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I'm going to NCDevCon!

posted under category: AZCFUG on August 13, 2014 by Nathan

Did I mention I moved to Charleston, South Carolina? The move has kind of been the focus of my life for quite a while now, and it feels good to be coming down form the stress of packing up my whole family and moving them all the way across the nation. It's kind of a long story, but if you see me, feel free to ask.

And where might you see me?

Well one of the benefits of living on the Eastern Seaboard, and especially being in the Carolinas, is that Raleigh, where NCDevCon happens, is only an afternoon drive away! Yeah, I'm driving, and hopefully it will even be with some co-workers here from the airplane company.

I've heard a lot of great things about it NCDevCon. Dan and the group up there have been doing an awesome job for years now. I'm super excited, and it's only about a month away. See you there!

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Let's talk about ColdFusion 10 - AZCFUG Feb 22

posted under category: AZCFUG on February 21, 2012 by Nathan

Hey, here's a quick note to say we are going to talk about the newly released ColdFusion 10 Beta on Wednesday, February 22nd for this month's AZCFUG meeting. If you're in the Phoenix area, come hang out with us and learn about the new features.

We should take a vote to see what your favorite feature is. For me? There is so much stuff in this release, it's all over the map, I don't know that I can say any one single thing is my favorite. There are new language features, new tags, new functions, new technologies, a new platform, new capabilities - too much for me to pick just one.

Anyways, we'll be talking about it at the usual time and place, UAT's main auditorium at 6:30 PM. See you there!

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AZCFUG June 2011 - Tim Cunningham on Git!

posted under category: AZCFUG on June 21, 2011 by Nathan

This month at the Phoenix ColdFusion Users Group we have my friend Tim Cunningham talking about Git. I think this is a reprise of his CF.Objective() session titled A Git's Guide to Gitting Along. As with all the CF.Objective() content and speakers, this is going to be another example of something great. Thanks to Tim's talk at the conference, I have been able to get up and running (ok, maybe jogging) with Git!

If you are in the Phoenix area, come to UAT, this Wednesday, June 22nd 2011 at 6:30 PM. It should last about an hour, we'll bring pizza if you bring yourself.

Also, we have to give away some software. Like, lots of software. Any product that Adobe sells, exactly one copy (short of something terribly expensive, but most of the CS5.5 bundles are included). You can even get a copy of ColdFusion Server or ColdFusion Builder. Yours, free, it's a random raffle, and you have to be here, in person, for the whole meeting to get in the drawing.

If you're not in Phoenix, we are still broadcasting this over the internet! Right around 6:30 on Wednesday (Arizona / Pacific time), tune in here:!

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AZCFUG May 2011

posted under category: AZCFUG on May 24, 2011 by Nathan

Just a quick note to say Jim Bambrough, local comedian and ColdFusion developer (great mixture, right?), is going to talk about building applications with Sencha/Ext JS, Sencha Touch and ColdFusion, tomorrow night at the Phoenix ColdFusion Users Group. Jim is an awesome speaker, funny, and knows his stuff, so come watch him with the rest of us.

Same location as always: UAT's main auditorium at 2625 W. Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ. We will meet at 6:30 PM on May 25th. If you are anywhere near Phoenix, then I hope you can join us!

* UPDATE : Catch the show live, tonight -!

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AZCFUG Tonight: Daria Norris, Simple MVC with FW/1!

posted under category: AZCFUG on April 27, 2011 by Nathan

Tonight Daria Norris is presenting Simple MVC with FW/1. If you live in the Phoenix area, come to UAT at 6:30.

I don't really want to repeat everything I said previously about it, but I promised I would give the URL for watching it online.

There it is, join in this evening at 6:30 PM Pacific Time to watch the presentation. I also promise to spam this on Twitter at least a couple times, so watch out!

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AZCFUG Next Week (4/27)

posted under category: AZCFUG on April 19, 2011 by Nathan

It's in Phoenix (well, Tempe) and it's online. It's Daria Norris and it's Framework One. It's at the UAT campus in Tempe, and it's on Adobe Connect. It's the AZCFUG and it's CF.Objective(). It's simple and it's object-oriented? How can it be?

