Read the show notes and download the full episode here.
Michaela Light 00:01
Welcome back to the show. I’m here with Kishore Balakrishna from Adobe. And he’s the head of marketing for ColdFusion. And we're going to be talking about CF summit in Las Vegas and what’s new and what you need to know about that. Welcome Kishore.
Kishore Balakrishnan 00:21
Thanks, Michaela, Thanks for having me. And it was a pleasure talking to you.
Michaela Light 00:26
Yes. Good to see you again. And he’s done a lot of things in Adobe, he’s been the Quality Manager, program manager. And currently, he’s the product and growth Marketing Manager for ColdFusion. So and he’s been involved in CF. He’s been with ColdFusion for like at least 10 years now.
Kishore Balakrishnan 00:49
Yes. Bein in ColdFusion for 10 years. Yes.
Michaela Light 00:52
They should give you some award, you know.
Kishore Balakrishnan 00:56
I will let my manager know, Michaela. Definitely. Yeah, Toby has been very good to me.
Michaela Light 01:01
Yeah. And Kishore is based in Bengaluru, where the Adobe engineering team is. I visited their great headquarters there. It's very nice building. They had a CF Summit India there a few years back, was very well done. But we're talking about CF Summit in the United States in Las Vegas on the West Coast today. So, what are you looking forward to this year at CF Summit.
Kishore Balakrishnan 01:30
So this year at CF Summit, obviously we want to interact with all the ColdFusion developers. And also, we want to showcase CF 2023. And also, we want to showcase what we are doing in the 2024 release. So, if you have not been in CF summit in DC, where we may, we showed the roadmap where we said like you know what, we are going to move more towards yearly release cycle, because none of our customers came out and asked us saying that two or two and a half years is too late to larger release cycle for them. So we are coming up with a yearly release cycle.
Michaela Light 02:13
Oh, that's how I didn't know that. So instead of the being releases every two years, you're moving to every one year. Wow. Well, certainly with the changes happening in the world with Chad GPT.
Kishore Balakrishnan 02:21
Michaela Light 02:24
exactly. So we you don't want to come after two and a half years when the technology space has moved rapidly. Well, you heard it first here on the CF Alive podcast that the release cycle was doubled in speed. Very exciting. I assume there'll be a lot of sessions about what's new in Adobe ColdFusion 2023. Yes, definitely. If anyone didn't realize that that released about a month ago, so, I've got an article on the Web site TeraTech with all the new features there. You can check it out. I mean, if you want to just try out Adobe 2023. it's free. It's free to install a development edition. You can install on a real server, a 30 day trial. Is that right Kishore?
Kishore Balakrishnan 03:19
Yes, Michaela. And also, if your AWS as well, you could spin off a trial version on AWS and Azure as well.
Michaela Light 03:26
Yeah, that's one of the nice features now that I think you've got three cloud platforms supported now: Azure, Google, and AWS. Is it in the stores now of all of them. I know it hadn't launched immediately when it released.
Kishore Balakrishnan 03:45
It will be in stores by the end of next week or the week after that, Michaela. So we had some technical issues, we had sorted that out. The team is going through its final phase of testing, once it's done, it should be available.
Michaela Light 04:00
So when I say say it's in a store, that means you can just click on in the store and have an instance and pay for it.
Kishore Balakrishnan 04:09
Yes. Or as I told you, if you just want to take it out for a trial run, instead of installing it on your on prem, you could do do a trial version on cloud as well.
Michaela Light 04:22
Fabulous. Or on your own laptop.
Kishore Balakrishnan 04:26
Oh yeah, definitely.
Michaela Light 04:32
What are the top features in 2023. that you think are we talking about at CF Summit, anything come to mind?
Kishore Balakrishnan 04:40
We are talking about the Google cloud capabilities. And a couple of other features also which we had released Graph QL client, and CCS Central Configuration Server. So, all this we'll be talking about it and also showcasing some of them like you know, we have a couple of clients who are interested in showcasing how they're used features. So, this year, we might have more of clients because our than Adobe speakers, but we will also be showcasing what Adobe is working on it's 2024 release as well.
Michaela Light 05:12
Wow. This is it's, you know, it's really speeding things up to do an annual release cycle. And I'm just gonna guess you're gonna follow the pattern of previous years, the new version will get released before CF summit in Las Vegas. And then people will be able to go to that each year to see.
