My news and first post here is that I’m returning to Adobe later this month; I will be joining the Platform Evangelism team, alongside Mike Downey, Kevin Hoyt, Daniel Dura and Ryan Stewart. I will be based primarily in Europe, with the aim of engaging with designers, developers, agencies and organisations on Adobe’s platform technologies, including Flash Player, Flex and the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).
Having worked at Macromedia, then Adobe until November last year, some will remember that I made the decision to move to Microsoft. When talking about the move I wrote “The software industry is a small world and it’s not uncommon for people to move between the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Google and Apple”. Needless to say I wasn’t anticipating on moving again quite so quickly.
From the outset, I found my colleagues within Microsoft to be genuinely passionate about improving the computing experience and creating compelling software products. In particular, the product team lead by Forest Key and the group of User Experience evangelists within DPE will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the next generation of web and desktop experiences, through the tools and runtimes that Microsoft is delivering.
Microsoft is however an organisation with 70,000+ employees and a hugely diverse set of products and priorities, of which User Experience and Rich Internet Applications is, comparatively, a fledging operation. When I learned about the Platform Evangelist role at Adobe and was considering this in relation to my role within Microsoft it really came down to a question of “Where do I feel I can make the greater impact?” both on a personal level and when working with designers, developers and customers so as to have an impact on the industry and the applications/services that people will use in the future.
As I have continued to follow Adobe’s progress I have been impressed by the level of investment that is being made in the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), the Platform Evangelism team and in events such as the onAIR tour and MAX. Adobe is really focusing on engaging with the community and want to ensure that the Platform Evangelism team has a worldwide reach. Europe is a key region for Adobe and I’ve been asked to lead on the efforts here to engage with developers, partners and customers on our platform technologies.
You’ll have already seen that MAX is coming to Europe for the first time this year and that’s just the start – I’ll be working with the US and European teams to make sure we’re out across Europe talking about Adobe’s platform and listening to feedback as we continue to build out future versions of Flex, AIR, Adobe Reader and Flash Player.
Hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities for us to connect in person; I’m already planning to be at Deconstruct in Brighton, MAX in Chicago, FOWA in London, MAX Europe in Barcelona and Flash on the Beach in Brighton; additionally I hope to join parts of the Creative License tour and be at future LFPUG and Flex usergroup meetings in the UK and at others across Europe over the coming months. Come and say hello and be sure to tell me about cool Flex and AIR apps that you’re building!
It’s been fantastic to see the vision that many of us have had for Rich Internet Applications actually become reality over the last twelve months; with the upcoming release of Flex 3 and the Adobe Integrated Runtime, alongside continuing product developments from Microsoft, OpenLaszlo, Sun and others it will certainly continue to be an interesting and inspiring area in which to work.
Upon moving to Microsoft last year I wrote “competition is good for everyone and hopefully the resulting tools and platforms that designers and developers use will enable the next generation of web and desktop experiences to be richer and more engaging than ever before.”
My goal remains constant: making experiences richer and more engaging than ever before – I feel that at Adobe I’ll be better positioned to help make this happen.