Author Archive: Aaron Houston


“June was a busy month for the Adobe Community & Evangelism Teams, so here are some highlights — Aaron Houston (Adobe Community Mgr) 

JAX San Jose Ca – June 21-22, 2011

Ben Forta (above), Adobe’s Evangelism Director, addresses Java Enterprise audience at JAX San Jose about Adobe’s launch of new product: Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform.  JAX  also coincided with the update to Flash Builder, so Ben was also there talk about Adobe’s mobile story.  Ben, pointed out that one can also write Flex/AIR Apps for iOS devices with the new FlashBuilder 4.5.1 update, and then mentioned the Politifact Mobile App which is the best selling new app on iTunes.

FlashBuilder 4.5.1
Here is a video of Ben’s talk at JAX-San Jose (link to his slides forthcoming):


Ben Forta JAX San Jose 2011 Keynote YouTube

Presentation slide links:

Adobe Speakers @JAX:

@ccoenraets TwitterChristophe Coenraets (“@ccoenrats“) had a session on Mobile Application Development with Flex and Java using the new FlashBuilder 4.5.1 tooling to deploy the same code across multiple mobile devices (iOS, RIM Playbook, and Android).

Cedric Heusler from DayCédric Hüsler (“@keepthebyte“) is an Evangelist from Day software; and, he had a session about Data Structures, Restful Web Services, OSGi, & Java Content Repository (JCR; JSR-170, 283. He also demo’d (CRX) the new Java Content Repository Platform which is part of Adobe’s new Digital Enterprise offering.  It was my first chance to meet one of the enterprise evangelists that came over in the Day Software acquisition.

JAX-SJ Adobe Booth:

Liz Frederick (left); Aaron Houston (right, background)

Liz Frederick
(Adobe Community Team) and I helped out  to staff the Adobe booth.   While the attendance of JAX-San Jose was not spectacular, the event did provide a chance for Adobe to mingle with the Java Enterprise crowd.  And, I got an opportunity to reconnect with some of my former Java community folks: Chris Richardson (Oakland JUG, POJOs in Action author, Java Champion); Chet Haase (Google,  formerly w/Adobe, & Sun); Romain Guy (Google); Kevin Nilson (Silicon Valley Web JUG and Java Champion); Sonya Barry (, Jasper Potts (Oracle, Sun, JavaFX); Pieter Humphrey (Oracle, BEA), Kito Mann (

Folks I met @JAXCONF:


VegasFlash – Flash Builder 4.5.1 Tour 22June2011

After the JAX conference, I hopped on a plane to make an evening meeting with VegasFlash.  Adobe Evangelists Renaun Erickson & Greg Wilson demo’d the new features in the FlashBuilder 4.5.1 (update) which was released earlier in the week.  VegasFlash has a nice setup for larger meetings like this. They use McMullen’s Irish Pub’s backroom which has its own bar.  McMullen’s is on 4650 W. Tropicana by the Orleans Casino & they have a pretty nice Flash website (  There were about 50 Flash Developers onhand to watch Renaun’s demo. Greg Wilson was also in town following-up with one of the casinos who is very interested in expanding into mobile apps of tablets/phones…. FlashON! After the meeting, I got a chance to talk to a couple guys from Zappos about their plans to move into the old Las Vegas City Hall and help revitalize the area as a technology business incubator for startups. One of the Zappos guys even won a boxed-copy of FlashBuilder 4.5 that I brought to the meeting, so I know they will put that to good use.  We will be checking in on the Zappos guys in the future! Wish them the best of luck bringing new jobs to downtown LV.

FlashBuilder 4.5 User Group Tour:
The VegasFlash meeting was part of a series of FlashBuilder 4.5 Launch Tours with select Adobe User Groups who could accommodate both in venue and the busy evangelist schedules. Here’s a list of tour dates & facts:

Date User Group Adobe Speaker #’s
10 May 2011 Boston Flex Christophe Coenraets 45+
14 May 2011 IndyFlex Kevin Schmidt 50+
07 June 2011 NYFLEX Terry Ryan 50+
16 June 2011 Dallas Flex Renaun Erickson 45+
22 June 2011 Vegas Flash Renaun Erickson & Greg Wilson 45+
23 June 2011 Mid Michigan Flex Ryan Stewart 40+
28 June 2011 LA Flex Renaun Erickson 60+

Next, a couple days after the Vegas/JAX events, it was on to the LAST Stop of the FB 4.5 Tour:   a joint meeting of Los Angeles Flex User Group, LA Flash, and LA ColdFusion UG.

LA Flex – Flash Builder 4.5.1 Tour 28June2011

So after a quick flight (SJC to LAX) on a new eco-friendly Horizon Q400turbo-prop, I found myself in Los Angeles….land of Gourmet Food Trucks, Hollywood, Fine Beaches….AND MANY Adobe User Groups!Something Very LA:

I checked in to the Crowne Plaza at the LAX row of hotels and to my surprise I ran into a little bit of LA Culture (ala First Fridays) in the back parking lot — Gourmet Catering Trucks.   Every Tuesday from 11am-2pm, the back parking lot transforms into a lively spectacle of colorful food vendors, outdoor seating, and music (i.e. there was a Dee-jay). And the food, very interesting! Where else, but in LA can you find Korean Nachos, Chimales, and Indian Curry alongside Southern BBQ!  So here’s a slide-show of what I found.