It's Simple MVC with FW/1 starring Daria Norris! Daria is the final speaker we are going to host from CF.Objective() before the conference next month. Simple MVC with FW/1 is Daria's very high quality CF.Objective() presentation on how to take a legacy spaghetti code ColdFusion app and throw it into the 21st century with MVC via FW/1.

We are going to be live, in-person simulcasting this to the Phoenix CFUG at UAT in Tempe (in the main auditorium), and on the web via Adobe Connect. Of course, you won't get the pleasure of the CFUG's company if you don't drive in for the event, and there may be food and drinks if you do, plus I promise plenty of nerdy chatter. It starts at 6:30 PM Pacific Time.

I don't have the connect URL yet, so watch this blog or follow me on twitter @nathanstrutz next Wednesday, April 27th to get the link.

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New Adobe user groups in Phoenix

posted under category: AZCFUG on April 1, 2011 by Nathan

If you know me, you know I've been working on bringing more Adobe user groups to the Phoenix area and the rest of Arizona. Now that April is here, I can announce we are bringing in a bunch of them, all under the name Phoenix Adobe Groups, or PhAGs for short.

The Phoenix ColdFusion User Group (AZCFUG) will now go by the name of The ColdFusion Phoenix Adobe Group, or ColdFusion PhAG for short.

The AZFPUG is now Flash PhAG. If you are into Flash, you can join the rest of the Flash PhAGs once a month.

We will have a Photoshop PhAG group, Illustrator PhAG group, and on and on.

Also for groups outside of The Phoenix area, we want these under the same umbrella, so we are setting up Phoenix Adobe Groups - Group Out of Town, or PhAGGOT for short.

Yes, that means you can be a Premiere PhAGGOT in Tucson and an Acrobat PhAGGOT in Flagstaff! I'm excited to see where this new path will take us! I'll post more about this exciting step soon!

And finally, I feel compelled to say that I'm really, really sorry for this. Readers, please don't be offended by my extremely tasteless joke, we've all been called names, and Adobe, please don't sue me; it's April 1st after all.

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Why variables.instance?

posted under category: AZCFUG on March 30, 2011 by Nathan

Justin Scott left some comments for my book report on Object-Oriented Programming In ColdFusion, and I think the topic deserves a response. Justin writes:

I suppose I prefer to know the reasoning behind things like the "variables.instance" structure. I see it over and over again in CF OO discussions, but never a clear statement of the reason behind doing it that way, yet everyone seems to follow the pattern. I've not seen anything similar in any other OO reading about other languages, so it seems a little odd.
I, too, have seen this pattern in ColdFusion Components (CFCs). I can't find its point of origin, probably this blog from 2008 by Ben Nadel, but I will try to explain the thought behind it.

To start, I'll say that this is a ColdFusion & CFML specific design pattern. I think the reason it is strictly CF is because of the way object composition works, with regards to the dynamic nature, and how public and private members relate to their objects.

The short reason to why variables.instance is a pattern at all is that it draws the segregating line between the implementation and execution of an object. The implementation is what is written into your application, but during the execution, your object receives its dynamic data that makes an object unique. It is saying "this instance of this CFC has these instance variables." The variables.instance pattern keeps all of the execution details in one place.

Other than the potential feeling of correctness, this segregation pattern has another benefit, a way to set or get the instance variables as a whole without danger of overrunning or exposing the implementation details of an object. For example, if you have a struct that comes from an HTML form or a database, you can set the object's execution details in one fell swoop. Also for debugging, I find it helpful to be able to dump the execution details without the often voluminous implementation details (sometimes dozens of functions and other objects).

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AZCFUG January - Show & Tell

posted under category: AZCFUG on January 24, 2011 by Nathan

This is a quick note to tell you that the Phoenix area CFUG (ColdFusion User's Group) is happening this Wednesday. We are having a sort of show-and-tell, bring anything you think is worth seeing that has something to do with web application programming in some sense.

Alan mentioned his mapping project, and I think I might show off what Selenium can do for you. Honestly, though, it's just an excuse to get together, kick off the new year and have a good time.

