My relationship with Adobe Flash started in 2006. I owe a lot to Flash. It has shaped my professional development career for the past six years and paid for our wedding, our house, two cars, and two kids. I have immense gratitude and respect for the platform.
But things change, especially in technology.
Today is bittersweet. Today I am officially breaking up with Flash…for good.
It’s not you, Flash. It’s me. It is time to see other platforms.
I started out doing simple Flash websites for about a year. It wasn’t long before I started to build advanced Flash applications. Flash was never meant to create websites or applications, but the Flash development community took it there. Adobe eventually responded by creating Adobe Flex, which at its core is still Flash, but with a much more feature rich framework. Flex gave Flash the ability to become a viable enterprise development platform and it took off like a rocket.
Flex gave me the opportunity to work with some of the best RIA (Rich Internet Application) companies in the world. The experience I gained in learning how to architect complex web apps was invaluable. I am very thankful for the chance to work with some of the best and brightest developers in the industry.
The beginning of the end, for me, was in 2010 when Steve Jobs published his Thoughts on Flash. I believe this single article is responsible for the current landscape of technology, namely the two differing perspectives of Google and Apple. Most of my colleagues fell into the Google camp due to their allegiance to Flash. I took Steve’s article as a wake up call. I knew that it would be irresponsible of me to continue to invest my professional career into a language that was dead or dying, so I began to spend any free time I could muster investing in myself and learning other technologies.
During the next two years, it would turn out that Steve Jobs was right. In the fall of 2011, Adobe announced their intention to open source the Flex SDK, which I interpreted as a kind way of saying, “We’re done with Flash, too”. Their attempt at a FAQ article only confirmed my assumptions that they were shifting their focus to HTML5. This only increased my desire and decision to make a transition.
I have been doing development for 11 years now and I have never experienced such an explosion in development as we are in right now. Yes, I know I am young with even 11 years of experience in the technology landscape, but just look at what is going on now that did not even exist just 2 – 3 years ago. Entire industries and livelihoods have been birthed in such a short time.
- The aforementioned HTML5 and CSS3.
- Mobile and tablet platforms, like iOS and Android.
- Responsive frameworks, like Bootstrap and Foundation.
- New frameworks, libraries, and plugins released nearly every day.
It really is an exciting time to be a developer and I simply could not continue to try and keep up with where development is going in what little free time I have. The time came to make a dramatic change.
December 31st, 2012 officially marked the last day I will be doing Flash development and I could not be more excited to finally say that.
So what’s next?
I am really stoked for 2013! It will be a year of immense learning, new opportunities, renewed focus, and incredible growth.
I never imagined I would be where I am today as a developer. Flash played an important part of my professional life, and for that, I thank it. But it is time to move on and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out.