Speaking at cf.Objective() 2008

I got word tonight that I will be speaking at cf.Objective() 2008. Needless to say I am thrilled, excited, and a little intimidated. Cf.Objective, in my experience, has the most advanced content of any of the various ColdFusion world events. It’s a lot to live up to, and almost everyone there blogs, so if you screw up big it’s not like you can keep it under the radar.

My topic is “Selling Professional Development Techniques at a Hostile Shop.”

Here’s the abstract:

You’ve started using Subversion, you’ve drunk the frameworks Kool-Aid, and you go so far as to use an Ant script to launch CfEclipse. There’s only one problem, your co-workers don’t want to join you. Worse still, your boss doesn’t see the big deal, and upper management starts an anti-framework club. You don’t want to leave but you can’t fathom staying at a workplace that doesn’t embrace progress. What do you do?

You leave the technical behind, dust off those so called soft skills, and turn to politics to get the job done.

This session will help you to identify all of the players on the opposing team, figure out their issues, determine what techniques to use to change their minds, and avoid turning into Machiavelli in the process. By the end of the session, you should have a set of concrete tactics and strategies to go back to your organization and start converting the masses.

The basic gist of the session revolves around the question: What do you do when your co-workers or management reject your efforts to introduce “professional development techniques?” What are “professional development techniques?” For the purposes of this talk they include (but are not limited to):

  • Frameworks
  • Version Control
  • Code Reviews
  • Unit Testing
  • Company specific Best Practices
  • Automation
  • Code Generation

It’s a question I’ve found myself asking from time to time over the past few years. I’ve had to make find my own answers for it. My hope is to help make it easier for others.

Obviously this isn’t a technical presentation, but I hope to keep it practical instead of theoretical by providing concrete tactics and strategies to employ.

I have the outline mostly ready at this point, but if anyone has any specific problems or scenarios they would like advice on, please feel free to drop me a line either in the comments or through my contact form.

5 thoughts on “Speaking at cf.Objective() 2008

  1. Hey Terrence,

    (i) It’ll be great to see you at cf.o().

    (ii) Hit me up offline about this. It matches perfectly with a set of issues I’m working on and blog posts I’ve been writing. I’d definitely like to chat and compare notes.
    You might also want to check out some of the TDD, XP and Agile lists as these topics come up quite a lot there since it’s something we’re all trying to figure out.


  2. Dude, this sounds like some compelling stuff! Hopefully I can download some of the materials ’cause it sounds like it’s riddled with soft skills that i’m dying to learn more about!

    Congrats on the CFObjective nod, and break a leg!


  3. I just saw a quote from Martin Fowler that fits this perfectly:

    “Change your organization – or change your organization.”

    For me it’s client rather than organizations, but I do find I’m starting to do a fair bit of both by changing my “ground rules” for engagements and focusing on the clients who can understand the benefits of the new approach.


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