What’s Up With All the PHP? Or My New(ish) Role at Adobe

I’ve been blogging more recently about PHP, which my be confusing for people who know me and my ColdFusion background. But in looking at things, the PHP community has been incredibly vibrant and successful on a number of fronts. We’ve started adding more support for PHP developers through partnerships and support of things like Zend Amf, the PHP Data Wizards in Flex Builder, and encouraging community speakers at events like ZendCon. On the Adobe side, Mihai Corlan has done a fantastic job of creating resources for PHP developers who want to learn Flex. The team needed someone to take the lead here in North America and I asked to do it (Lee is busy with cool Flash stuff and going to Latin and South America). So now PHP developers have a go-to guy here in North America working to further the PHP agenda here at Adobe and helping more PHP developers be successful with Flex and Flash.

So why me, someone with little PHP experience? I’ve always felt like evangelism is about growing your developer community and developer relations is about helping the community you have. At Adobe we don’t really have a specific developer relations role (it’s basically Mike Chambers) so the evangelists end up doing both. Which is fun because our community is awesome. But I also wanted a challenge and to grow professionally as an evangelist. I thought the best way to do that would be to get out of my comfort zone, immerse myself with a new technology, and execute on ideas that could be applied to any technology by any evangelist.

Luckily we’re working with some great PHP people and the PHP community is a very welcoming and open place. There are a lot of places where PHP and Flash fit really well together so there are features like data visualization, collaboration, video, and data-heavy applications where I think PHP developers can use Flash in a helpful way. And in the process hopefully I’ll end up being a better evangelist and helping to grow the number of Flex developers.

If you’ve got ideas, or applications that show off Flash and PHP together, I’d love to hear them. You can always drop me an email at ryan@adobe.com or call/text me at (307) 438-9716. I think 2010 is going to be a huge year for PHP and Flash momentum.

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