Kishore Balakrishnan 05:33
Yes. So the idea is to showcase what we are doing as well as what our plans for the future as well, rather than just talking about it, we might actually have some features which might be demo worthy, at that time.
Michaela Light 05:50
Yeah, makes sense. So that's cool. And I think the whole PDF Energen was redone as well, wasn't it?
Kishore Balakrishnan 05:58
Yes. That was also redone.
Michaela Light 06:01
Yeah. And then I think with some single sign on, additions that you made, and all kinds of stuff. I wrote a whole long blog article about it.
Kishore Balakrishnan 06:13
There are couple of other features as well, Michaela. As you said, we've completely revamped the HTML on the PDF engine. I know it was, it has been a long time coming. But it took us some time to get it right. But I think the community will appreciate us for that.
Michaela Light 06:34
That's good. And then how about the performance is that changed from last time?
Kishore Balakrishnan 06:41
Performance has changed from last time, there are some performance gains if you make some changes in your code, but nothing out of the box Michaela. It's not like 2021. when, you know, we, if you just upgraded to do whatever, when you got some amount of performance benefits, but this time, we have not invested in some of the performance enhancements things. It might be coming up in the 2024. release.
Michaela Light 07:09
And then some of the big news this year has been around AI, Artificial Intelligence. Is there any plan for that to get incorporated somehow into Adobe ColdFusion?
Kishore Balakrishnan 07:20
Yes, the engineering team is looking into it, Michaela. We're also working with Governor of our customers to understand what is their use case and how AI could be useful for them. So, if we are able to showcase it, if you are able to do it, we'll be able to, we'll definitely be talking about it in the 2024. release. When it comes to AI, we really want to work with customers to understand what is the particular set of issues that we could work on, and then trying to address those issues. So, the whole team is going to be in Vegas, the engineering leadership, the product management, everyone is going to be in Vegas. If you have any particular use case that you would like us to address first, that is the place where you could catch us and we are all yours. We really want to understand, you know, how what are the features that we could add in ColdFusion from an AI perspective that would make an impact to a live set of our customers.
Michaela Light 08:23
I think that's a good thing for listeners to take account of. Whenever I've gone to CF Summit, it's just amazing how openly accessible ColdFusion engineering team are. So,f you've got suggestions for new features, or you've got questions about your existing ColdFusion app or features, though, they have demos, they can help for questions. Very accessible as our speakers generally often catch the speakers in the hallway or in the sponsor room, or during lunch or the evening event and talk about ColdFusion topics and problems you're having. I think that's one of the big benefits that is really mentioned on the registration website for the summit. Are you going to be there as well, Kishore?
Kishore Balakrishnan 09:15
Yes, I will be there Michaela.
Michaela Light 09:18
Fabulous. So now I know you've got two options for people coming to CF Summit. You've got the regular pass and you've got the pro pass, I think you call them.
Kishore Balakrishnan 09:30
Michaela Light 09:32
And the regular one, the session passes only $99. So that's two days. You get all the panels, you get the evening event. That gives you the conference outside and then professional class. That's this gives you the same thing for the conference, but you also you can get your Adobe ColdFusion certification. So that's a whole day of certification on the day after the conference. What's the benefit of taking certification?
Kishore Balakrishnan 10:08
There are two benefits. One is you tend to freshen up on a lot of things, when it comes to the topics, what you want to listen to, and there are certain features like, not all ColdFusion developers would have gone through all the features, not used all the features. So, the certification allows you to, you know, act as a refresher to say, Hey, these are the features that are and some of the features that they could use, or you know, so there are some features which you want to freshen up on. Or if you have not used it, that would be a time for you to go through that. And the day three, comes with a trainer as well, like, last year, we had Brian Champion, hopefully he this year, also, he'll be able to do that. And, Nolan was also there as a trainer, I think, two years back, or three years back when we had last added. So, these are some amazing, both of them are amazing developers. They know everything that needs to be known about ColdFusion, you know, gives you one day access to them as well as I'd known Brian's happy. And Nolan. I feel even after the training, if you ask them any questions, they are always there to help. And after that, you have a certification as well. We provide both options. There are some people who want to take the certification on that day itself, or there might be some people who might want to go back and take the certification online, we are flexible both ways. Like you know, if you want to take the certification, after some days, you could do that as well. So that is one thing. And the certification actually carries weight as well, when you are looking for a job or looking to grow, I think that helps you.
