August 25, 2010

WSJ: Demand for Flash development increases

Interesting news from the Wall Street Journal:

Top full-time Flash engineers can now command more than $150,000 a year in salary, says Stuart Liroff, a headhunter at GreeneSearch recruiting firm. That compares with $50,000 to $80,000 a year three years ago, several entrepreneurs say.

With the advent of online social gaming start-ups such… demand for Flash engineers has suddenly surged.

I’m sure you’ll see this news on Mac fan sites, right about… now [commence breath-holding].

And yes yes, let me save people some typing: No doubt demand for HTML5 development is going up, too, and that’s good news for Adobe as we make great tools for HTML5 work & will make even more going forward.  I just get tired of one-sized, zero-sum, non-pragmatic, and–it turns out–inaccurate triumphalism. [Via Jens Loeffler]

Posted by John Nack at 10:57 PM on August 25, 2010


  • imajez — 1:26 AM on August 26, 2010

    I wonder how the graph of photographer’s salaries would plot over last 10 years?

  • John C. Welch — 3:57 AM on August 26, 2010

    How much does an evangelist get paid by Adobe? Because i figure, any job where I can spend a lot of my time bemoaning platform wars, while making sure to keep said wars pumped up? That’s got to be the most awesome job ever.

    I just get tired of one-sized, zero-sum, non-pragmatic, and–it turns out–inaccurate triumphalism.

    but you’ll make damned sure to try to pump that stuff up, so you can get some hit counts out of it and keep it in forefront.

    [You’re right, John: I should let Gruber et al. cherry-pick & showcase any/every negative thing they can find about Flash, omitting any info to the contrary. I should let our customers freak out and think that the time they’ve devoted to learning Flash is all for naught, by instant fiat of Steve. How dare anyone question The Narrative!! –J.]

    Funny how as much of the attitude you, and pretty much every Adobe Flash evangelist complains about comes from *Adobe* as much as “Mac Fans sites”.

    You want that stuff to go away? I mean *ACTUALLY* go away? In the “going away” sense of the phrase, and not just “letting it die down a bit until we can bring it up again”?

    Stop pumping it. It’s that simple.

    [Kwitcherbitchin. Or quit reading my blog. It’s *that* simple. –J.]

    • imajez — 5:55 AM on August 26, 2010

      John N correcting the steady stream of misinformation, particularly from fact free Macolytes is hardly stirring things up as you rather aggressively and somewhat ironically suggest John CW.

    • Matthew Fabb — 1:49 PM on August 26, 2010

      Stop pumping it by linking to an article showing that Flash is not dying?

      Meanwhile, I see Flash evanganlists promoting where not to use Flash (Adobe’s Lee Brimelow has 2 articles in a series about this). I’ve also seen Flash evanganlists promoting to use HTML5 video as a fall back to Flash for mobile devices. So they obviously aren’t just blindlessly pumping Flash for anything and everything.

      I sometimes see students at Flash user group meetings unsure about their future in Flash because of tech blogs promoting the whole “Flash is dead” bit. Thankfully, the various agencies who announce at the meetings they are looking for Flash developers and designers and would appreciate any resumes helps them realize this is untrue. Still there’s a lot of other people new to the industry who don’t realize the slant and bias these articles are written with. So I think anything correcting them is great.

      Also salary aside, Disney Interactive recently sponsored a party at the conference FITC Toronto and seems they did again at FITC San Francisco, in an effort to push the fact that Disney Interactive’s Vancover office (well really slightly north of Vancover) is hiring over 100 Flash developers/designers this year, with the plan of pushing that number to 500, over the next few years.

    • gh — 11:25 AM on August 27, 2010

      [Kwitcherbitchin. Or quit reading my blog. It’s *that* simple. –J.]

      this is hilarious, the best response ever.

  • Making Money == Good? — 4:54 AM on August 26, 2010

    A lot of noble occupations don’t pay as well as they should (e.g. teaching, Peace-Corp), while those who contributed to the crash of Wall Street or people who traffic drugs are rolling in money. This doesn’t seem like a convincing angle to try to validate Flash.

    I’m a huge Adobe fan – used Photoshop ~15 years and buy computers largely based upon PS performance – and it saddens me to see the heavy push for Flash lately. When I think of PS and Lightroom, I think “amazing. enjoyable software”. When I think of Flash, I think of revving fans, broken basic web interactions, and animated ads. Needless to say, I’d rather associate Adobe with PS and Lightroom.

    I can see how Flash is in Adobe and some developers best interests today; hopefully someday its benefits will outweigh its inconveniences for users like me. Improvements like graphics card optimization are definitely steps in the right direction.

  • Jim Pogozelski — 6:12 AM on August 26, 2010

    “Flash Engineers”

    I’m a Flash designer, not a developer, so I guess I won’t be making that kind of money. From what I’ve seen, any Object Oriented Programming knowledge will get you more money, not just ActionScript3 (I still use lowly as2).

