I also want to see a million Flex developers in three years

It “s 5:30 PM, and I “m tired. When I “m tired, I pick a topic and blog for 30 minutes or so, and this helps me to relax. Today, I “ll unload some thoughts on the situation with Adobe Flex, and why I want this technology to succeed (Adobe has an ambitious goal of having a million of Flex developers in three years).

I “m not going to annoy you with all reasons of why I think it “s going to be hot. Let “s just have a more generic discussion about a success of a programming language in the business world. So kids who become exciting just by creation of a cool little thingy in Flex or Flash should not read this blog. I “ll start with throwing some random thoughts at you, and write a brief summary at the end, if needed.

1. The most popular programming language is Java: 5 million PROFESSIONAL developers use it.

2. I have 4,999,999 competitors. No good. But I know Enterprise Java pretty well, which is good.

3. I also know Flex pretty well. There is almost no competition in this field today. I work for a small company of RIA experts (Farata Systems), our rates are not low, but very reasonable for what we deliver. There is not too many Flex projects at this point, but it “s more than we can handle.

4. You “d expect that I would want to keep the status quo since the demand for our skills is pretty high. Wrong! I want more people to learn Flex.

5. When I recommend to my clients using Flex as a front end tool, the first question they ask is “Who else is using it? rdquo;. This is a very important and pragmatic question. Development managers have enough stress already to take chances and switch from an established platform to this super promising dark horse.

6. A development manager thinks, rdquo;I like Flex demos, and it seems to be a pretty solid platform that perfectly fits my needs. Yakov knows what he “s doing, we can start a pilot project, but what if three month from now he “ll have more lucrative offer from another client and quit? IS THERE A POOL OF SKILLED FLEX PROGRAMMERS? rdquo; There are lots and lots Java developers out there, that “s for sure.

7. And the development manager is right. He has his own agenda and career plans. He would not mind using bleeding edge cool technologies as long as his career is not in jeopardy. That “s why I want to see lots of Flex programmers .

8. There was Adobe and there was Macromedia. Their merger was made in heaven. But the honeymoon is coming to an end, and it “s about time to start heavy marketing of Flex.

9. Someone said that the crew of any software company consists of two parts: sales and sales support. Adobe Sales support (a.k.a. technical evangelists) works fine. Today, Flex evangelists are actually selling Flex to enterprises. It “s about time to inject some serious cash into sales force and advertisement.

10. Adobe should give away Flex Builder to college students for free. In a couple of years they will join the work force armed with the right understanding of what “s the right tool for RIA development and will keep selling the product from inside. Their minds should not be poisoned by free AJAX. This strategy worked for Java, and there is no reason why it would not work for Flex. Charging students $79 for Flex Builder is wrong ndash; they do not have enough money for partying. Have mercy.

11. So why don “t I afraid of competition? Because I am an early adopter. Students are still partying, and India is still asleep. My Flex+Java+business skills will put bread on my table for at least another three years. And what “s after? Something else will come out, and I “ll make sure to be the first to learn it.

12. I “m not going to fall in love with any programming language, sorry, Flex. But I promise, we “ll have steady relations for a while.


No we don “t need summary. Did I make myself clear?


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