Tom Bray LA FLEXLater, that evening I mentioned to LA Flex UGM Tom Bray that it might be kinda a cool idea to connect up with catering trucks for User Group meetings; it would solve a problem most UGMs have: FOOD! (& how to fund it).  Tom seemed to like the idea…and it would be something “very LA” to draw folks to the meetings.


But food was not why I was in LA, I wanted to check out how the LA Flex holds their meetings and the venue that they use. Venue: Coloft is an interesting place, because it’s a place where “freelancers” can come an rent a space and focus on their projects in an work environment.  Sometimes, working at home isn’t as productive as it could be, so there are places like Coloft where developers & designers can come and perhaps even collaborate together.

Tom Bray addresses LA Flex
Tom Bray & Renaun Erickson

All in all, I was impressed with LA Flex’s organization and venue. Renaun gave a great talk on FlashBuilder 4.5.1; We gave away some software, T-shirts, & books. The member’s appreciated Adobe’s effort to visit their group.  The visit also gives me as a Community Manager, a good idea what the User Group venues are like for future engagements.  I also got to meet one of the local Adobe Community Professionals (ACP), Elliot Mebane (aka “Roguish”).  Tom Bray the User Group Manager mentioned that his group has had only (2) Adobe Speakers in its entire existence.   Hopefully, I can help overcome that + writing this blog will help internally @Adobe.   Tom, we’re working on potential visit from folks @Zend to talk about FlashBuilder 4.5 for PHP… (So, stay tuned).

Where do LA Flex’rs hang out after the meeting?

The WarzsawaThe party continued at LA Flex’s local pub, the “Warzsawa” (a Polish Pub & Restaurant which has cool outdoor seating); it’s a couple of blocks from the Coloft facility. I got to chat with a couple of LA Flex’rs on the projects they were working on over a beverage!


Some feedback from the event:

Creative Suite 5.5 Joint Launch Event with LA Adobe User Groups — June 03, 2011

Creative Suite 5.5 Joint Launch Event with LA Adobe User Groups — June 03, 2011

Challenge Met! – Exceeded! 

I attended a very special Adobe User Group (AUG) CS5.5 launch event held at the offices of AlmerBlank located at 525 Venezia Ave in Venice, CA. For past couple of months, I have been issuing a “challenge” to the LA AUG Managers to see if they could work together to pull off a large joint meeting. In support, I would get Paul Trani to come and present. Well, LA AUG Managers rose to the challenge and pulled off a fantastic event! I was impressed by the turn-out (over 100+ Adobians), the organization at the check-in desk, the organization/marketing of the event, the venue (AlmerBlank is a warehouse/office with a decent amount of space), the magnitude of the prizes given away (dozens of shirts, books, software training certificates, and software…all together worth over $3000+), and the food! (I did not know that Chana Messer also ran a catering business on the side). All in all, a job well done!

Event Recap:

Time Lapse Image of Adobe User Group Meetup 03June2011

Time Lapse Image of Adobe User Group Meetup 03June2011

After an introduction by host Harald Koebler (LAFlash), I covered a few short things about Adobe’s Community Programs and how we work together with Adobe Evangelist speakers, like Paul Trani. Then, I introduced Paul who had just flown in from Australia from a Creative Suite world-tour event. A bit jet lagged, but with Paul, one wouldn’t have noticed! He gave a very energetic talk. I can definitely see that Paul has been working on his delivery, content, and “speaking chops” by hanging out with some of the Creative Suite (Uber) Evangelists (Terry White, Jason Levin, Colin Fleming, & Greg Rewis). With the limited time we had, Paul concentrated on these updates in Creative Suite 5.5: InDesign (Digital Publishing & Apps); Dreamweaver (Mobile Web Content, HTML5 features, & Apps); Flash Professional & Flash Builder 4.5 (Apps for Multi-Platforms); and, Photoshop SDK & Companion Apps (Adobe Nav, Adobe Touch, Color Lava, and Eazel). Best Demo: I liked Paul’s multi-sceen, multi-device app where Paul showed-off his animated Kayaker app travel from a Android Tablet, to an iPad, to a cell phone, and then onto a RIM Playbook!

Paul Trani's Slide Deck

Digital Publishing
Mobile Web Content & HTML5
Apps for Multi-Platforms
Photoshop SDK & Companion Apps

People — Thanks:

Adam Bell @datatv | Christian Gaspar | Omar Gonzales @s9tpepper | Cynthia Gordon | Virginia Houts | Andrew Kavanagh @Drew_kav | Harald Koebler @hkoebler | Andrew Kutcher | Chana Messer @chanam | Ko Maruyama @komaruyama | Anil Natha | Sharon Sachse @Pcartiste | Daniel Sofer @hermosawave | Lee Varis @LeeVaris | Michele Weisbert | Terence Carroll @terencecarroll (who was in LA for contract work; UGM for VegasFlash) | AND to any other folks I may have met at this event…Thank You!|


Adobe sponsored food, drink, and software raffle prizes for this event.


