I am Flash Developer

This isn’t the next article I wanted to write but it was on my list since Flash In The Can Toronto (2010). It comes from all the talks surrounding the refusal from Apple to let Flash on the iPad ( i guess we can just say iOs now).  During that period a lot off people (including me) where uncertain about their future. I mean when someone as powerful as Steve Jobs tells you that your job shouldn’t exist, you think about it twice. Out of the turmoil that ensued, some voices touched me more than others. What they were saying is that they, as developers, weren’t tied to a technology and that if Flash was to disappear tomorrow, they would still have a job. That got me to think. A lot. The next thing that affected me was something I heard at FITC concerning designers. How they don’t call themselves ’Photoshop Designers’ or ‘Corel Draw Designer’ (I tried to think of another product than Adobe but just could come up with Corel Draw (who uses that anyway), but you get the idea). I think this follows a bit the same vibe as the comments from the Flash dudes.

All of this feed my reflexions, I mean I have tried a lot of technologies (all things in perspective, I am still at the start of my career, so I humbly say so). I have tried Java, PHP, MySQL, C, Flash, ActionScript 2 and 3, HTML/JavaScript/Css, Ajax, Asp, C#, Python. And you know what? There is nothing I like better than doing ActionScript 3. I mean the tools help a lot; FDT (yes I said it, I now like FDT) or FlashDevelop for code and Flash CS5 for visual assets. I like the workflow, I like making PSDs alive, I really like using TweenLite to make stuff move, I like figuring out how to build my applications so that they minimize load time and CPU usage (I also like maximizing CPU but don’t tell HTML5 fanatics, they know jack shit about pushing limits, yet, but they will know what I mean when they taste it, which will happen for sure). All of that I can’t get from any other technology to the extent that Flash does it right now.

It’s been 2 months that I am at B-Reel right now. I really love it, but the project that I am doing right now mostly doesn’t involve Flash ( I managed to stick a bit of Robotlegs in there) and is mainly Javascript/Html/Css. I really look forward to doing a Flash project. I really don’t want to do html ever again. I don’t have fun doing it (well I am just speaking about the technology, the project itself is amazing). Also, I feel the world of Flash is so deep and there is so much you can do to get better that if you learn all of the other technologies you can never get truly as good on the Flash Platform as one could be. For all of these reasons, that is why I am Flash Developer, that is my title and I am not ashamed or feel diminished by it. It really defines me.

With that being said, it gives me security. I think I am not alone in this situation. I think Flash gives a mean to express themselves to a lot of people and because of that, you can be sure that these people will produce tons of cool shit with it. And other people will want to see that cool shit. That gives a reason for Flash to be. Someday there will be Flash on the iOs. You can be sure of that (I mean Steve Jobs has an expiration date, right?)

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  1. #1 by Andre - June 11th, 2010 at 08:30

    Fantastic! That’s the way what i’m feel, i’m actionscript developer too and i don’t see me doing whatever else.

    Great Blog, great post!

  2. #2 by miguelMoraleda - June 11th, 2010 at 10:25

    You are not alone. I’m actionscript developer too. Nice post!

  3. #3 by Martin Arvisais - June 11th, 2010 at 10:54

    Yeah me too! After 10 years ans more, i’m still a Flasher! An Actionscripter, a Flexer. Long live to Actionscript!

  4. #4 by Derrick Grigg - June 11th, 2010 at 12:11

    100% agree. Just wrote a blog post a few days ago that goes in line with what you are saying, http://www.dgrigg.com/post.cfm/06/03/2010/Flash-is-dead-Long-live-Flash

    Actionscript 3 is not the only language I know but it’s the one I prefer to work in because it allows me to do so many things on multiple platforms, without too much headache.

  5. #5 by fredo - June 11th, 2010 at 12:43

    word. f*ck steve jobs.

  6. #6 by polyGeek - June 11th, 2010 at 21:46


    As I say: The possibilities with HTML5 are limitless. The possibilities with Flash are limitlesser.

  7. #7 by zedia.net - June 12th, 2010 at 11:46

    @ polyGeek
    I am not quite sure of what you are saying there. Are you saying that you have less possibilities with Flash?

  8. #8 by Boris - June 14th, 2010 at 04:33

    *stand proudly on the table* I am a Flash developer too.

  9. #9 by qbix - June 14th, 2010 at 13:00

    I am a Flash developer too, and I would like to tinker with HTML5 when it matures. However, I think the future of Flash is in our hands, like it always has. Now that Flash is appearing on Android devices, I think it’s an opportunity to shift our focus towards those interfaces and continue making some amazing stuff. In essence, I think it’s up to us to make Flash, not only relevant, but a necessity in the era of portable devices. Google has already started forcing Steve Jobs to play catch up with the iPhone, and with the help of Adobe and us developers I feel confident we can make Steve Jobs eat his own words. He’s too proud to admit he’s wrong, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I wanted to see Flash on iOS. Therefore, I encourage all my friends, specially Flash developers and anyone who works with Adobe software to boycott Apple products because the worst thing for any company like Apple is not bad press but not selling products.

