Adobe Impressions

So I haven’t written here in a long time and I’m overdue to write something about Flex 2, but that’s still on hold as I actually work on the product. I’m hoping in the next few months that I’ll have more to say. In the meantime I thought you might be curious about my impressions of Adobe now that we’ve been part of the company for 2 months or so.


This week we had a big engineering summit, a 3 day gathering of almost all of the technologists at Adobe from all over the world in San Jose. It was an interesting experience, almost as many people as attended MAX this past year, except we were all Adobe employees. I’m glad that we had it; I think spending time getting exposed to the other teams and seeing what’s going on is incredibly important, especially since we need to be supportive of everyone else’s efforts. I’m pleased to say that Flex gave a pretty good showing. We had a number of people attending the Flex-related talks, and Sho’s demo as part of a “product shootout” was voted the best (thanks in large part to a very raucous Flash Player team).Another thing that was pretty cool was to see the crazy kinds of things that people are working on for other products. Let’s be honest, Flex is a cool product but I don’t think you’ll see us delivering papers at any conferences soon. But the folks who work on Photoshop and the other Creative Suite tools? There was one talk that introduced at a very high level some of the challenges that we’re going to face with the upcoming changes in computer hardware (as CPU speed is not increasing and chip manufacturers are instead moving to adding processors). Taking advantage of that new architecture is not a trivial task; I felt confident that for each of the presenter’s bullet points we were going to see the opportunity for a SIGGRAPH paper or two. And then it’s always pretty easy to impress with image manipulation demos 🙂 I should also mention that it’s cool to work for a company that produces its own video software. One of the things teams did at the conference was produce fun “commercial” spots. I don’t think anyone will be up for a Clio for their acting skills, but the production values were pretty good! I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to play with this stuff soon, I don’t do much video on my own but maybe I’ll play with Audtion at least.But believe it or not, the things that actually gave me the most warm fuzzies were the talks by the Adobe founders, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke. First off, both were excellent speakers, which I suppose they should be after a number of years of running the company, but it’s something I still appreciate. But more importantly, their messages seemed genuine and their passion for the company they founded was obvious. These guys are Co-Chairmen of the Board, and despite the fact that they are engineers I wouldn’t have expected them to spend the entire 3 days at this conference. The other thing that I think was great was the expression of their values. When Dr. Geschke (I’m not sure I can call him Chuck) spoke at the end about the values of the company, it was easy to feel proud that I work at a place where being a good corporate citizen is considered essential.Not everything is perfect. The bureaucracy has increased: more forms, a corporate credit card that seems unnecessary, an IT department that locks everything down a little too tight for my taste. And it will take time for the two companies to fully gel; we’ve had different approaches to building things in the past and no one is going to change their attitudes on what’s right immediately. But it feels like the core of this company is solid. I can’t say I was especially excited about working for what I’d call a large company (though I wasn’t against the merger); but I think if I’m gonna do it this seems like a pretty good place to be.</sap>

7 Responses to Adobe Impressions

  1. Brian Deitte says:

    Hey, I’d just like to point and that Dan Smith and I were also at at the raucous (well, obnoxious) player table. :)I also loved the founder speeches. Chuck Geschke gave me a good feeling of Adobe history that I hadn’t known before.Another thing I loved about the summit was meeting all the other interesting people on other teams that are doing cool things and (perhaps more relevent to this blog) were excited about Flex. I didn’t realize before that it’s not just the Flex team that’s excited about the product inside Adobe.

  2. Kirk Mower says:

    It is sad to hear that even that IT department at Adobe is over-zealous at locking things down. Who trains these IT people and why — isn’t the number one concern letting people like yourself develop, complete and deliver the best products ever ? This is a worldwide problem — more so than possible security threat as more productive time is wasted by these people than anything else. Someone should get “Chuck” to fire a few of those IT people and let them take their prized MCSE BS (for Bull Shit) somewhere else…

  3. Matt Chotin says:

    Well let’s not bad-mouth them too much. I understand the job they have to do and they’ve tried to be responsive to our needs if possible. I don’t envy the job of IT folks right now (especially when trying to integrate 1000 new employees at once).

  4. orant says:

    hi,Mr chotinCould I ask you a question?I want to implement these function:when main.mxml initialize,it create children(mainpanel,childpanel),if I click the mainpanel’sButton ,it produce a String,then the String are sent to childpanel,how can I implement?Thank you very much.

  5. Matt Chotin says:

    Please send questions like this to the forums or flexcoders.

  6. Matt says:

    It seems to me that most of the newer IT guys are wrapped a little tighter than when I was growing up. For example, when would you ever see an IT guy in a suit and a tie 10-15 years ago?

  7. Abi says:

    Hi Matt,I am also a guy like you doing job in IT field. I am surely enjoying my job but still hope to get one like you in big names (macromedia).Good luck Matt!