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Hang Out with the Flex Camp Miami Crew

Many of us are going to be hanging out at Titanic (a local bar in Coral Gables) tonight (Thursday March 5th) at 9pm. We would love for any Flex Camp Miami attendees to stop by and hang out (this is just an unofficial meet and greet – so, drinks and food are up to you).

Directions to Titanic

Max Classes – Day 3

I made some last minute switching on Day 3 classes. I chose not to attend the “Boot Camp for Mobiles and Devices” or “Leveraging Coldfusion in AIR Applications”. I still don’t have any projects with mobiles in the near future, and I feel that I have used Coldfusion every way that it could be used with AIR (including a few ways that probably were not what was intended).

Flex Boot Camp – This was good because I got to speak on Cairngorm (even though it was only 10 minutes – and how can you explain Cairngorm in 10 minutes). There were several other presenters, including several people from the Flex Builder Team. The downside: the wireless did not work on that end of the building, so I couldn’t show some of the material I was planning to show. The boot camps were a good idea.

Designers and Developers CAN Love Each Other – Two guys from EffectiveUI did this presentation. It was great to have a sneak peek into their workflow. The other cool thing was that I was able to take the class with my boss at Georgia Tech who is a designer. I honestly believe that this class will truly help our workflow. The presenters were amazing. They had recorded the actual process on the computer – and then spoke about it as it was playing. I am now going to do all of my demonstration presentations this way. You don’t have to worry about error windows popping up, rambling, or making simple mistakes that just “slow down the presentation”.

Building Applications with Cairngorm and LiveCycle Data Services – This class was good, but I felt the title was a bit misleading. This class should have been titled “The Future of Cairngorm and How Adobe Consulting Utilizes LCDS”. The presenter, Peter Martin, demoed some items from the mfg.com project that had been highlighted in the main keynote sessions. There also was a great deal of talk about where Cairngorm is going. Some of the ideas were very interesting, and I must admit that there were a few that I did not like at all. I guess we will have to wait and see. I must admit though, my projects (even the big ones) are generally smaller in scope than the ones that Adobe Consulting does. The mfg.com project was roughly 95,000 lines of code. Your needs change drastically when you have a code base this big.

Max Classes – Day 2

Sorry that I am a bit late getting these out. I learned one more thing about Max – it wears you out. I have totally crashed upon arriving back in the hotel the last two nights.

Coldfusion Server Monitoring and Troubleshooting – I quickly realized that I am not using enough of these cool server monitoring features. The snapshots are amazing and do truly allow you to get a good picture of your server’s health. This presentation did a great job of just outlining the benefits of each different type of server monitoring: monitoring, profiling, and memory tracking. Overall: Awesome Class.

Continuous Integration with Flex, FlexUnit, and Ant – This was an amazingly in-depth class. Daniel Rinehart did a great job of outlining their automated build tool at Allurent. He showed their system that incorporates their SVN with Ant- and how the system builds the application every time a “commit” is made. This allows the developers to know if the build is broken (did I mention that it also sends an email with all of the build errors), and the QA team to have the absolute latest build each morning. This class was great for any Flex developers that have large teams (over 5 people).

Live Streaming with the Flash Media Encoder – This class was a great way to end the day. The presentation was pretty good, but the value came when they described different delivery methods for a live streaming event. I must admit that I did not know that you could stream to your own Flash Media Server (and have a custom main.asc file) but then have a CDN (such as Akamai) come in and grab that content and re-distribute that to increase your reach. Very Cool! This keeps you from having to buy a couple new servers that would only be used on your live events (and we do maybe 2-3 a year, so that would be pointless).

After the BOF sessions and some late night coding, I started the day exhausted. I decided to not hang out for the party – but I certainly stayed for the “Sneak Peek” Sessions – which were amazing!

Day 1 – The Sessions

My entire day 1 schedule of sessions were all “Hands-On” sessions. Here is a summary of each one:

After Effects CS3 For Interactive Designers
This was my first class of Max. Overall it was pretty seamless – however, they were using VMWare on all of the student machines and pulling an image from a central server(s). This made it a bit slow (especially for After Effects). The presenter did a great job overall. I am pretty familiar with After Effects (ok, maybe two versions ago), but this was a good refresher. I hopefully will be showing some work here soon.

Introduction to Flash CS3
I kind of went incognito to this class. I was hoping that they would cover a good deal of the drawing and “non-code” interaction with Flash. They actually did, and I am glad that I went. However, when the teacher was explaining symbols, I must admit that I was answering work email and tweaking our Apache server.

Advanced Coldfusion Reporting
This was the kind of class that I was expecting when I came to Max. Dean Harmon (of the Adobe Coldfusion Team) did a great job with this class. First of all,
there were 73 pages of very detailed handouts. We managed to make it through two-thirds of the material in our two hour session. Dean was also great to give us access to all of the files for our personal use. The slow VMWare image struck here as well. It took some people around five minutes to start Coldfusion on their machine.

Currently, I am switching around a few things for my schedule today, but I will report back with all of the details tonight.

Off To Max 2007 Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning the crew from Georgia Tech Savannah (including me obviously) will be heading up to Chicago. We won’t be in the pre-conference workshops, but we will be there ready to go on Monday! I look forward to seeing all of you guys there. I will be Flickr’ing (as usual) and you can check out all of my Max photos as I take them by clicking the link below. I also will be blogging about all of the awesome when I can.