Tag Archives: Adobe Flex

Flex work in Denver

I don’t post stuff like this often, but a company my friend Devin works for, is looking to open a dev office in Denver, and won’t unless they find the talent to fill it. And since I miss our annual lunches :) I’m posting the details.

I know there’s Flex’ers in Denver so here’s a cool sounding gig for ya.

 

Solü Technology Partners currently has several positions open in Flex Development both contract and direct for a company we partnered  with in both the Rochester, NY (HQ) and Denver, CO offices. We are looking for strong flex developers with Java middle tier, object oriented design and custom framework experience. Denver employees are required to come to Rochester for 3 months to get acclimated to the project and the customized framework, afterwards they will  return to Colorado to work onsite in the Denver office.  This is a multi-year project and telecommuting is not an option with this position. Please email Andrew Spencer of Solü Technology Partners with your resume at: aspencer@solutechnology.com if you are interested in a challenging project and great work experience for a frequent Fortune 500 company. 

My Thoughts on Adobe Abandoning Linux

So what.

 

I’m sure there’s lot’s of linux users out there, there’s also probably a lot of Pine users and Mac PPC owners, that doesn’t mean they matter.

Linux folks are used to adversity and being an undervalued minority, so really nothing is changing for them. If they want AIR, let ’em compile their own.

 

Sorry folks, sometimes you have to cut bait and move on.

 

Blackberry playbook, so close, so very very far

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No Hulu, no netflix, no Kindle, no Email/calendar, no twitter client… just to name a few glaring shortcomings.

Awesome screen, great size, interesting and capable OS just to name a few of it’s strongest points.

I got my playbook (finally) about 2 weeks ago, and was holding off on my review to give it a little while to stabilize. It hasn’t yet, so this review may see a part two but I thought I’d get my thoughts down on on the playbook at the time of it’s launch.

In short, it’s not there. If you own a crack berry phone, it might be just what you need/want, since you’d have the missing apps on your phone, and email/PIM stuff via the bridge.

I love the size, I know Apple thinks a small tablet is stupid (though they seem to think shrinking laptops is ok) but I love the idea of something I can throw in my bag or my shorts pocket and be productive. Since getting useful tablets, my iPhone is basically a twitter/checkin device, and I suppose a phone. Everything else is done on the tablets. So a nice usable small device to supplement my main laptop or even another tablet is nice.

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The screen is truly awesome. I’m very impressed with it, when watching video. I don’t need a dedicated video device, when I have a Xoom, an iPad and an iPhone, but if I did, the Playbook would be it.

The OS is interesting, for sure, the interactive bezel is great, though it takes some getting used to, and to remember what swiping this way and that do. BUT it’s nice that those bezels are more than just space wasters. Kudos to RIM.

The gestures are great for getting around. It doesn’t capture well in a screen shot, but things are active when switching, Up kept playing until I picked a new app, Need For Speed was rotating my car until I selected a different app. It’s nice that things don’t immediately stop.

The AppWorld.

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What a nightmare. I’m honestly surprised by the app world. I know RIM was giving away devices to anyone who submitted an app, yet there’s no twitter app? really? No one built a twitter app? Apparently someone built an Email app (the same devs who built the VNC app I bought) but it’s still in review (sounds like there’s some suspicion it’s intentional)

The thing that makes the Playbook useless, is it’s lack of apps. It’s a serious bummer, given how hard RIM was pushing to get developers on board. I honestly can’t imagine someone didn’t build the missing apps. Either all the devs assumed someone else was building the twitter app and the gouge reader interface app, or RIM for some reason is not approving those apps. I don’t know which, but it doesn’t really matter. The apps that are most important are missing from the Playbook.

Stuff like hulu, and netflix I can understand, tho I hope they at least tried to get a deal with netflix and failed vs. didn’t even try.

Stuff that right now requires the bridge I can understand (tho it’s a collossal fuck up) and my understanding is it will be fixed come a ‘future update’. But things like twitter, google reader (there is one, but it doesn’t work), alternate browsers, google docs! and more are missing and basically leave the playbook dead in the water.

I have hopes (not high ones) that RIM will be very quick with OS updates (by the time my device arrived, one was already out) that fill in some of these really glaring gaps in usability. I also hope that some of the developers who had apps approved, were holding them

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back to test on a device, and the app world will see moderate flooding of good apps in the very near term.

I did pick up a VNC App (aVNC) which sorta works, but has a ways to go. But in a pinch I could make do with it.

