Welcome!

XML Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, PagerDuty Blog, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

I Can't Wait To Get Started

How I came to give myself more work and love every minute of it

I can't wait to get started." The sentiment struck me pretty hard as I struggled to get some sleep on a packed red-eye flight leaving Las Vegas at 11 o'clock at night.

I had visions of components and Flex Forms dancing in my head and I was still reeling from the sheer sense of empowerment that I felt. It's funny, but sitting there with my laptop loaded with the ColdFusion Developers Edition and a copy of Flex Builder, I felt as if I could write the most elegant piece of Web software that my mind could conjure up. I still feel that way now.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Simon Horwith, through his blog, recruited me into checking out Adobe MAX 2006 in Las Vegas and report my findings back to you. Having never been, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Other than a lot of swag, I anticipated copious demonstrations of Adobe technology and not much else.

I was sorely mistaken.

It all started with CFUnderground on a beautiful Sunday Las Vegas morning. Having no idea what to expect when I stepped into an abandoned bar at 9 o'clock in the morning, I soon relished my time as I made some quick friends and learned something that was true during my entire time at MAX: these developers are some of the nicest and most transparent people I had ever met. Numerous times throughout the day it would not be uncommon for someone to open his laptop and expose his code, either to show you some uncanny way of overcoming some coding roadblock or ask how you could make the code better. People weren't arrogant in the way they explained things and it was welcomed when another developer would join the conversation or even just look over a shoulder to gain understanding. CFUnderground was a fantastic icebreaker, and, for me, was the first time I saw ColdFusion as a scalable object-oriented language. Michael Dinowitz gave a remarkable talk about how to think about ColdFusion in an object-oriented way (which was a helpful precursor to the 23-page article he wrote about the subject that I read just three days later). Mini-MAX soon followed (in the same bar no less) and was a rapid-fire succession of some of the speakers and topics we were going to see at MAX.

Monday morning, after some initial issues with my registration, I was presented with the marvelous MAX 2006 conference bag that would be used by many over the next few days to identify themselves in the throng of Las Vegas gamblers and gastroenterologists who had a much less exciting conference right below ours. I found the exhibit hall to be a great hideout during the pre-conference and in between sessions as developers took root in MAX beanbags and couches strewn all about when they weren't trying to pilfer swag away from the vendors that were strewn about as well. The conference store was stocked (although the Flex books flew off the shelves like they were printed on sheets of $100 bills) and there was always something interesting going on in the small pockets of people gathered around a laptop looking at some chunk of code or wild Flash movie.

Tuesday is when things really began to roll with the first of three keynote sessions. The first keynote was kicked off by an awesome performance from the Blue Man Group and then went on a whirlwind tour of some of the really exciting things that Adobe has up its sleeve. It started with a talk about the marriage of Adobe and Macromedia and gave way to demonstrations of some of the new features in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat, and other things. Ben Forta rocked by showing off the ColdFusion/Flex Wizard in Flex Builder where, in a matter of minutes, he was able to create an entire Flex front-end and ColdFusion back-end to a few tables he had written for a Flex version of iTunes. From there Kevin Lynch took the stage to demo Apollo, the Adobe desktop publishing application. It was cool that it wasn't this new complicated architecture that we'd all have to learn and pore over to get things published. It was a way for us developers to take the stuff we're doing already with ColdFusion and Flex and bring it to the desktop. Needless to say, it started the conference on a good note. Well, that and the $100 million venture fund announced by Adobe to invest in Apollo developers.

The Wednesday keynote focused on Verizon and the ability of U.S. phones to run Flash content now through Brew and the different ways Flash developers can get their content to those phones. The "Can you hear me now?" Verizon guy made an appearance as well as the Flash-enabled Chumby. Thursday was sneak peek day as features were finally revealed from Fireworks to Dreamweaver and, of course, ColdFusion. Ben Forta took the stage aptly dressed as Scorpio Man as he and Tim Buntel showed off the ColdFusion eight-server monitoring tool and the much anticipated cfimage tag. There was some other cool stuff in the form of Soundbooth, the Flex-AJAX bridge, a demo of the ability to export MXML from Fireworks, and a very welcome debugger panel to be found in Flash 9. The keynotes were quite a production as over 3,000 people converged into the giant auditorium each morning in fervent anticipation of hearing the morsels of information Adobe was going to release next.

The developer sessions were something that I would really come to appreciate as being the greatest part about MAX. Gone was the lofty manager-speak and 25-cent developer phrases - here's where we got down to code and, at the risk of sounding like a haughty superficial mind shrink, I really enjoyed watching people who knew what they were talking about teach their chosen craft. Any Google search will return the content of those sessions but certainly not the spirit - I learned so much from the guy sitting next to me or from the bowling-shirt-wearing ColdFusion team member who always seemed eager to answer my constant barrage of what I thought to be annoying and elementary questions. Two really great sessions from this track were the "Component Development to ColdFusion MX 7" session taught by Dave Gallerizzo and "Leveraging ColdFusion Components in ColdFusion" taught by Ray Camden (who is about as pleasant and approachable as they come). The Flex sessions were simply amazing and as I sat through them I had to bolt myself to the chair so I wouldn't run out to try all of the new effects and techniques that they were covering. The "Leveraging Flex 2 and Flash Player 9 for Truly Cinematic Experiences" session given by Alex Uhlmann was, well, truly cinematic and the "Building Rich Internet Applications with Flex Builder" by Mark Shepherd was as great a teaching session as it was an example of how fast someone who is experienced with Flex and ColdFusion can build a working and impressive application in a brief amount of time. In short, I couldn't take enough notes and I find myself wishing now that I had had more time to attend more sessions - there was simply too much for one person to take in at once.

So here I am back on the plane. It's funny, but as I'm sitting here thinking of the various development projects that I know I have to rework, based on my new understanding of how to em ploy the various Adobe products I use on a day-to-day basis - I can't help but think of how my users are going to react to the new things they're about to experience. What are they going to say when I plunk down that first Flex app in front of them and they see how much more quickly and easily they can do their jobs than previously thought. What are they going to say when the time it used to take me to develop a Flash application drops by 75% or when I ask them to download their first Apollo app to use right from their desktop? Although MAX is a slickly produced and well-funded event, it's really the developers who made the experience for me - the networking alone is worth the price of admission. I left knowing that the ColdFusion/Flex/Flash community isn't one of fierce competition and cutthroat politics, but of friends and a general spirit of cooperation. I'll certainly be coming next year - even if Simon doesn't pay my way again.

More Stories By Paul Mignard

Paul Mignard is an application developer for Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where he uses ColdFusion, Flash, and Flex. When not working he is usually trying to keep his blog updated at www.onekidney.com and loves spending time with wife, family, and friends.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that prevent them from doing so. The Company is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges thro...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“The age of the Internet of Things is upon us,” stated Thomas Svensson, senior vice-president and general manager EMEA, ThingWorx, “and working with forward-thinking companies, such as Elisa, enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.” ThingWorx, a PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) business and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, announced on Monday that Elisa, Finnish provider of mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions, will deploy ThingWorx® platform technology to enable a new Elisa IoT service in Finland and Estonia.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...