Michaela Light 11:48
Definitely and you get a little certificate you can put on your LinkedIn profile. I think is definitely a bonus to do. When I looked at it last year, there were about 24 hours of training in there, video training. So, for that alone, I think that's worth the price having access to those training.
Kishore Balakrishnan 12:12
And also, there's one more advantage Michaela, which I forgot to tell you. So, what happens is you get access to these trainings, and those trainings are always on for you. And it's on Demand training. So, as and when we add new features, we keep updating the live video library in that. So any new feature that comes up, you could always go through the training, again, if you need only the new features.
Michaela Light 12:41
So you'll be adding things this year to that video? That's great. But for the test, is it going to be testing on the 2023.? Or is testing on 2021. features?
Kishore Balakrishnan 12:59
Testing on 2021. features. Because 2023. just came out. So it will be really fair to people to test them on stuff. Wow. So an extra $100, and you get a whole day of in person training with some ColdFusion experts, Brian, maybe Nolan, who whoever is leading that. And I think if I remember right, you have teaching assistants who go around the classroom. Yes, we have the engineering team as well, but who lacked teaching assistants who will go around. And that's another good way of you know, catching all of the engineering folks as well if you if you need some other helpers on that day.
Michaela Light 13:39
Yeah, so you just bring your own laptop, make sure you've got Adobe ColdFusion installed on it ahead of time. And then you could even bring some of your own code with you if you wanted to ask questions about it. And then you go through training on all the features in the newer versions of ColdFusion. If you haven't used them before, and you get stuck, there are people there to help you out to get through any learning blocks you have. That's the cheapest for a day of ColdFusion training I've ever heard. What about people who are speaking this year? Tell me what's happening there. I think it's a little early right now.
Kishore Balakrishnan 14:28
We a have a call for speakers out Michaela, as the call for speakers will be as ending on 15th of this month. So it's early for me to comment on who's going to be speaking but I'm sure you know you will see a lot of ColdFusion industry leaders and a lot of amazing speakers. Some of them would have already spoken at a lot of those Summits and some of them will be new to this event, But I'm sure the sessions will be amazing. So, currently, we have close to 90 submissions on the website. We are expecting another at least another 20 to 30 more. So that from there, we'll be normally pick around 30 sessions.
Michaela Light 15:22
Okay, well, that sounds good. So once we see the speakers announce, we have an article about CF Summit. And we'll update and speakers on there. And we'll update in the show notes for this podcast, because sometimes people listen to the podcast weeks after releases. And then what about you normally have a room full of sponsors? You know, ColdFusion related companies?
Kishore Balakrishnan 15:46
Yes, definitely. We currently have three sponsors on the website, if I remember correctly, FusionReactor, xByte, Media3. And we already have confirmation from four more sponsors, who said they are willing to sponsor verbally, but we are waiting for their confirmation as well. So, as usual, we'll have a full room full a room full of sponsors. That will be an added incentive for folks attending the event as well. You know, these are these are folks, companies who most of the Adobe developers would have worked with or their tools is something which most of the Adobe folks or ColdFusion folks would have used. So, that is a good time for the attendees to interact with the sponsors as well.
Michaela Light 16:42
Yes, if you if you're using their products or services, for example, Fusion Reactor have the performance monitoring tool. I know that they already added in AI features to that, so you're gonna have to catch up with them on AIP. But you know, if you use that product, or you're thinking of using it, it's great time to ask questions about it. Or if you're thinking of switching your ColdFusion hosting ask hosting companies about that. So, definitely some sharp people their responsibilities. Now, for folks who haven't been to this event it's happens in Las Vegas is happening again at the same hotel, the Mirage, I guess you must like them. I like the Mirage.
Kishore Balakrishnan 17:36
Yes, they're very good to work with. Mirage gives you the advantage where in you know, once you're new, you don't have to walk a mile to reach the conference space. It just right there. And everything is self contained in that space.
Michaela Light 17:56
Yeah, it's very nice, beautiful restaurants. It's very tropical theme. And one of the advantages not having to leave the hotel is that you don't have to go into the really hot weather that often happens in Las Vegas, even in October, it can get quite up into the 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius. is quite, quite hot. Are there any other things to see in Las Vegas?
Kishore Balakrishnan 18:29
Oh, you have the party on day one by the pool. So, we are arranging some entertainment also. We'll we'll get to that. Very closer to the Summit.