 

 

 

Desktop integration

There isn’t any (for the mac). Ok that’s not 100% true but here’s my experience. I plugged my playbook in and it was detected (as an IP address oddly enough) in my finder. I could browse the file system, move files to and from, etc. On the PB screen it said, go get the desktop app. I did, it installed just fine, even found the previous data file from when I had my torch. It never saw the playbook. I told it to look for new devices, nothing. I cleared out the torch, nothing. I unplugged and re-plugged in the PB while the app was running, nada. I closed the app, then plugged in the device since it has a helper that runs, still nothing. I don’t know if the desktop mac app just hasn’t been updated or if it was my machine, but in either case, no joy.

 

Verdict.

I like the Playbook for what it can be. I like my Xoom and iPad for what they are. They have huge potential too, and I’m not worried they’ll live up to it. The Playbook is more of an uncertainty. I’ve decided that RIM has two months to get their house in order. They pushed one OS update out very fast, in two months, I expect at least 1 if not 2 more. I think that’s fair, you can’t compete today if you take 6 mos. to a year for every update. If in two months, there’s no native Email, twitter, news reader apps… well I’ll see what the Ebay market is like, probably not good, maybe it’ll be a gift to someone who doesn’t need better tech.

Of course it’s almost summer and there’s always HP and WebOS to hope for.

Adobe needs to buy Palm.

And here’s why.

To screw Apple. It’s clear that no matter how much, begging, suing (this is a bad idea anyways), cajoling, “I’m with Adobe”ing, etc, takes place, Apple has given the one finger salute to Adobe. That’s that. It’s their phone, there’s lots of other handsets for Adobe to play with.

Frankly, as much as I’d love to have Flash on my iPad (not my iPhone though) it’s Apple’s call. I don’t agree, but since they don’t call me to ask my opinion, I assume they don’t care.

Palm is for sale. The Pre is a nice phone, it’s actually frakkin sexy, I dig it. WebOS, isn’t that bad either. If Palm had 1. not gone with Verizon, and 2. listenned to their developer community, and 3. not been retards about brand/marketing/and reach, the Pre would be a huge hit. Instead, Palm is for sale.

Picture this.

Adobe buys Palm. Retools WebOS (or goes android, but I think that’s a bad idea) to be more Flash focused. Basically create a “Flash Phone” Build out a marketplace, somewhere between Draconian Apple, and Hippy-free-for-all Google, for Flash devs to build and sell their apps. SELL. Adobe, you build the market, and back out. Don’t start building your own things and giving them away for free. That screws your community over, cut it out!

Flash Devs have been denied a reliable, useful marketplace… well pretty much forever. Companies like Litl are working on devices to show how awesome Flash apps (Channels) can be, and hopefully help developers make money too. Adobe could easily kill some of their soon-to-be-dead-but-no-one-knows-it-yet projects, and focus on a mobile SDK for Devs to build stand alone “apps” that the “Flash Phone” could run.

Apps that exist as good citizens, outside a browser, as a standalone executable/process. They kill when closed, and don’t burn through the CPU. This is totally possible!

I know I’d buy a Flash Phone (assuming it’s the Pre aka nice hardware) in a heartbeat. I’d want to support the community, but I also think it’s a huge untapped market. Look at the flash content out there on the web! So much could easily become apps.

Flash Devs need to stop giving everything away in the hope of attracting consulting business! Build things people will pay for, and sell them! You guys are your own worst enemy! You’re not helping the community!

So Adobe, if you’re reading this, I know hardware isn’t your thing, but hey, consumer electronics wasn’t Apple’s when they launched the iPod (hardware still was, I know, it’s an imperfect comparison), and they’ve pretty much crushed that market now. You need to give up on the iPhone, yeah I know it’s the pits, but rather than waste time suing, being snarky on stage at MAX, and building hacky work arounds in Flash Pro, move on. You’re bigger than this “Let me in! Let me in!” nonsense. I want Adobe to shine, and rock the house! I want Adobe to do what it does best! Innovate! Build tools that let developers do mind blowing things! Now… Provide hardware for those mind blowing things to live on!

Ok that’s it! What do you think?

360Flex San Jose – Recap

It’s been a while since our last 360|Flex. Almost a year in fact. Indianapolis in May.

Since getting back from 360|Flex, I’ve been full tilt forward on 360|iDev (rest? Decompress time, weak sauce!!), but wanted to take a few minutes to write down my thoughts on this latest 360|Flex.

For one thing it was a huge success. We made money. Not a metric buttload, and it would have been more if we hadn’t carried a ton of debt with us out of 2009. BUt still, we made money, and that’s a good sign for the event and the company.

We did a few things (as usual) differently.