After Party:

Chana Messer took Paul Trani and I to her “hood” and to her favorite Mexican Restaurant: Lula’s Cocina. Lula’s was quite charming and the Chicken Mole was authentic! Michele Weisbert, Sharon Sasche, Ko Murayama, and Terence Carroll also met up with us. We talked shop; Adobe Stuff; AdobeMAX; User Groups; and about the Adobe Production Premium event held in LA the night before.

Adobe will be BACK!With this successful event, I imagine we’ll have more Evangelists and Community folks back in LA in the near future.


First of many visits…. My trip to Vegas User Groups

Adobe User Group Visit – 16 March 2011 (Las Vegas AUGs)

One of the things, I asked Adobe to do for the User Groups this past year in our budget process was to make it easier for me as the Adobe Community Manager to visit user group meetings, so I can judge for myself how healthy the user group eco-system is.   SO… to start things off, I thought I would bring Technical Evangelist Greg Wilson to a joint meeting of the Las Vegas Adobe, Vegas Flash, and VegasWeb User Group to talk about Mobile Apps & HTML5.  Subsequently, I had been working for some time with the Vegas AUG  Team: Krystal Hosmer, Nate Ludens, Terence Carroll, Tim Davis, Greg Hamer, and Sergio Chavez to get one our evangelist and myself there for a visit.

Las Vegas AUG was the host for this event. Held at: University of Nevada Las Vegas – Paradise Campus — 851 E. Tropicana Rd.  Greg and I were pleasantly surprised how well the Vegas AUG Mgr team worked together, co-marketed their event, and motivated 70 folks to turn out.

AUG Vegas Facebook page: Meeting Announcement:

(Yes, Adobe User Groups Can & DO! Work together….and that just warms my heart as a Community Mgr.)

Our “Top Gun” Speaker

Sr. Technical Evangelist Greg Wilson @gregorywilson on twitterMeet Greg Wilson: Sr. Technical Evangelist from Adobe; An Enterprise kinda guy who is a developer true and true, but he’s also a photographer (Yes, Greg can present on Adobe Lightroom as well) and private pilot in his free time. Based out of Tampa Florida, Greg had no problem coming out West to Las Vegas to talk to some folks about the Flash Platform, Trends in Mobile Computing, Adobe AIR Launch Pad, the realities of HTML5, and some new stuff coming up ahead!
Twitter: @gregorywilson

Presentation Abstract:

Adobe and Mobile
An overview of what Adobe is doing in the mobile space, including AIR for Android, iOS, Blackberry Playbook and other platforms.  Demos on how to build a mobile app from scratch and deploy to various devices (phones, tablets, SmartTVs).  A discussion of other related technologies including HTML/JavaScript-based apps using jQuery mobile, Phonegap and other technologies.

Links from the Evening’s Presentation:

Flash to HTML5 using Wallaby:
Flash “Molehill” 3D:
Lee Brimlow’s – Molehill Demo Reel:
Zombie Tycoon:
Flash Player 10.3:

Flash Builder Burrito:
AIR Launchpad:
Tour De Flex:
Tutorial: Flex for the Blackberry Playbook in 90 minutes

Tutorial: Employee directory for Android:
More tutorials:
Chess Jam:

Greg Wilson looks on, as Terence Carroll talks about the raffle prizes

Vegas Adobe User Group Manager’s address their community: 




After the presentation, there was a raffle for a boxed copy of Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, courtesy of Greg Wilson. Additionally, (2) electronic copies of FlashBuilder Premium, (1) boxed copy of Adobe Lightroom 3, (1) boxed copy of Photoshop Elements 9, and several books + the NEW T-shirts we have going out the User Groups.

Conclusion: Vegas Adobe Community is alive and well! Time to head out to see other User Groups.

Future travels this year may take me to Los Angeles, Portland, Denver, Seattle, and other parts in the midwest/east

Happy Trails!

Aaron Houston
Community Manager for North American Adobe User Groups
Adobe Systems, Inc
San Jose, Ca
TWITTER: “thisishouston1”

RIM Playbook webinars for AUGs Feb 2011

These Events have concluded. We had (5) sessions with over 400 attendees.

Webinar Agenda:

– Overview
– API’s to build great apps
– Skinning with QNX UI Components
– BlackBerry App World (submitting apps & revenue generation)
– Q&A with RIM engineers

Webinar Slide Deck:

We may ask other User Groups to have their members join the other meetings.

Dates and Times we Agreed upon with RIM:

1st Date:  Tues Feb 8th, 2011 start @5pm Pacific (GMT -8)

Rick Mason & Nick Kwiatkowski from Mid-Michigan ColdFusion User Group (CFUG) hosted the event. Thank You!
Excellent Session; Over 36 Community Ldrs & influencers attended;

Recording here:

2nd Date: Wed Feb 9th  start @9am (GMT -8)Pacific /

Volker Kunz from the German e-Learning Group has agreed to host.  We had over 263 folks attend this webinar

Recorded Session:

3rd Date: Thurs Feb 10th start @5pm US Pacific

Chris LONG from Dallas Flash User Group was the host; we had 45 people attend this session.
Recorded Session:

4th Date  Wed Feb 23rd start @6pm US Pacific or (GMT-8)

Harald Koebler from Los Angeles Flash User Group will be hosting this Adobe Connect Session. We had 45 people attend
this webinar.

