In April 2003 I had been at Macromedia for two months working on a very small team investigating possible new business opportunities around data visualization. We had a small J2EE backend piece and a Flash frontend written in AS1. It was my first exposure to programming in Flash and I admit I wasn’t too fond of it. Ely Greenfield had some tricks that helped me wrangle it into my Java-disposed mindset, but in general the development model wasn’t much fun.
Then I found out that we had a team working on creating a new development model for Flash, a project codenamed Royale. My little team was asked to check it out and see if it was something that we might be able to build our product on. Well, rather than just check it out it was decided that we should contribute some real time to the product, help define the requirements and maybe even contribute a little coding. We thought maybe we’d spend 6 weeks building one feature (mine was this small thing called data binding) and then go back to our small project, only this time having a better platform on which to build it.It is now 3 years later and I never went back to that small project, instead devoting the time to building this thing we now call Flex. It’s been incredibly rewarding and I’m hoping that when we release Flex 2 the larger community will appreciate all of the work that has gone into creating it. When you look at all of the pieces that make up the Flex ecosystem there are well over 100 developers, quality engineers, writers, managers, evangelists, marketing folks, and [insert job here] involved. A team I’m proud to be a part of.So when the opportunity came up for me to move from being an engineer into Product Management it seemed like a great way for me to expand on my contributions. I’ve spent a lot of time informally being a liason with the community through this blog and my posts on flexcoders, but now we’re hoping to formalize that a little bit as I get the opportunity to meet with more customers and feed those interactions back into the team as we figure out what we need to do moving forward. I’ll still keep a technical bent to the role, but I won’t be spending my time fixing bugs or developing new features.So if you notice the number of flexcoders posts going down it’s because my brain will be slowly atrophying as I move away from the details of our vast offering. But hopefully I’ll still be able to interact with many of you as we decide where we should take our incredible platform.