of whatever was left, as I wasn't there when they started serving, the food was good (what I had at least).

The afternoon blurred on, until the final session of the Day with Bruce (I attended a session or two, and I know I gained a lot from them, and have some follow up tasks, but I would have to look at my notes to see who/what and where!).  His session was quite good, well paced, funny and an excellent way to deliver his message.  I (as an organizer and attendee) really enjoyed his talk.

Day turned to night, the Open CFML BOF was missed (by me) due to me wanting to eat!, the Lightening talks were good, well attended near the end... because of the Open Bar.  The magician who walked around during the Open Bar period was quite good, and then Ben Nadel showed up, well a replica anyways.  Pictures and fun were had by all with Ben, but he didn't stop there...

Friday morning was excellent with a slightly later start, however it seemed that sleep wasn't my thing this year, I think I averaged about 5 hours a night (and I am still recovering).  The sessions were once again excellent, speakers on a broad range of interesting topics.  I attended a few more sessions, and my list of investigative requirements grew (look out Angular JS, I will learn you! and Rails too!)  The sessions ended with a wrapup from Andy, and suddenly the conference was over.

We as a CAB had a quick wrap up meeting, where we all resigned.  This was the most democratic way to end the CAB, but I'll be applying to help with SotR14!  Cause it was just too much fun.

The fun continued into the evening, #NotBen had a reappearance, and many many pictures were taken... and one video...

That's all for me! Looking forward to blogging more and keeping in touch with all the great folks I met at this years Scotch on the Rocks!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Respect in the Workplace

I've dealt a LOT with this in the last couple of months at my previous place of employment, and I can't say that I really understand where something like this comes from.  Don't people understand that you gain respect by showing respect?

I won't go into the gritty details of what happened, as that's not who I am, however I think a little overview with maybe some feedback would be super!

So, last year, in what I thought was a good career move at the time, I left the company (laboratory) that was bought out (and had crazy contracts to sign that weren't warranted) and I started at another laboratory.  This was going to be different I was told, we are all going to work together to get it all done.  Things went fantastically for the first few months, and then after Christmas, wow did it go downhill.  So, I knew last year when I signed on that it was for a one year contract.  I brought it up with my boss half-way through, that perhaps there should be some sort of performance review, but no go.  'Wait until July he sad'.  Cool.  Anyways, my contract was coming just about up, (just over two weeks ago) and I got an odd email, so I called him to ask what was up.  I asked point blank at this time (two weeks of contract time remaining) if my contract was being renewed, and I was told that 'We're moving forward' and you are 'seeing ghosts'.  These answers didn't make sense, but there was no clarification to be had.

During the last week of my contract, I was told to instruct one of my co-workers there, on how to do a good portion of what I looked after on a day-to-day basis.  Anyone else, get a weird sense of foreboding?  So,  with a two days left in the contract, I was informed of a meeting, in another building, with HR the next day, my last day.

I went in, listened to what they had to say and to their contract extension offer, I declined (didn't want to go through it all again in 6 months).  Now, I've heard what my FORMER boss has been telling my former co-workers and it is just BS, absolute lies!  The reasons that he has attached to me turning down the contract are skewed, and of course skewed to make me look like a jerk. The reality of the issue lies in the fact that he did not respect me.

I have the utmost respect for people who go to work everyday and get something done.  I show that respect in both my actions and words, at all times.  I provide praise and uplifting statements to my co-workers for the work that they do.  I cannot understand how a business or a manager cannot do these things.  As a business, it is disrespectful to your employee to NOT give them a solid answer on the status of their job before the contract is over.  Two weeks notice on whether or not the contract is being renewed would be fine, that gives people time to put a plan in place for what is going to happen next.  Having a meeting on the last day of the contract leaves no time for negotiation, nor even discussion with anyone (husband, wife, dog).

This bugs me, and bugs me a LOT (obviously - since I have spent time writing about it!).  Is this really what the world is coming too?  or have I just been introduced to a bunch of weirdos?  Or worse, am I the one expecting too much from people?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SotR13 Conference Advisory Board

Well, it's been posted over at for a week or so now, but SOTR13 is on, and I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the Conference Advisory Board!  So far its been a blast, and I am very much looking forward to my second trip to Scotland.  June 6-7th 2013 can't come fast enough for me.

For SotR11, I was fortunate enough to win the conference pass and hotel stay!  It was fantastic, the Fuzzy Orange crew did a great job and really made me feel at home.  At the same point, I felt indebted to them for even giving away tickets and so I spent tons of time with them, setting up the lanyards, packing the grab bags and any other odd jobs I could do.  It was a really great feeling to be able to help out in this way.