It's this Wednesday, 6:30pm at the UAT building in Tempe, around Baseline & 48th St. Also, we'll have free pizza and drinks, so you're out of excuses.

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August 2009 AZCFUG Meeting

posted under category: AZCFUG on August 26, 2009 by Nathan

I always forget to blog. There's a quickly growing list of things I have to update every month when we have a new Phoenix ColdFusion User's Group meeting. I did pretty good except for the blog. You see, I have to update...

The AZCFUG Site - It was so out of date, Alan finally replaced the text with some boilerplate stuff and links to our other sites. Some day, we'll have real content here.

AZCFUG on Adobe Groups - We are using this because it's a pretty nice app, and does everything we wanted, but we hate the extra-long URL. - I update our schedule here via a shared Google Calendar.

My status on Twitter - just to pimp the event.

This Blog - which I was just saying I forget about far too often.

Then, if it's a particularly exciting meeting, I may also advertise it on various mailing lists, etc.

Anyways, sorry, where was I?

Oh man, tonight, Sean Corfield presenting Railo. I'm really excited to see what's in this new version and what's coming next. It's tonight at the UAT building in Tempe, AZ. If you're not in the area, you can tune in at 6:30 PM PST via Adobe Connect.

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AZCFUG - February 2009 meeting - Skills Month

posted under category: AZCFUG on February 17, 2009 by Nathan

Yes, it's a week from tomorrow. Alan & I have had some trouble getting speakers, but we need to have some get-togethers still, so let's do it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:30 PM, UAT main theatre room.

We're calling this "skills month."

Presentation #1:
Alan Rother, AZCFUG Manager: Intro to XPATH
Alan is a Senior Applications Developer at Interactive Sites in Scottsdale, juggling the application development of dozens of high profile sites for the hospitality industry. Also, he is insanely smart, so this will be good (no pressure here, Alan). Alan's presentation will run around 30 minutes and will take you from little-to-no knowledge of XPath to some actual applicable knowledge that you will want to use.

Presentation #2:
Nathan Strutz, AZCFUG Manager: Build Automation with Ant & Groovy
Nathan is a serious coder at The Boeing Company in Mesa who hacks on internal web 2.0 style applications, usually with his headphones on and nose buried in CFCs. Nathan's 25 minute presentation will discuss build automation with Ant, and some creative ways to use it. You'll like it.

We have a potential speaker for next month, but would love to fit in another short presentation if anyone wants to give it. As I said before, it doesn't have to be anything cerebral, and it doesn't even have to top 5 minutes. We'll be bugging you all about this, pretty much forever, so you might as well give in now :) Also, remember, presenting for the user group is a great resume item, and a great way to get your name out there.

As usual we've got the typical schwag giveaways (Somebody, please take our CF8 posters!), and we will most likely meet up at Aunt Chilada's after the event. Check the UAT map here.

More information is online at the Phoenix ColdFusion User's Group site and the AZCFUG Adobe Groups site.

Immediately following the AZCFUG presentations, the AZFPUG (Flash) group has a presentation lined up with Jason Crist, who will talk about the Facebook AS3 API, starting at 7:30 PM. You're invited to stay, but I will probably hit Aunt Chilada's before that.

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Having other projects

posted under category: AZCFUG on December 24, 2008 by Nathan

I know a lot of us out in the general work force really do a lot of work, and some of us put in way more hours than is healthy, but with the holidays being upon us, I'd like to suggest one thing: have other projects.

By other projects, I mean a personal project or an open source project where you can do what you do best, whether that's bean counting, programming or technical document writing, do what you do best and what you love to do (or at least loved to at one point), and do it on your own time outside of work. In having this other project, you give yourself a number of great opportunities.

First, you get freedom - be creative, do it on your own schedule, do it your way. Freedom ignites the passion you have for what you do. At work, you conform to rules, legacy problems, people problems, and things that make what you do not fun. Freedom from that structure makes things fun, and you can bring that fun back with you to your job, something everyone will appreciate.