    If only I understood arrays more than I understood color…

  • Michael Steinbach — 7:36 AM on August 26, 2010

    Actually working on a solution that *will* work on smaller low power devices would go along way to squelching the Mac strong hold. I would love to have my website show up in all its flash based glory on my IPad!

    • jcool — 8:12 AM on August 26, 2010

      Sorry, I couldn’t hear your comment over the Flash videos I’m watching on my HTC Evo. ;)

      • Snap — 12:44 PM on August 26, 2010

        What, I can’t hear you. Did your battery just die?

        • jcool — 7:22 AM on August 27, 2010

          LOL. Actually, I usually make it to 10-11pm on an overnight charge. I think it’s the people that don’t regularly discharge their batteries completely that really have problems.

  • DF — 8:22 AM on August 26, 2010

    Top full-time Flash engineers can now command more than $150,000 a year in salary, says Stuart Liroff, a headhunter at GreeneSearch recruiting firm. That compares with $50,000 to $80,000 a year three years ago, several entrepreneurs say.

    Going by that metric, COBOL’s doing great, too.

    [? –J.]

    • DF — 9:14 AM on August 26, 2010

      “William Conner, a senior manager in Deloitte’s technology integration practice, comments that “salaries for Cobol programmers have been rising in recent years due to a lack of supply. Demand is outstripping supply because many Cobol programmers are reaching retirement age and college leavers tend to focus on Java, XML, and other modern languages.” ”

  • Asbjørn Ulsberg — 9:01 AM on August 26, 2010

    The reason Flash developers can command that kind of salary is due to the exact same reason Fortran programmers can; they’re so close to extinction that the few developers that are left on the dying platform are of so high demand by the even fewer companies in the world relying on the stone age piece of technology that they can ask for almost whatever they want.

    Good for them I guess, but I’d choose forward-looking, modern and open technology over aged, dying, proprietary technology any day. Keep up the good work of not listening to your users nor customers. Please continue adding non-requested features without fixing a single bug to Photoshop in the future too, while you’re at it. Thanks!

  • Chris DeAngelus — 9:40 AM on August 26, 2010

    The moral of this post for anyone reading is: if you want to make money in IT, learn to code. Learn to code anything. There is no kill switch for any of the technologies we use today, including flash. Learn to code. Learn to code. Learn to code.

    It’s a rich future for you if you have the skills required to cash in on it. The skills required today are a lot more than were required yesterday. It doesn’t matter what tool you want to use to implement it.

  • melgross — 10:05 AM on August 26, 2010

    Honestly John, I don’t see anything that Jobs has said about Flash that has been wrong so far, and it’s been some of Adobe’s highest officials who have made comments that children would make.

    [Who? What? The one evangelist who shot is mouth off is a spear-carrier, not a “high official.” As for the latter, I’ve heard guys like Kevin Lynch meet an incoming shitstorm with grace. But whatever: that’s not the narrative people want, so it’s not what they believe. –J.]

    I’m a user of Adobe software from the very beginning, and I’ve got a lot of it, but this Flash debate is going nowhere. Both sides have taken extreme positions

    [Saying that we’ll work to support customers’ needs, regardless of technology preference, is “extreme”? –J.]

    but Adobe’s position that Flash is open is totally wrong. let’s at least get that out of the way.

    [I can’t get into debating all that here, nor (I suspect) would it matter. –J.]

  • Andre Morton — 2:33 PM on August 26, 2010

    Must a great news also for that acquisition that you guys did a while ago. You know that one that competes with the very same developers that buy Adobe products in producing media sites, RIA and so on.

  • gh — 11:37 AM on August 27, 2010

    What makes something like flash OPEN or NOT OPEN.
    Is it licensing, API’s. ?
    It seems it is so unique and specialized, and that it deals with security issues also. Would it get all mucked up if it was open source? What exactly is open source. Is that what ya’ll refer to as OPEN. I am a end user and a software operator, not a programmer or executive. I’d really love to know. Examples of other similar scenarios. I think it’s kinda great that flash programmers are in demand, until I have to hire one. but then Adobe has made it pretty easy to do stuff via the softwares, that could not have been approachable by someone as myself, I think?

  • ChaChing — 12:34 PM on August 27, 2010

    I guess I am a top Flash engineer by that salary standard. And we just hired 2 new developers and are looking for more. I don’t understand all the misinformation and animosity around this technology, if Flash were dead then the other competing technologies would have greater share and we would adopt them. The expectation in this career path is that an engineer is smart enough to find the best solution for a given business problem. There is a demand for Flash engineers because there is a demand for Flash.

    • Andre Morton — 3:33 PM on August 27, 2010

      Are you paying them 150K each?

      • ChaChing — 11:01 AM on August 29, 2010


        • Andrew Morton — 1:20 AM on August 30, 2010

          Well, good on you, now I know why companies go bankrupt overnight.

          • ChaChing — 6:48 AM on August 30, 2010

            Wow, you certainly have the attitude that companies are looking for! Believe it or not, some companies have the means to hire in this range and the foresight to know that you get what you pay for. Good luck in your career.

  • Jonas Flint — 6:33 AM on August 30, 2010

    Flash is dead. ;)

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