Feb 24, 2011

Am I a Flash developer?

As I build up my development skills and try to communicate my skills to others I do business with, I keep asking myself, "am I a Flash developer?"  Adobe Flash is a very complicated product and in order to create a Flash application, you need a variety of skills.  On one hand, as a software engineer, I am well equipped to write Flash applications.  On the other hand, not being a graphics designer, creating applications with amazing animations is not really my strength.

So I am quite well equipped to write Flash applications.  ActionScript is just one more programming language I've learned in order to do this.  I can use ActionScript to respond to events and work with Movie Clips.  I've been able to take advantage of 3rd party libraries to do projects that involve math plots and work with SCORM communications.  I use ExternalInterface to call out to JavaScript when necessary to communicate with a web page.  So, I'm pretty comfortable saying, "yes, I am a Flash developer!"

Where I need to draw the line is where it comes to creating animations.  I am not a graphic designer nor an animator.  I do know how to do these things and I've done a tween or two in my time, but this is not my strength.  I have a great understanding of vector graphics and the Flash time line.  I also understand how to work with objects.  So I am comfortable working with animations, I'm just not experienced creating them.

I make this distinction because when some people think of Flash, they think of animations.  But animation is only part of an application.  To write an application, you need to be able to write code, work with libraries, and understand the requirements of the system you developing for.  In that since I am a Flash developer.  As far as Flash animation goes, its not my strength but I can work with it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathan, give tweening a go. You can end up with simple but useful animations that way.

And I assume you're being careful with Flash and mobile. That's all unresolved at the moment.

Jonathan Shoaf said...

@Ryan iPad's disregard for Flash is going to cause a lot of headaches for a lot of folks in the e-learning industry. It is a very popular tool in our industry. Hopefully there will be some decent Flash to HTML5 technologies or better yet, Apple will remember that its users are losing out by them not supporting Flash and reverse its decision.