You also get learning opportunities that you would never have when you're slaving away for a dollar. They want things done their way, and you have 2 hours to do it, while on your own time, you can try something new and it doesn't really matter how long it takes you. Be creative and come up with the best solution. Once you get there, you've probably learned something new. Keep at it until this becomes a point on your resume.

For me, I typically learn new programming frameworks and languages, and try creative methodologies that initially sound like they could never work. This eventually trickles down to work for me in ways that I thought never would. One of them was quite tangible in getting me hired at better places - the more I know, the more people want to hire me, and the more money they want to give me. I honestly didn't expect that. Strange, I know, I'm a little dense.

One of my pet projects is doing little things in C#. I find it fun and can't explain why. Playing with C# has made me a better programmer in general, as well as it has been able to solve some relevant issues in my day-to-day work where I use it for utility chores and small projects. I'm not saying that C# should be your project; I'm just throwing that out there.

At one previous company I worked at, one of the interview questions was about extra, non-work programming projects. This was literally one of the measures of how serious a candidate was at programming - if it was more than just a chore and if it bled over into a way of life. Lucky for me (... ?) you can almost never find me far from a keyboard, hacking away at something.

Finally, with completed projects, there's always the chance to monetize them one way or another. You never know if the project you've been kicking around has million dollar potential until you've put some real work into it.

Let me suggest some projects to get you started. If you like starting new things, make a personal web site, or one for your family. Be creative with where things come from (like Photoshop & Illustrator for design, your Flickr account for content, etc.). If you have one, be improving it. If you make something cool along the way, consider open sourcing it. If there's a tool you always wanted to use, make it. If there's some boilerplate code you keep re-typing on each project, make a real tool or framework out of it.

If you don't like starting new things, download code from an open source project, make a few improvements and send them in. Open source developers LOVE this. If they don't want to take the app in the same direction you're going, fork it and start your own project. This is a great addition to your resume as well.

In conclusion, I'm urging you to get a personal pet project of your own, or a few. It's good for everyone, most of all, yourself.

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AZCFUG December 2008 - Casual Wednesday

posted under category: AZCFUG on December 10, 2008 by Nathan

Hey everyone in the Phoenix valley - This month's AZCFUG meeting is going to be super-casual. We're going to Aunt Chilada's in Tempe next Wednesday, the 17th at 6:30. As usual, we will probably be out back somewhere, so look around until you find us.

There's an official post at our Adobe Groups site with a little more info.

The agenda? Nachos, the user group and giving away our schwag. Buy your own drinks, but bring something to say about the CFUG.

I'll get you started.
"I think one cool idea for a meeting next year would be __________."
"I think Alan would look better if his hair __________."
"I think, in regards to virtual presenters, we should __________."
"I would like to do a presentation on __________."

Oh snap, did I just involve the community?

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AZCFUG August meeting Tomorrow

posted under category: AZCFUG on August 26, 2008 by Nathan

Oh man, only 2 posts since last month's meeting. Am I ever slacking. Anyway, tomorrow, Wednesday, August 27, 2008, is another valley-of-the-sun CFUG meeting in Tempe. Jim Bambrough from Amkor is going to be talking about Mach-II and Eclipse, and giving us basically a nice overview of the technology he uses and how he uses it. It should be good.

As always, there's door prizes and stuff just for showing up. Check the site for details and directions:

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Review of AZCFUG's July meeting with Bryan Hogan, from the new co-manager

posted under category: AZCFUG on July 24, 2008 by Nathan

Bryan did an awesome job at conveying how simple it is to begin using Java in our CF applications, how helpful Eclipse is for Java development, how to make a simple Java GUI with NetBeans, how to work with the Java threading model, how to use a generic JDBC driver (jTDS) and how to create Excel files with Apache POI. It was awesome how much he covered in about 30 minutes. Bryan was well prepared as well, which was great because I only gave him like a week to prep (sorry!).

We don't have anything planned for the August meeting, so we're looking for volunteers!

As a final note, Alan asked me to co-manage the group with him, which I accepted. I guess I was the heir to the schwag box anyway, so this way he doesn't have to die first. It's good all around because I hate doing that. (yeah, of course i'm kidding).

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Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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