Recorded Session (Q & A only ~25min):

5th Date  Thurs Feb 24th “replay/makeup session” start @6pm Pacific or 0300am GMT / 8pm US Central / 9pm US East coast for NorCal Flash, Stateline, + Armenia + 2 AM Feb 26th for (UTC +12) 6:00am For Yerevan Armenia + (UTC +8) 10:00am Beijing China and Manila, Philippines; APAC

Steve Chin, Oswald Campenseto, and Justin Webb from FlashON Devices User Group were the hosts; we had
40 people attend this webinar.

Recorded Session:

Visit with JP Pettines: former educator Univ of Philippines-JEDI


Old Friends from the Java Community & JEDI

Lots of my former community folks, Java User Group leaders, were in San Francisco Area this week.  One of my former Java Champions stopped by to chat with me at the San Jose Adobe office.  John Paul “JP” Pettines was interested on how my life as a Community Manager @Adobe was shaping up. (It’s almost been a year, now)  “JP” was part of a team of educators that founded a software education program at the University of the Philippines in Manila called the Java Education Development Initiative or (JEDI).

JP is a community guy. He and Rommel Feria founded one of the largest university student Java User Groups in the Philippines.  And together, they have touched thousands of students thru their work on JEDI.  JEDI was originally created out of a need for the University system in the Philippines to revamp their old curriculum based on Microsoft .NET.   JP and Rommel were part of a team financed by Sun Microsystems and content provided by their Java Evangelists. The effort helped modernize the Philippine University computer-science curriculum; and, it was centered around a set of open-source “Creative Commons” course-ware modules. Ones that could be easily updated without having to pay royalties to a certain software company.  JEDI is once again going thru a transition now that Sun Microsystems has become part of Oracle.

Where’s the Innovation happening?

“JEDI” — that’s not what JP was here in San Jose to talk to me about.  He wanted to know what was going-on and changing in the technology space.  How “Innovation” with mobile phones and tablets might affect his career-path and the students back in the Philippines.   I didn’t have to look very far in what Adobe has been doing with our Partners at RIM, Motorola, Google, and Samsung in the new “app economy” with Flash/Flex/AIR/Creative Suite.   I reflected with JP on how some Java folks we both knew might be able to bring their disciplined skills on creating large scalable applications/enterprises to mobile devices and TV’s…create compelling business apps.  JP, being a former educator, also took an interest in the online webinars (TechWed) that we do for our User Group Communities.  ” What are you using to deliver that content?….that is so cool!”,  JP commented.  I pointed out that Adobe uses the Adobe Connect e-learning software to deliver technology topics to its User Group Communities.  We also talked about how emerging markets like Philippines and Brazil have long been using online education to help their countryman get the basic skills to compete in a global economy.   And rather than outsourcing to other countries and companies, instead government organizations are engaging in large socio-economic programs like JEDI or JEDI-Brasil to do studenet developer outreach in their own country (Example:  Rybena an app developed by a User Group, would make a great mobile App).  Indeed, I also hope to meet Daniel deOliveira from DFJUG Brasilia who is also in town for the JUG meetings to talk to him Rybena.

It was great seeing “JP”.  As JP was leaving he told one of my coworkers outside my office: “Even though Aaron, is now part of Adobe’s community team — We still miss him for what he did for us in Java…Adobe User Groups are really lucky to have, Aaron helping them…. a trip to SF area wouldn’t be complete without a visit with Aaron”.

Thanks JP, glad I could oblige; and, I hope to see you in Toronto for Flash-in-the-City Event in May.   — Aaron Houston (“thisishouston1″ on twitter)

Lunch w/Stephen Chin: FlashON; Visage-Android; AIR for TV; and more

21Jan2011 — San Jose, CA
-Community Connections-

I had the opportunity to host Stephen Chin for lunch at the Adobe offices in San Jose.  Stephen Chin is Director of SW Engineering at GXS by day and an open-source developer and author by night.  Indeed, “Steve” was taking a break from writing his upcoming A-Press book on Mobile App Development to come for a visit.  I’ve known Steve from my former life at Sun Microsystems.  Steve is an excellent and methodical speaker who has a passion for rich internet applications, clean API’s, and even cleaner UI.  When he is not working on his book, he’s working on project called Visage which is a declarative language for expressing user interfaces (based on the compiler originally written for JavaFX). [More @ "Visage Android – Cleaner APIs, Cleaner UIs"].  Steve first talked to me about writing better tooling for mobile developers when he gave his sessions at the Silicon Valley Code Camp last October.  From that meeting, I was able to convince him to come and “check out” the AdobeMAX Community Summit as the User Group Manager of the FlashON Devices User Group.  FlashOn Devices has since held (4) meetups since last October and will be doing more this year.  We met-up yet again while I was working the DEVOXX Java Conference & hung out.  Steve and I also attended a meeting of uber-geeks while in Antwerp put on by the RIA Cowboy – James Ward.