  1. We had volunteers to help out. We had I think 8 folks, that got a free pass in exchange for helping out. w had them help assemble SWAG bags, work the reg desk (This was THE first 360|Event where the keynote wasn’t delayed, and where I was able to actually hop up on stage, vs have some one go start the keynote.) work our video cameras (more on that), and in general be around to do whatever we needed.
  2. We had Nicole on board officially. As Tom leaves, Nicole joins. It’s pretty cool to be working with my wife to make the events even better!
  3. Video. We’ve wanted to do video since Seattle ’07. In fact we had video in Seattle, but marketed them poorly. We had Video in San Jose ’09, but it was Adobe TV. This time we decided to go lo-fi to start and see how it works. We used 8 SD Flip Cams, and Camtasia Relay. Volunteers swapped cams out for each session, and set up Relay on speaker laptops. Now that hard part. I’ve got 40+ sessions to process into usable video. We’re not sure what to do yet as far as distribution. Attendees will get the video for free, but I’d love to try and sell access to the video (un-DRM’ed of course) files. I think there’s value in the videos, and think it’d be nice if we could support the company between events with video sales.
  4. Panels. Panels are another thing we toyed with for a while, thinking it’d be cool to do, but never really executing. We decided to pull the trigger. 360|Flex had 3 panels, and they all rocked! Panels are here to stay. We also put a panel as the last session on the last day, to bring everyone together at the end of the conference. The panels are a great way to have all attendees in the same place, and get great discussions started! I’m really excited about the Panels, and can’t wait to do more.
  5. Official hotel while using Ebay. Normally when we do the SJ event, we don’t have an official hotel, or if we do it’s just a room block at the Holiday Inn. This time we went downtown San Jose to the Marriott. Who offered a shuttle bus each day. That worked out awesome! Each day the bus brought everyone to Ebay and took them back to the hotel at night. After the evening receptions, folks bussed back to the Marriott, and partied at the bar, out in downtown, etc. it was awesome.

Over all I couldn’t be happier with 360|Flex San Jose. We had an almost sell out crowd, at about 365 registrations, not to mention the “I had to register?” Crowd that we printed badges for on the fly.

I learned on my flight out, that Frontier won’t be servicing SJC after mid-May, which means for the most part, my reasons to fly Frontier at all are drastically diminished. I’ll probably start flying Southwest to test the waters of that airline. Since I never watch the free DirectTV that I get with Ascent level status, I won’t miss that. Everything else I enjoy about my Ascent level status, I can pay for with Southwest.

Sorry frontier, poor service of late, terrible website, and now leaving SJC…

Now on to 360|iDev, San Jose! I can’t wait to see my Apple crew! We’ll all be fresh off iPad euphoria, and ready to talk iPad apps!

Looking Forward, Looking Back

It’s been an interesting year. More so than normal years. It’s also the end of a decade, so I’ve got some thoughts on that too. Fair warning. This is a longy.

Decade first:

in 2000 I worked for a company that was basically an IT Staffing firm that decided to get into software. I worked internally on a web app that would (in their terms) revolutionize staffing. I bailed, they failed, it was 2000, that happened a lot to a lot of people and companies.

I spent most of the 2000’s as a programmer, first doing ColdFusion, then moving to Flex. It never occurred to me to try out M$ tools, or any other. I liked Macromedia (Now Adobe) offerings and stuck with them.

I was my own boss several times as an Indie contractor, and was a cube monkey several times. Each (except one) was a good experience, a ton of fun, and formed lasting personal and business friendships.

I bought my first house in Perris CA, and my second in Riverside CA. Both were awesome in their own ways, despite being an hour or more from where I worked.

Most importantly, I met my wife Nicole.

We met thru a mutual friend whom I used to work with years past, and she was currently working with (Props to Scott Dunn for the intr0)

We moved to Denver. We were supposed to move a few months after meeting. Before I proposed, even. She had an opportunity to come out to Denver, and I had no major ties to CA. That opportunity dried up, and re-emerged 6 months later, and here we are.

We bought a house in Highlands Ranch, before we realized what Highlands Ranch was. 2 years after that, we moved to downtown Denver.

I started a conference that was supposed to be a one off, just for kicks event. It’s grown to be 3 distinct events, a few one off events around the world here and there, and my full time job (more in 2009)

2009

I’ve gone full time, totally dependent on 360|Conferences for income, lost a business partner, brought Nicole into the business, learned how to use Quickbooks, stopped writing code, just to name the big ones.

Going full time with the conference business wasn’t part of the plan, not in 2009 anyway. I was at EffectiveUI as the Community Evangelist, sadly a position, not enough of the company was on board with. When i left, I decided, well if the conferences are going to support me ever, they might as well start now. Since taking the job at EUI, i had stopped writing code, well I wrote a little, building small apps for internal/sales use, but by and large, i had stopped being a full time developer.