  10. #10 by Gabriel Peart - June 14th, 2010 at 13:39

    I’m flash developer too. Great post.

  11. #11 by John Brown - June 22nd, 2010 at 01:24

    I am Flash developer, too.

    I am also working on a large HTML project, and while we were able to push some boundaries with HTML5, we now have to go back and create a dumbed down version for 85% of browsers out there. It is what I really don’t like about HTML/CSS/JS, but forgot about since I hadn’t done any work in that language in a while.

    Steve doesn’t want a write once, deploy everywhere product, and that is strange to me. Flash does an amazing job of being cross browser/cross OS, and has the ability to adapt to size and shape like a regular HTML page, perhaps even better.

    Having said all that, I thought your post would go in a different direction. You said that designers don’t designate what program they use, and I think developers should start doing that more. I know many languages like yourself, and when people ask what I do, I say a web developer, despite my emphasis on Flash. Learning AS2/3 as well as I have has given me a tremendous structure of learning, and I have found that I can pick up other languages quite easily (something I have always been good at, really, so it may not apply to the developer community at large). But we shouldn’t sell ourselves short as an XXXXXXX developer.

    Didn’t mean to write so much, but your post really said something that I can get behind. Be well!

  12. #12 by zedia.net - June 22nd, 2010 at 23:35

    @ John Brown
    There is no other languages except for ActionScript that gives me this feeling. Because we are so close to the visual assets yet knee deep in code, it is very hard to find another language that feels the same. I guess processing is very close but the target user is very different. I really like the web too, and advertising, and games. Flash experiences often have elements of all three of those. Which you can’t get anywhere else. I am sure people will be able to build great stuff with HTML5, but at what costs? The same thing could probably have been developed in half the time in Flash and we won’t even speak about testing it. Anyway, when another platform will have the same feeling as Flash I will have no problem switching. Until then, I stick to my guns.

  13. #13 by Filippo Gregoretti - June 26th, 2010 at 09:12

    12 years doing ONLY flash and architecture for large rias.
    I am educated as musician and fine artist, but developing in AS is the most creative and rewarding activity of all.

    I have noticed in the apple-supporters and flash-haters community a weird drive, a deep hate towards flash developers which strikes me and makes me sad.

    where do you think it comes from? An underlying desire for revenge? Or a subconscious envy?

    The emotion i hear in their words suggests they need some shrink sessions, or a lot more meditation. Hating hurts only the one who feels it.

    I think that diversity is richness, and i will proudly continue to be a senior flash developer (also because we are paid much more than js xhtml developers) and happily use new markup features (having them developed by others). And continue on my choice: life is too short to waste it on browser compatibility.

    To all apple fans: peace & love!


  14. #14 by Marc Provost - June 28th, 2010 at 15:56

    Great post Dom. I love your blog even if I’m kind of an apple fanboy ;)

    @filippo: Yeah, sometimes I wonder why there is so much bashing in the programming world. When you think about it, it’s always been there. Java vs C++, php vs ruby vs python, etc. I think people love that feeling of “finding the truth”. You know, the feeling of having found the best language in the world. The one that solves all the problems. It’s a great feeling, but it obviously leads to religious wars. The thing is usually it comes down to a harmless debate on slashdot, but now because of apple’s decision, a whole community of developers is affected. Unfair and anti-competitive if you ask me. Can’t wait to see flash perform on android — I hope the kind of performance that will force apple to include flash on ios.

  15. #15 by Glendon Guttenfelder - August 17th, 2010 at 12:24

    Thanks for posting this.

    I am a Flash designer in Missouri that caters to small companies. My company deals exclusively in Flash sites, and ever since the S. Jobs comments, I’ve been having the same “job security crisis” issues you described.

    It is great to know that there are many like-minded developers out there that are hellbent on maintaining Flash as a priority.

  16. #16 by Glendon Guttenfelder - August 17th, 2010 at 12:26

    @ zedia.net
    I took his comment to mean that Flash will always have fewer limits than HTML5, no matter how “limitless” HTML5 may be.

  17. #17 by webface - August 30th, 2010 at 11:38

    I am developer !! Funny I learned everything I know based on an attempt to integrate it with flash… ASP,PHP,XML,CMS, Javascript, Joomla,….e.t.c

    I haven’t found any coding as enjoyable or rewarding as actionscripting.. PHP coding is a close second..

    HTML? It sucks and I avoid it if I can. I regret getting this iphone only to get screwed over like a lot of other flash developers. I shoulda got an Android.

    Nice post dude. Flash is what we make it. HTML5 or whatever is still a featherweight compared to flash.

  18. #18 by Andrei Potorac - October 15th, 2010 at 07:26

    @ Filippo Gregoretti
    Very well said! That’s how I feel as well.

  19. #19 by Andrew - November 16th, 2011 at 21:44

    Now, we’re all wrecked, Flash is my passion, thats why I studied for years to do it. People say, just learn html5 and jquery and you’ll be fine. It’s not about being fine, I don’t enjoy other technologies and I’ve been living a life of “You don’t work a day in your life if you love what you do”.
    Now its been taken away, pisses me off!

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