The Calm Before The (NCDevCon) Storm

It's Thursday in the middle of the morning as I write this post. The NCDevCon 2011 conference is in 2 days. This is the last chance I'll have to reflect on how far we've come before I'm drowning in the hundreds of details and decisions that come with deal day.


We never wanted to be in the conference business. It just kind of happened, really. I went to the BFusion conference in 2009, run by the illustrious Bob Flynn. BFusion is a 2 days conference held at Indiana University at minimal charge to attendees. The emphasis is on learning and there are many hands on classes offered. I really enjoyed the energy and spirit of the conference and appreciated having a small part in BFusion as a speaker/teacher.

Later, we talked about BFusion in the Triangle Area ColdFusion User Group. The group started to get excited about putting on a local conference in the area. The men and women of TACFUG dug deep and put in a lot of hard work to put on our first conference, CFinNC. Matter of fact, we used this experience to develop the playbook we've use and evolve for the NCDevCon series.


Even though both Jim and I woke up in terror in the middle of the night sure we'd forgotten something huge, CFinNC was very well received and enjoyed by many. We did a lot of things right and we also had a lot of learning experiences. For example the name of the conference, CFinNC, is nearly impossible to convey properly through speech. It comes across like CFNC, and we spent a lot of time distinguishing ourselves from the College Foundation of North Carolina ( Regardess thanks to the generosity of the sponsors and the volunteers, CFinNC was a fantastic success and we are all very proud of what we accomplished together.


There is a lot of work that goes on to put on a conference, from making all the pages on the website, negotiating with hotels, caterers and print shops, wrangling speakers, putting together a schedule that makes sense to even common tasks, like where to place the darned tables on event day. It's the kind of stuff that when done perfectly people don't notice. We only notice the road when there are potholes, right? You know, In all my years as a conference speaker, I never once considered WHY the Wifi was working at all, only that it wasn't fast enough to download my email.


So, today at this point, we've planned, organized, negotiated, considered and reconsidered all the facets of NCDevCon 2011. We've put in hundreds of hours, skipped meals, stayed up late and worked very hard to put the final touches on this conference. The trajectory is set, all systems are go. There is nothing left to do but execute on the strategy we've spent months working on. It's the calm before the storm. So while I have a minute to myself, I'd like to thank those who have brought us to this point.


Thanks To

Jim Priest

Jim is the co-organizer of the event. He's a fantastic human being and puts in a ton of work to make sure NCDevCon hits it's milestones. Jim is vital to the success of NCDevCon. If you ever get a chance to work with or for Jim, do it.

Our Wives

Jim and I are both blessed to me married to wonderful women. The old phrase "Beside every great man is a great woman" is especially true. We credit our wives to any success we have.

Shawn Dunning at the NC State College of Textiles

The NC State College of Textiles is one of the most valuable partners for NCDevCon. They provide facilty, AV and wifi at no charge. Shawn Dunning is an amazing resource to us and a key partner to making NCDevCon happen.

The ColdFusion, Community and Evangelism team at Adobe

Many teams at Adobe support NCDevCon. Liz, Rachel, Aaron, Terry, Ray, Rakshith, Minu and Adam have contributed in major ways this year. I'd like to especially thank Aaron Houston for his many direct hours of help getting NCDevCon on a good glide path.

Our many sponsors

The generosity of our sponsors help keep the ticket costs very low. Would you believe we actually lose money on each ticket sold? We can offer subsidized admission fees because our sponsors willingly fund this event. I'd like to thank them for being a part of this process with us.

Our Volunteers

We are pleased to have a number of volunteers to help us manage the conference. Volunteer staff will be on hand throughout the conference to help everything run on time. Some of our volunteers are:

  • Byron Raines
  • Simon Free
  • Krystie Grubb
  • Leslie Carpenter
  • Roger Austin
  • Liz Winfrey Ventura
  • Shaun Powell
  • Vicky Ryder
  • Brenda Priest
  • Lisa Watkins
  • Lyn Dills
  • Anant Pradhan
  • Adrian Pomilio
  • Ben Farrel

Our Local Charity Representiative

Each year we give back to our community though giving. Our first year, we gave food to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. Last year, and again this year, we are partnering with 5 Bucks is Change. To understand their mission, watch this Ignite presentation on 5 Bucks is Change.


You, the Attendee

Lastly, but not least, we'd like to thank you, NCDevCon attendee. You have many choices in where to spend your weekend and we are pleased you've decided to spend it with us.

Dan Wilson

3 responses

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  • Jose Galdamez // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM
    Well said, Dan. I went for the first time last year and the experience was unforgettable. You guys do an amazing job. I know for a fact that this year's CFinNC will be even better.

  • Anthony L Johnson // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:39 PM
    I can not express how much I am looking forward to the conference this year. I hpoe to be more involved with the local chapter this coming year.


  • Birgit Pauli-Haack // Sep 18, 2011 at 9:07 PM
    Thank you all for a fantastic conference and your warm welcome of everyone! It was well spent weekend full of energy, inspiration and fun! Hopefully, you find it in you to do it all over again next year!