The Upcoming Book & AIR for TV

We talked about the upcoming book.  It is always “a process”, especially in light of how fast things have been moving with the Flash Platform and AIR since AdobeMAX.  Steve mentioned how hard it is to write a book on mobile development these days, stuff gets outdated quickly.  Steve always shares his code-samples publically on his blog,  I asked him when I might see that famous JUG-prize spinner app that he wrote in JavaFX on Android soon?  “Working on it”, he said.  Steve mentioned that he has a section in the book where it might fit in to demonstrate gestures; a sort of Shake-Spin-and-Win concept app.  I know a lot of the User Group Managers would love to be able to use “Prize-Spinner” at their meetings to give-away the prizes we give them…hoping to see that in the Android Market Place or perhaps the RIM Playbook App store.  Another item, Steve will be covering in this new book are AIR Apps for TV.  Steve was able to get his hands on a Broadcom AIR-for-TV set-top box while at AdobeMAX;  and, he’d been thinking up some ideas.  Looking forward to that, but, we just happened to run into Jean-Marc Matteini from the AIR-for-TV team while at the office; we had a discussion about upcoming SmartTV’s and how the computing power in the new TV’s are catching-up to what folks are used to on mobile devices….should make programming apps for the SmartTVs challenging yet fun.

Rapping w/Steve

After a tour of the Adobe facilities and some potential meeting rooms for a future FlashON devices meetup, Steve and I chatted in my office.  We talked about: the state of the Java Communities…that always a topic that comes up these days; CLS-West; DEVOXX & TheServerSide Java Symposium; and important Adobe events happening very soon ;-)

— Needless to say, it should be a good year for App Developers!  Stop by anytime Steve!

CLS West 2011 – A Community Leader’s Cabal

CLS-West BlogAbout a year ago, I attended this conference of community leaders at insistence of Michael Van Riper (aka “the Serial Community Organizer“) whom I knew very well from the Java Community.  Little did I know, that I would be meeting my future boss (Rachel Luxemburg aka rlux on twitter) at the CLS-West conference.  So, after almost a year of going “full-throttle” helping Rachel & Adobe with their developer and “creatives” communities, I returned to check-out this year’s edition of CLS-West.

So, I wanted to re-visit this “mind-map” of Community Leaders that I created at the first CLS-West conference to see how the planets have aligned after the implosion of my former company: Sun Microsystems.  A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE.  It was interesting and inevitable that I would meet-up with some several former “Sun-ites” at CLS-West. (Check Out blog: “A Year After: the People“).  Short list of CLS-West Sun-ites: Pat Patterson, Deidre Straughan, Ray Gans, Yolande Poirier, Sonya Berry, & Janice Campbell.  PLUS, I got to meet some new folks working at PayPal, LiveFyre, Microsoft, & O’Reilly….and some of my ex-Java User Group & NEW Adobe User Group Mgrs were there as well.

So the old mind map is here… AND The New Map is below.  Looking at the map, I’ve noticed that more and more companies are seeing the value of having community managers or community programs.  The Map is not all-inclusive, indeed not all those listed were at the CLS-West conference.  It is just a representation of “Community Guys & Gals” that I know or work with….it’s good to know who’s doing what you’re doing.  Enjoy!

Here is what the Unconference Board looked like at CLS-West 2011

DEVOXX – Day2 University Day (+ some BOF recordings)

Just a quick Update Post-DEVOXX.

Previous DEVOXX Day1 Blog Entry here:

Below is a collection of MP3’s while at the conference. BOFs are not normally recorded at DEVOXX, so I make no claims about the quality of the recordings…in other words — turn the volume to “11” to make the most of this content.

Devoxx Day2 – Android BOF

Here is an MP3 of:  Romain Guy and  Chet Haase at the 7pm Day 2 BOF (10MB file 50min) — Thank You to Romain and Chet for allowing me to record them and make this available to the public.

Day 1 – 8pm BOF “Meet the Adobe Guys” with Adobe Evangelist(s) Michael Chaize and James Ward.  (Note: I had some issues with the microphone gain settings so I tried to clean things up a bit in Adobe Soundbooth CS5 late Tuesday nite…should be ok)

Devoxx-Day1-BOF-MeetTheAdobeGuys-part1-intros (5.5MB file – 20min)
Devoxx-Day1-BOF-MeetTheAdobeGuys-part2 (6.5MB file- 20min)
Devoxx-Day1-BOF-MeetTheAdobeGuys-part3-StephanJanssen-FlashStageVideo (3.5MB file – last 3min)
(Devoxx co-founder with on his mind,  fires a tough question about Flash CPU usage at James Ward; AdobeMAX 2010 Sneak Peek talk discusses.)

