Beginning the next chapter…

For a few years, I have been working at Adobe as a product manager in various forms. When I started, I was brought into the company to help expose workflow gaps and issues that prohibited designers and developers to work together using Adobe products. The result of this work would evolve into multiple features in the web and interactive products, and also into Flash Catalyst. Along the way, I wound up working with some of Adobe’s best product managers to bring Creative Suite 5 Web Premium to market.

Making a change

At that point, I was at a fork in the road. There were two paths in front of me. I really struggled with this decision because it came at the same time that my husband just moved to New York City and I was still living in San Francisco. Living apart from your spouse is extremely difficult and there were so many changes going on at the time, so I decided to stay with product management and take on direct ownership of the Flash Catalyst CS5.5 product. It was a great experience and I was so proud of what the project was doing and the new features that eventually made it to market. Along the way, the growth of HTML5 exploded, and I really wanted to be a part of that, so I jumped on to the Adobe Edge team as the product manager and worked with them to bring the first preview release to customers on Adobe Labs.

Recapturing the spark

While I liked my job and the product I was working on, there was a spark that was missing from my day-to-day activities. I missed the ability to educate and work with the community in a large way. As a product manager, you always speak with users of the product, but that is very different than being an active community member where you contribute, share, and network with other people for the benefit of the larger group. It was this interaction that I realized I missed the most, so with a bit of anxiety, I left product management to find something else that would have the fit and fulfillment I was looking for.

Fortunately, Adobe is a large company, with tons of opportunities for someone that is willing to hit the pavement and seek something out. While attending a convention recently I spoke with my friend Michelle Yaiser who just joined Adobe in the Community Help and Learning department. I have been friends with her for a couple of years and was interested in what she was doing, and her team sounded like a lot of fun to work with, and their focus was on education and solving customer problems, which sounded perfect. Later during that same conference, I met Brian Rinaldi who works in the same department as a Web Community Manager, which sounded like the perfect role for me: work with the community as an active member, network people together, promote community growth and work with the community to solve product, workflow and project issues.

So, I’m very thrilled to announce that I am Adobe’s newest Web Community Manager. This role will put be squarely back into the center of the community as an active contributor and give the the change to return to my roots as a designer and developer for interactive design, design and develop workflow management, and my evolving passion for mobile applications.

As a community manager, I will be focusing on the following areas:

Mobile applications using Flash Professional and ActionScript

First and foremost, I’ll continue to be working with the Flash Community around Flash Professional and ActionScript for mobile applications. For years I have been a “Flasher” and I’m going to continue working with Flash in the growing area of mobile applications using Adobe AIR. Flash is where I started my career and when it comes to mobile apps, I think that Flash is the easiest way to achieve a great user experience.

Interactive design using web standards

We’ve heard the expression before—”Explosion of growth with web standards and HTML5”. While the phrase seems almost cliché now, it is true. It has exploded and people are hungry for help on how to integrate it into their workflow. This is one area that I’ll be focusing on, working with the community on areas such as JavaScript creative coding, interactive design using web frameworks, and how to integrate products like Adobe Edge, Fireworks and Dreamweaver into your workflow. There is some really exciting stuff coming down the line for Edge, and I really want to dive in and help make sense of all the coolness that will be coming to everyone over the next several months.

Mobile applications using web standards

There are tons of ways to make mobile apps, and some of the newest ways are using web standards and HTML5. In this area of focus, I’m planning on jumping in with technologies like jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, Sencha, and others to make some sense of the best workflows to create awesome standards-based mobile applications for the mobile browser, or packaged as apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and other platforms.

There you have it!

So that’s the deal! I’m really excited about the new role, and can’t wait to get started.

8 thoughts on “Beginning the next chapter…

  1. Nick Anders says:

    So, “Interactive Design without using web standards” (i.e. with Flash Player) is a no go? What’s the position of Adobe regarding Flash Player for the web?

    We see a new “Web Community Manager” whose plans do not involve Flash Player for the web – from the business standpoint, should I assume that we should stop investing in Flash Player? Should we quit what we’re doing since even Adobe is (wrongly) assuming that it’s stupid to invest in the only platform that really enables true client-server applications on the web? Is this Adobe’s reaction to all the FUD?

    We, developers and investors, would like to understand why a new “Web Community Manager” does not include in it’s plans “Interactive design using Flash Player”. Yes, now we’re scared.

    • sfdesigner says:

      Hey Nick — Of course interactive design using Flash Player is of huge importance for the company–my focus will be on the mobile application side of things in how interactive design for mobile can work with the Flash Platform. A lot of the work that I have done to help new people to the Flash Platform and learn ActionScript 3.0 will continue, both with my Adobe TV videos and continuing to write articles, books and tutorials.

    • Nick – Doug is part of a team and we each have multiple focuses. One of mine, being Doug’s colleague as a Web Community Manager, is focusing on runtimes – including Flash Player for the web and AIR for the desktop. You’ll catch me constantly promoting community work in these areas. Also, I’ll be working with the prerelease communities to help generate content and buzz around these releases. The nice thing about having someone like Doug on the team is that we can focus our efforts on different areas and offer everyone more of our time and energy.

  2. I’ll take another approach… Congratulations Doug! As a big fan of your AS3 1on1 series I’m excited to see your talents used in this new role. The stellar reviews of Air 2.7 on mobile devices give me a lot of hope for a bright future for new and current Flash users.

    Best,

    Carl

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