Michaela Light 18:43
Yes, it's always a fun, fun event. And that's a great chance to network with other people. I remember one year David Cauncil from integral was there you got up on stage karaoke singing. I think he may have had a few beers at that point. Yes, you'll never know what will happen in the event. But, what I was alluding to is there are a lot of other shows and other things to do in Las Vegas. So it's quite if you haven't been there before, it's quite a town and very easy to get to. There are flights from across the US and the world. Las Vegas, the flights in the US are often quite low priced. And then the airport is very convenient. It's right in town. It's not like it's so you know some cities like Bengaluru for example the airport…
Kishore Balakrishnan 19:34
Yes, you'll have to drive two hours.
Michaela Light 19:39
Well, that will be in crazy Indian traffic, which I've experienced. But it's no more crazy in some other cities. I think traffic in Rome, Italy is more crazy than Italy in some ways.
Kishore Balakrishnan 19:51
Oh, is that okay?
Michaela Light 19:53
Yes, anyway, we probably shouldn't delve into where the world's craziest traffic is. But the point trying to make is it's easy to get there. It's an easy Uber or taxi ride from the airport, you don't need to rent a car in Las Vegas unless you're planning to get out to the desert or beautiful sights. And you know, the rooms at the hotel are very nice. It's a very big hotel, I think they have they have 1500 or 2000 rooms? So, and I think you do you have some kind of hotel room lind in?
Kishore Balakrishnan 20:25
Yes, they have. Yes, I think it's around $110 or $120. Plus the taxes.
Michaela Light 20:41
Realy? That is incredibly cheap for Las Vegas, or any American city, you try staying in New York City and see how much you pay for a hotel room.
Kishore Balakrishnan 20:51
We understand that. So, we try to make things as simple as long as we could, for our developers to come and have a good time, you know, learning new stuff.
Michaela Light 21:04
That's a double room, right? You can have more than one person in that room. Yes, you could. So if you're bringing your family you can have your spouse and children come to there's lots for families to do in Las Vegas and a lot of shopping and a lot of shows.
Kishore Balakrishnan 21:20
Lot of shows as well.
Michaela Light 21:22
Yeah. And some of the other hotels, you know, like I think the hotel is called Paris or something like that, It's not the name of it is themed like a French version of Paris with the Eiffel Tower and shops and then the Venetian canal in the middle of a hotel you can get on a boat and go down. So there's a lot of things for people to deal with when stay there.
Kishore Balakrishnan 21:48
And I would like to thank you Michaela for bringing up you know, the free student passes for the summit. And you said like they had done it in into the box and Lewis being a good friend of mine, I don't think so he will even worry that I picked up the idea for from the I flicked idea from there as well. So we are planning on providing free passes to any of the students who like to come to the summit as well. It should be up on the website in a couple of days time.
Michaela Light 22:22
Wow. So what is the student mean that someone at college or high school or what?
Kishore Balakrishnan 22:29
Someone at high school Michaela, or if someone is at college, we should be able to look at that as well, we need to clear distinction.
Michaela Light 22:37
So,people interested in programming, maybe there's they're doing computer science, or math or science or something at university, or they're, maybe they're an older high school student who is really into programming, and they want to learn ColdFusion see what the best language in the world is, which of course is ColdFusion. This is their opportunity to do that. And what I think is really great about this initiative that both autists did into the box and Adobe is doing at CF summit first time is it's getting young blood into ColdFusion. ColdFusion is, you know, it's been around for over…
Kishore Balakrishnan 23:17
20 years, 27 years, 28
Michaela Light 23:18
28 years now. So which is is a long time, you know, and that's no older than PHP or Java or some of the other Web languages out there. So and one of the differences that ColdFusion, you know, has had many releases, I can't even keep count of how many plates you've had. And now you're going to annual updates, which is great. Which is sort of what you guys do with Creative Cloud, I think.
Kishore Balakrishnan 23:48
Michaela Light 23:49
Yeah. So it makes sense to do that. And also with the you know, Lucee CFML they do… Well, they don't do they do a weird thing. They have monthly releases and then they have a main release. And they're a little behind Adobe now. I think they'll give them a little encouragement, do their main releases faster. If they're just about release Lucee 6. Lucee 5 came out quite a few years ago. So I think the idea of moving to annual releases for Adobe ColdFusion is a great thing. So I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone a high school student or college student would benefit from learning ColdFusion maybe they've been trying to encourage them. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to get a free pass to come to CF Summit. Learn all about ColdFusion, meets another ColdFusion developers. You never know it might lead you to getting an intern.