Devoxx-Day3-BOF-Parleys (11.5 Mb; 45+min) (also working on a transcript of this, since it interests me; Stephan Janssen and his DEVOXX staff describe how the Parleys Publisher works on various devices, iphone, Android, Samsung Galaxy Tablet)
Devoxx-Day4-JUGBOF-pt1-oracle (2.5 Mb; 6 min)
Devoxx-Day4-JUGBOF-pt2-antonio-stephanJ (4.65 Mb; 8min)
Devoxx-Day4-JUGBOF-pt3-bestdiscussion (7.7 Mb 15min)
Devoxx-Day4-JUGBOF-pt4-stephanJ (2.8 Mb 6min)

More info about StageVideo:
Adobe Sneak Peeks – Tinic Uro demo’s Stage Video (Tinic showed demos on both low powered Netbook and Macbook Air. On the Macbook Air he played HD video with a Flash overlay that was using only 7-8% of the cpu as it played.)

— Aaron Houston (Adobe Community Mgr)

DEVOXX – REDUX (RIAs, Mobile, and a Community-Revisited)

A Java Community Conference

This week I am on the road to Antwerp, Belgium. There is a very popular Java Developer Conference here every year in November run by the Belgian Java User GroupAdobe is a Premium sponsor again this year; and, it is my pleasure to be able to return to this very cool community driven conference.  Adobe has a long history of developer outreach to the Java developer community.  This is my 4th Year at the DEVOXX conference it is wonderful to be attending and representing Adobe this year.

DEVOXX Adobe Sessions:

Google Android Sessions (Chet Haase and/or Romain Guy):

Day 1:

We got things started with a DEVOXX University session delivered by Adobe Evangelist(s) Michael Chaize and James Ward. The University session focused on Rich Internet Application and Enterprise Integration with Java earlier in the day. Some of the announcements and demos of key software releases to the Adobe Flash Platform and AIR 2.5 were displayed on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab – Tablet community. There has been a whole slew of new devices and runtimes that were announced at AdobeMAX 2 weeks ago, so the Adobe Evangelists were busy fielding questions of what the RIA space looks like with the new partners from RIM-BlackBerry; Motorola Droid2, Samsung AIR for TV, and GoogleTV. There are plenty of opportunities in this new space for developers to innovate.

In the evening, I was able to attend a Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session with Michael Chaize and James Ward. There were about 25 or so developers in the room who had some follow-up questions from the days earlier session. There is a recording of this session which will be mastered and placed in the blog entry later.  We had some great questions ranging from:  the potential of RIAs and multi-screen applications on tablets/and for TV, Garbage Collection, Adobe’s support for HTML5 tooling, and the future of mobile applications (again, more once I get the MP3 uploaded)

{MP3 of Monday Nite BOF to appear here}

Dinner w/James Ward and some Java Guys

After the meeting, James Ward shared one of his favorite taverns in Antwerp (Pelgrom Brew House & Museum) — A great restaurant and Brew hall whose ambiance is straight out of the Middle Ages. It is downstairs in a labyrinth of brick corridors and rooms. Leave it to James Ward to come up with cool place for food and drink.  AND, there were a bunch of developer geeks there too.  It always amazes me who comes to these dinners James organizes.  The brain-power at these things is staggering — A intriguing cabal of Uber Geeks! So, a special shout-out to those who came to dinner: Bill Venners (Artima Developer/Scala in Action; Jonas Jacobi (Founder Kaazing, HTML 5, Comet, WebSockets speaker); Chet Haase (Google/Android, Flex4Fun), Romain Guy (Curious Creature blog + noted photographer) ;  Ben Galbraith (Co-Founder Ajaxian, Benzilla Blog); Dion Almaer (Co-Founder Ajaxian, currently @Palm w/BenG, but moving); The JavaPosse: Dick Wall, Carl Quinn, & Joe Nuxoll (he’s a big fan of photography…must introduce Romain & Joe to Lightroom3); Kito Mann (JSF), and an ole JUG leader friend from London Peter Pilgrim (JavaFX, formerly of London JavaWUG + now thinking of new projects). Again, what a great group of folks and a fantastic venue. James Ward certainly has an affinity for fine Belgian beer + great conversation.

Couple of References to my many conversations with attendees @DEVOXX today:

More to come Day 2 as I experience it…

A “MAX” Experience @AdobeMAX 2010

It was great to be part of the Adobe Community Team at my first AdobeMAX conference.  My first event with both developers and designers in a whole new community eco-system since coming over to Adobe from Sun Microsystems (6) months ago.  The communities are surprisingly very similar.  Adobe puts a lot of energy and resources into to its communities — We “Luv” Our User Group Managers (UGMs) and Adobe Community Professionals (ACPs). They just make it “all work” out there in the community.  But WHY? Why bother with communities, anyway?  Simply, when Adobe leverages its “Communities”, it helps the product teams expand their marketing reach for major product milestones beyond traditional methods and it can be done in a proven economical way.

So, Adobe’s Community Team put forth an extra effort this year by providing:

  1. UGMs and ACPs priority seating upfront at the MAX keynotes & awards/sneaks; they got a priority seating (Green) lanyard if they attended the Community Summit.
  2. “Community Driven” sessions for the UGMs at their very own Community Summit
  3. Access to the evangelists and product managers in a panel session… anything goes… most questions were answered. (some were NDA)
  4. A “Community Social” held at the Lucky Strike bowling alley + a special conference “community” gift
  5. A place to call “Home” during the conference — The Community Lounge (which was absolutely beautifully done, best I’ve ever seen)

I’d like to share some thoughts, sounds, and images in a sort of a “MAX timeline” — Lots of stuff here in this blog post, so be sure to check out all the links and images… you might find some surprises!

