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Errorik's Blog Archive

These are my blog entries - things I wrote, things I linked to, maybe a few rants, lots of improper grammar and personal stories.

Women at Tech Conferences

After just attending a tech conference myself, this blog entry on one man's study of the low attendance to his tech conference by women was especially interesting to me. To see the break down of invitees, responses, RSVPs, and then actual attendance by sex in a visual manner is really cool.
The numbers basically say two things:
  1. Men don't reply to invitations as well as women do*
  2. Women don't attend tech conferences as well as men do**
    I must say however, CFUNITED had quite it's share of female attendees (sorry I don't have any factual numbers to share at the moment) - not nearly as male dominated as the Sketching in Hardware conference was.
    *The lesson you should learn from this point is to always address your party invitations to the wives/girlfriends of any couples you are inviting, even if the male is your best friend or you don't even really know the girlfriend too well.
    **I think one reason why CFUNITED has good attendance by women is that its a conference that has been going on for several years and it's for a technology that has been in use for over 11 years. There are lots of women that work in this field and they must realize that A) training is important, and B) if work will pay for the conference, why not. Now I have to forewarn that my next comments are being said without knowing a single thing about the Sketching In Hardware conference or how it was marketed. But in my few minutes of looking at what it's about I have concluded that the title "Sketching In Hardware" and a brief synopsis of what it's about: "Rapid prototyping of information processing devices offers a new way of creating technology for industrial design, experience design and technological creative expression." I really have no idea what that even means. I guess if I was in the right industry that would make perfect sense... but instead it just sounds overly geeky too technical. I don't mean to imply that women can not be technical or geeks... of course they can. I thought I fit into both of those categories myself, but attending a conference that actually has "Hardware" in the title just doesn't float my boat.

    "Yahoo!!!" Yahoo! to sell DRM free MP3 on their site

    One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
    It's only one song, but Yahoo! is selling a Jessica Simpson song in MP3 format, which also means it is DRM free. This is a big move for Yahoo!, and hopefully it carries some momentum for them to continue in this direction and eventually offer all their music DRM free. [ via ]
    Now is not the time that I want to dive into my gripes against DRM, but if you want more info on what it is and why it's so bad for consumers, please checkout defectivebydesign.org.

    A Look Back On CFUNITED 2006

    CFUNITED actually ended a couple weeks ago, I just never got around to posting anything on my return. So here I am a few weeks later, and thought I would drop a couple lines about my impressions of the conference.
    CFUNITED is like the no-nonsense ColdFusion training and networking conference of the year. It was great to attend 4+ packed days days of sessions and have them all relate to my core business - ColdFusion. This is a task that I think is going to be hard to accomplish at the upcoming Adobe MAX conference in October, and with the increasing price of MAX, it will be harder to justify its worth. Whereas I am left being completely satisfied with CFUNITED and getting my money's worth out of it.
    While I don't have the time to go into details of each session and what I got out of them, I can say that I was mostly very happy with all my selections. I had a few sessions where if I had read the agenda better I would have not taken them, as I was mis-lead by the session title. For example: Sean Corfield gave a presso called "Objects and Persistence". I thought, "Oh that's great, I need to learn the proper way to call my CFCs and have them persist in memory while my application is being used. I bet I am not taking advantage of the best practices and loading my CFCs too many times into memory when I could be reusing them". Well, I was dead wrong. The true nature of the session was that "Persistence" is your database (because memory is volatile and cleared for various reasons), and Sean discussed how you can interact with your database through objects like beans, and DAO's. Stuff that while nice and maybe I should be using, does not apply to my immediate situation. None the less good stuff.
    I mentioned before that the conference was about networking... while there I met 2 other Boise, ID based ColdFusion developers. One of them was a presenter on a session I took, and so I invited him to this month's Boise ColdFusion user group meeting and he came. I guess he was a member many moon's ago but stopped coming. I met other great people from all over the country as well.
    I am definitely looking forward to next year's conference. One great thing about CFUNITED is that developers are the people presenting, and so I plan on submitting my own topics to present on next year. There was one session I attended on the Asynchronous Gateway in CFMX, and I think the topic could have been presented on much better to show how to take advantage of it. I am already writing my session agenda and sample code in my head. So hopefully I will have a presso or two selected so I can contribute next year.