Kishore Balakrishnan 24:45
Michaela Light 24:48
Kishore Balakrishnan 25:17
2018. I learned about ColdFusion when I was due in 1998. So, I haven't used it that much. But yes, I know about ColdFusion programming from that play at that time onwards. So I was in college at that time, so but, my day job was not ColdFusion developer.
Michaela Light 25:47
No, for you learning programming as well.
Kishore Balakrishnan 25:50
Michaela Light 25:52
Where did you go to college?
Kishore Balakrishnan 25:55
That's down south. There's a college called PG College of Technology where I did my masters in computers as well.
Michaela Light 26:01
Oh, okay. Even further south of Bengaluru?
Kishore Balakrishnan 26:05
Yes, it's even further. It's like five hours drive from Bangalore.
Michaela Light 26:09
Wow. And then you went to the city of lights, technology lights, that is? Yeah, there's a lot of technology people in Bengaluru, it's like with Silicon Valley of India. So I remember when I was there, there was the Adobe building the Oracle building, Microsoft is quite an amazing place.
Kishore Balakrishnan 26:31
Few more buildings of other companies as well, because since the last time you were there. So, hopefully you make it for the India Summit this year as well.
Michaela Light 26:41
Oh, this guy, I was gonna ask you that. There's gonna be an India Summit. Where what month are planned for?
Kishore Balakrishnan 26:48
Again in December Michaela. It will be in December.
Michaela Light 26:51
When it's not quite so hot there.
Kishore Balakrishnan 26:53
No, it's pleasant at that time.
Michaela Light 26:56
Well, I'd recommend anyone in India to go to that. It was amazing event opportunity to meet other Indians, ColdFusion developers and the Adobe ColdFusion development team. And there were people from other countries who came too, because it, And it's a great city to visit. So and if you like Indian food, there is a lot of Indian food that some of it's a little spicy, I will admit.
Kishore Balakrishnan 27:25
We'll try to make it non spicy for you, Michaela.
Michaela Light 27:27
Well, that's very kind. But yeah, the South of India has the spicy food, the North has the slightly less spicy food. So I think we should tell people how to register for the event. Where do they need to go to register? They could go to cfsummit.adobeevents.com. From there, it's pretty straightforward for the registration page. Okay, well, we'll put that URL in the show notes. Next, I will point out Adobe events.com has two E's from the end of Adobe in the beginning of events. I nearly misspelled that earlier. And I'm also going to put in a link to it. I went I've got an article blog post I've written about CF Summit. So I'll put a link to that. And I also wrote about the CF certification in detail in that, so I'll put a link into the article I wrote on that. And also the Adobe ColdFusion 2023 features as well. So, thanks, guys. Yeah, and the price of CF Summit for two days of conferences is only $99. Hotel room $110 plus tax. And it is a deal. I guess if you were really trying to minimize the hotel stay just stay one night. But I'd recommend people arrive the night before. So they stayed two nights because you want to be fresh on the morning to hear the keynote.
Kishore Balakrishnan 28:53
Yes, please. Especially if you're coming with your family, I would recommend coming the weekend before as well.
Michaela Light 29:01
Yes. What are the dates of the conference this year?
Kishore Balakrishnan 29:07
October 2 and 3rd, Michaela for the main event and 4th for the certification.
Michaela Light 29:12
So that's a Monday, Tuesday for the events, and then men stay on Wednesday. So what you're saying is you either have a family or even if you don't have a family and you just want to go to some of these shows, or go to casinos or see some of the other things in Las Vegas, then you could come make a long weekend of it. And you know, see some fun things, recover from the trial, and then enjoy all the new features of Adobe ColdFusion 2024 and hear what's coming in Adobe ColdFusion 20? So, I got that wrong. Here was is in (2023) and learn what's coming up next year in 2024.
Kishore Balakrishnan 29:58
Michaela Light 30:00
Anything else you want to tell people about CF Summit?
Kishore Balakrishnan 30:09
Michaela Light 30:12
Fabulous. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show Kishore it's always good to talk to you. And I'm sure this year's Summit is going to be totally amazing.
Kishore Balakrishnan 30:23
Thank you so much for having me. Michaela. It's always a pleasure talking to you.