Adobe Community Team Arrives in LA (Sat Oct 23rd, 2010):

The Adobe “Community Team” started arriving on Saturday, a day early, to prepare the Community Lounge and Community Summit room for our special guests. Everything was super organized by Liz Frederick and her handy-dandy “Run-Sheet” which was a huge help for the team to know where to be and what to do for MAX. Our group Admin Tammy Leamons also came along to help us out at MAX.  Tammy helped the team manage the community summit registration desk.  Many of the UGMs got to meet Tammy at the Summit which is important, because Tammy is the person who fulfills the raffle prize serial keys as part of the Adobe Groups Program benefits.  I was presented with a special “NDA” T-shirt — I was told that there was “a story” behind the “NDA” thing from Ed Sullivan, so I guess I get the shirt & the moniker now.  After stowing the Community leader backpacks and “Adobe Air Is Everywhere” T-shirts, I had a chance to check out the Community Lounge in the Pavilion. One of the most beautiful lounges, I have ever seen at a corporate event. The RIA Radio booth was looking very sharp with the high-back circular seating arrangement; The Team just couldn’t wait to see our community folks check out this lounge!

Community Summit (Sun Oct 24th, 2010):

Morning came EARLY to some on the community team.  We got off to a few nervous jitters before the summit started, but once we got the technical difficulties solved with audio-visual stuff + started the introductions, it was “smooth sailing“.  This year’s summit had over 200 attendees which was quite impressive to me coming from similar program outside of Adobe.  Summit schedule was chock full of presentations, product & program updates, panel sessions, community-led sessions, and a special visit from the RIM BlackBerry folks. RIM spoke about their developer programs, outlined their plans for the Playbook, and an invited Flash/Flex developers to start innovating with apps on the Playbook.  RIM folks also invited the User Group Managers & ACPs to a private function later that evening.  My afternoon session, after the RIM announcement, was entitled “How to Pimp Your Adobe Groups Page” — Slides here. My “How to” session was well received and many thanks to Ray Camden who filled in some of the technical details.  Again, here is the place to report Adobe Groups Bugs. We will do our best to answer, log, and get Ray to fix the bugs. AND many thanks to RayC and Radley Marx (SilvaFUG) on their presentation(s) earlier in the day. Radley showed off the new look and feel of the Adobe Groups site.  See the new Adobe Groups 3.0 look & feel: here, here, and here.  Radley & Ray pointed out, that when the changes do take place that we will have a staging server on the amazon cloud for UGMs to look at the group pages, BEFORE we migrate to the new CSS.  There are MP3 recordings of the summit keynote & sessions below (by no means mean’t to be professional).  I will be dropping presentations I get from MAX here.  After a busy day of sessions, it was time to party. This year’s Community Party was held at the Lucky Strike with Open Bar + Tasty Snacks + entrees.  A good time was had by ALL… Again, the party was first-class… all the way!  I stayed pretty late @ The Lucky Strike and pretty much lost my voice at the end.

MP3 recordings of the Community Summit:

Afternoon Community Presentations (slides only)

Day 1 + Keynote (Mon Oct 25th, 2010):

Day 1 keynote was pretty exciting. Those who had the green lanyard with their attendee conference badge was able to enter the Nokia Pavilion through the side entrance which was really nice, right up front at the keynote.  The big announcement was the AIR 2.5 release.  Lots of the developers in the audience were pretty keen on this.  I really liked the potential of the Martha Living digital publishing demo: A time-lapsed image in Flash that played a video of a flower in bloom on a tablet.  RIM had some nice announcements; and. it was nice to see their CEO up on-stage with Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch.  Adobe AIR developers can start building their applications for BlackBerry PlayBook today and will be able to submit their AIR applications for BlackBerry PlayBook to BlackBerry App World™ later this year.  Of course, the big announcement came at the end of the keynote with the Motorola Droid2™ giveaway.  Steps for Using Your NEW Droid2 here.  Lots of the Community Leaders after the keynote were “jazzed” about that.  Lastly, while nothing compares to seeing the MAX stage and the audience in person — One can watch the keynotes online.

Adobe Community Team opens up the Community Lounge
& Robots! were the giveaways this year; and, they were both huge hits.  I never seen so much activity over bunch a buttons.  (FYI — there were 15 different kinds of buttons for the collectors out there).  We also had the Adobe AIR is everywhere T-shirts, but we saved most of those for Day 2.  The RIA Radio guys seemed to really like their booth.  They also posted podcasts and photos.  The Community Team spent lots of time talking to User Group managers and ACPs.  I did a few 1:1 Adobe Groups sessions with a few folks.  Generally, people were quite pleased with the Community Lounge — couches and seats were almost always in use!  The Green Hornet Car on the Pavilion floor was cool!  A wonderful day!