This time, I still get to do all that fun stuff, but also some of the other earlier planning as well.  I am really looking forward to once again working with the FO crew and the rest of the CAB to pull off an amazing event!  Keep watching the SotR website as we will post information as we go.  Don't forget to follow @sotr on Twitter and to sign up for the newsletter on the website.  Looking forward to seeing you all next June in Edinburgh!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Offline AIR Sync with ColdFusion Difficulty

Well, I have tried my hand at this for some time, but can't seem to get it to work, AND I really have no idea why not, nor how to fix it. This is one of those problems that is too big for Twitter :)

Anyways, I have a mobile AIR app that I have built (and it works great!), however I need the data to be synced back to the server and then accessible to other mobile devices. I have CF9 set up, with ORM, I've tried to keep it simple, and have all the data stored in a single table. Below is the CFC for the data...

And here is the object from ActionScript...

Now anytime I try to update the object on the server, I just get an error. Doing some logging and tracing, it seems that two of the data items in the struct sent to the server do not have a value, just a '?'. Um, the data is fine on the device, but not when it sends it to the server. So WTF?

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for me? This has been bugging me for a couple of days (its a side project so I had to find time to post about it). If you need any further data or code, please just post for it in the comments. Thanks in Advance for any assistance!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ColdFusion 9 and Exchange 2010

So during the set-up of the network that I have had to build, I've run into a few snares with the server and getting the system (that was provided to me). The biggest one that was problematic, was the OWA access for my Exchange server stopped working. At first I thought it was something with the SSL certificate that I had created for the mail server and I went through a LOT of work to fix the Exchange server. Once the server was running and OWA was operating properly (yeah, uninstall Exchange and mess around with IIS) I was quite happy.

I then wanted to add ColdFusion 9.01 to the server (again) before adding the large custom 'program' to the server that has to be installed to the default website (same as OWA) and creates a crazy number of virtual directories and whatnot to the IIS server. So I installed CF9 in advance... with the default settings, and applied it to all IIS websites. Then I went to access OWA and, um it didn't work. I finally figured out that adding ALL websites to CF9 caused the issue (yeah there was a LOT of Googling, but not much was out there, and I can't seem to find the post that helped me to find the problem... )

Anyways, I uninstalled CF9 and OWA worked no problem, so then I re-installed CF9 and assigned it to a couple of sites that I created but have yet to populate... and well it worked. It seems that CF9 adds a default mapping for its requests, and that interferes with the pre-existing default mapping for OWA.

So, for my own reference and if anyone else experiences this, you cannot have CF9 working on the same website that has OWA running on it. You can apply CF9 to other sites on IIS, just not the one running OWA. Hope that this helps someone! :)

Too Busy...

It has been a REALLY long time since I have posted anything here. Life has taken a few ups and downs, and so has work.

A few months ago, I changed jobs, after spending almost a year focusing on a single enterprise Flex app, that was scraped once the company I worked for was bought by a larger organization... It was quite a piece of software if I do say so myself, a nice ColdFusion backend and a Flex frontend. It was a bunch of work, but a great learning experience, disappointed that it never got to production though :(

Anyways, with my new job I get to do something similar. At this initial stage, I am leaving Flex out of it, and going straight ColdFusion ad jQuery. Given that I have been at this job for three months now, I am a) getting everything set up the way I want (finally) b) getting the crap cleared out of the way and c) starting to feel the pressure to get more done :)

I have encountered a few things lately that I thought I should share, so I am resurrecting my blog, and hoping for more consistent posting in the future!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WDDX in ColdFusion 9

So, I have been using CF8 and Flex 3 to build an application. I am getting to the point of having a stable 1.0 release, and as such, I am looking forward to the second phase of the project. The second phase is going to be based on a new database architecture, and as such, I thought that it would be a good time to flip everything to Flex 4 and CF9, so that I can take advantage of some of the DCD features of Flex 4 and the ORM features of CF9.

In some preliminary testing, I have run into the following issue:

I make good use of ColdFusion Reports (CFRs) in the current release, and I pass a query object that is built and passed into the CFR from a constructing component. When the system has created the query object, and the user flags it as a 'passed' report, the query is stored into the Database as a WDDX encoded object. This of course will allow me at a later time to do other actions on the object if needed, as I can just extract the data and convert it back to CFML, and I will have a Query Object in my code to work with and pass to the CFR.

Anyways, over the holidays, I formatted my system, and started over, and at that time I decided that I would be using CF9 as my main Development CF engine, as opposed to CF8. Last week, I was fine-tuning my read/write routine, and adding some flags as to WHEN those things would happen, and I ran into a roadblock. I created the query just fine and sent it to the CFR where it was rendered properly. I took the same Query and converted it to WDDX and saved it to the DB, then retrieved it and converted back to a Query Object and the CFR fails with an extra '<'. Now, dumping the query, it looks fine, so I can't say where the error is occurring. The real kicker of course, is that the code works fine on CF8. It will convert to WDDX and back again with no issues from the CFR.

I have filed a bug (81726) and would appreciate some votes for this. This bug will stop me from going to CF9. I guess I need to test out converting the query to JSON, but I thought that JSON did not keep its CF type when converted back, and everything would come out as a struct, when I need a query. Any suggestions?