So I jumped. Eyes wide open.

All in all it’s been what I expected, stressful, awesome, a struggle, the best decision (Next to marrying Nicole) I’ve ever made.

Tom leaving was a shock in many ways, though I suspected we wouldn’t stay partners thru 2010, I just wasn’t sure how it would come down.

Our approaches to business are too different. When we’re “on”, we’re “ON” a totally creative innovative powerhouse. When we’re “off”, we’re “OFF” sadly we were off more than on.

After dealing with the shock and other feelings associated with going from partnership to “just me” basically, i had to learn to use quickbooks. That ain’t fun. I’m fairly comfortable with book keeping but quickbooks is a kludge IMHO. But oh well it’s what we’ve got. I’ve paid a book keeper to clean the books up, then I’ll take 100% ownership of that.

What am I looking at for 2010?

360|iDev will over take 360|Flex as my biggest event. Short of Adobe being more supportive of it’s third party developer eco system that is. If they figure out how to make third party developers thrive on their platforms, 360|Flex will grow. 360|Flex will and does rock, but there’s a distinct lack of love for third party tools built on and around Flex. That will be HUGE.

Apple may not give them love, but they at least don’t hinder their third parties.

360|Mobile, which was the ill-fated InsideMobile will grow and become it’s own thing. I’ll keep it small, but the non apple mobile space is hot, and quite frankly exciting, I can’t wait to see what’s going on there.

360|Whisperings will reach critical mass. Of the small amount of content on the site right now, it all sells monthly. A few purchased only, but something. The day I write checks to the authors, will be a huge day for me!

I’ll have a reliable, livable income coming from conferences/events. The business will reach an as yet unattained level of stability.

I’ll spend more time with Nicole, we’ll do more fun things, travel more, and enjoy life and each other’s company even more than we already do.

I really want to see The Flex Show grow. jeff and I love doing the show, and I want to see more the Flex Community get involved.

i’d like to do some more Denver community stuff. Ignite Denver is going strong, and I hope 2010 sees it grow and become a staple of the community. I really want to see something eventwise around literacy. A Festival of Books, something.

Events, fun and why i do them

360|iDev Denver wrapped a few weeks ago, so did Adobe MAX the week after! It’s been a crazy two weeks! But fun!

360|iDev

This was our second iPhone developer conference and it was a HUGE hit! We saw a 30% increase in attendance, which was awesome! 6 months, 30%, that’s just great! Denver didn’t let us down at all! this city is a treasure trove of iPhone developers. I’m seriously thinking 360|iDev might have a perm home here.

We had a great time! Got lots of incredible feedback, met tons of interesting people. One of the most awesome blog posts (Of the many, many) written about the event, was from David Whatley, who volunteered to speak at the conference at the last minute, completely on his own dime. We also wrangled him into hosting a panel, which was mind blowing!

To be blunt, the conference was not dominated by stuffed suits, not dominated by nonsense, not dominated by people hawking stuff… there wasn’t even a single prima donna in sight!  People were there to learn from each other, help each other, and band together to achieve their ambitions.  The sense of community, which I feel the whole game industry lost so long ago, was a constant at this conference.  It was, I realized by the second day, home.

He captures, why I do events. David wasn’t the only person to say something along those lines.

I’m really excited to already be working on the next 360|iDev, in San Jose! Not to mention the next 360|Flex! I can’t wait to see all my new friends, as well as the new people who have heard about the conference and will attend next time.

360|MAX

Adobe MAX is the annual “geek out” for those of us doing anything with Adobe technologies. It’s a huge event, costs a metric buttload, and is usually pretty over the top. It’s also hugely fun, and a great way to see folks who don’t come out for other events typically. It’s also nice to attend an event that I’m not organizing, or at least not organizing much of.

360|Conferences does an unconference at MAX, to bring some community to the event. It’s always a good time, we get some great speakers to give us some time and share what they know. It was really cool this time that we had some more interesting topics; Arduino/Flex interaction, How a rock band uses Flex/AIR and even iPhone in their performances, etc.

It was a good time.

Next time, we’ll limit talks to 30 minutes. It’s about double the sessions, but I think 30 minutes is a good time slot, we can get more great topics going.

The funnest part of my job (If I can call it that) is doing different types of events. They’re not just always the same event over and over. Even 360|Flex and 360|iDev, while super similar, and based on the same ideals, are vastly different. Then throw in Ignite, 360|FlexPress, and hopefully a Festival of Books, and it’s just a great time bringing people together!