Day 2 + Keynote (Tue Oct 26th, 2010):

The first day MAX keynote was great — demo — after demo — announcements, etc.  The second day keynote was a little bit more light-hearted and FUN!   The skits with the Adobe Evangelists were quite entertaining.  The PIMP my APP skit was perhaps my favorite, though folks outside the U.S. probably wouldn’t get the reference to the “Pimp my Ride” MTV show here in America.  But, now I’m going to remind Evangelist Duane Nickull of his “Pro-Cess-es” every time I see him.  Good job by the Adobe evangelists.  Ben Forta did a couple of interviews ala “Larry King Style” about HTML5 and Flash, particularly with John Resig from jQuery and others. Resig was there to announce jQuery Mobile integration into DreamWeaver.  I would expect Adobe to do more with jQuery in future and contributing to it. The video with the Flash and HTML5 muppets with Ben Forta was pretty entertaining as well, but also pointed out Adobe’s commitment to future HTML5 tooling and the complimentary nature of Flash and HTML.  Lastly, there was yet another attendee giveaway from Google — a Google TV box. Rachel Luxemburg talks about her “first impressions” with the Google TV.  After the keynote, it was back to the Community Lounge to meet more friends from the past and the present.

The Giveaways:

Much of the talk at this year’s conference was about the number of things the attendees got for attending this year’s MAX conference. Droid2’s, GoogleTV boxes were the main giveways.  The UGMs and ACPs got special conference gift(s) — the Community Leader’s backpack + the “Adobe AIR is Everywhere” T-shirt, (special thanks to Adobe AIR Program Mgr — Michael Hu).  And a few folks, who managed to get into the Adobe AIR for TV lab got a  Samsung set-top box to start developing AIR apps for TV.  I heard that over 150 of these boxes were given to selected to developers.  Hopefully, we’ll have more surprises from Adobe and its partners next year, but this was not a typical AdobeMAX from what I learned from fellow Adobe employees and UGMs who have attended past events. So, folks shouldn’t expect free phones or set top boxes next year.

Community Lounge|Venue|Pavilion

The Community Lounge this year was absolutely beautiful.  And unlike other conferences which put business partners right up front at the Pavilion entrance,  Adobe puts its community front and center.  The Community Lounge is the first thing an AdobeMAX attendee sees as they walk into the Pavilion — that’s pretty cool.   I did had one attendee who was looking for a sales engineer to buy something.  I and some of the User Group manager’s explained to her that AdobeMAX is a different kind of conference.  Sure, you can go to the Adobe online store to purchase Adobe’s software.  But, the MAX event is more geared towards our technology and what our community folks are doing to innovate with it on the web and mobile space.
There was also plenty of networking in the community corner. I talked to several User Group Managers about doing post-MAX events. Most were set up in the Community Lounge:

So the Community Lounge is an excellent place for UGMs to meet-up and network with potential speakers while at MAX and the Adobe Community team does its best to facilitate these community engagement.

Day 3 + MAX Bash/Awards (Wed Oct 27th, 2010)

Shatner:  The MAX awards had a special guest: William Shatner. And, Capt Kirk, got a standing ovation from the Adobe faithful as he took the stage to present the AdobeMAX awards. Was nice to see the awards and the product sneaks.  And the MAX Bash party was again first-rate, although, the human statue fountain was bit unnerving…but beautiful.

Are YOU smarter than an Evangelist? Well it was close!  There was a very spirited contest by some of the community members and Adobe Evangelists in the afternoon in the Community theater, EmCee’d by non-other than Ben Forta. Click on one of the above images to see a video take by one of our community members.

Meeting Mr. Sullivan — One of my personal highlights  @AdobeMAX was to meet Ed Sullivan.  Ed was the former Adobe Community Manager before Rachel Luxemburg took on the job a couple years back.  Anyways, Ed managed to find me in the Community Lounge before he headed out for his flight back home.  We talked; and, it became readily apparent why so many folks in the Adobe Community liked Ed.  I am glad he’s still on the “Adobe Team” running the Adobe Developer Connection (ADC) website.

Post-MAX session in Vegas

The MAX fun didn’t stop in LA! I was in Las Vegas shortly after AdobeMAX and met up with the local User Group Managers: Greg Hamer (OSMF UG); John Olson (Las Vegas AUG); Deb Havre (Las Vegas AUG); Krystal Hosmer (Vegas Photoshop & Print UG); Sergio Chavez (VegasWeb UG); Terence Carroll (VegasFlash UG); and Simrod Furman (UG member). We discussed some of the highlights and announcements of the Community Summit and AdobeMAX. My special thanks to Terence Carroll of Vegas Flash for picking me up at my hotel and driving me to Sushi Kaya — what a wonderful place. Who knew Vegas would have such great sushi!  My advice to any Adobe Evangelist, ACP, Community Champion/Speakers passing thru Vegas — Look these folks up. They will treat you right! They have great hospitality in Vegas!
Adobe Evangelist(s) in Vegas:  I missed Tom Krcha and Renaun Erickson who was presenting at VegasFlash the night I had to fly back to San Jose…. sorry guys next time.

Looking forward to AdobeMAX 2011 — User Group Mgrs — Hope to see you there!