Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Adobe Flex: Article

How to Staff Your Adobe Flex RIA Project Team

You need three types of Flex developers in your enterprise RIA project team

At the end of 2006 I wrote in a blog that Flex programmers should sit tight, improve their skills and wait till 2008 – the year of their fame. The year of 2008 is here, and Flex people are in big demand.  Two years ago, Flex community was more of a ghetto where most of the Flex programmers knew each other, but situation is different now.  The number of Flex programmers is increasing, and this population evolves similarly to what I’ve seen in the Java camp in the past.

The main concern of any project manager is if there are enough people in the pool of Flex developers to staff the project.  Yes, there is a pool of Flex developers, but let’s look at the creature called “Flex Developer” under the microscope.

Presently, I work for two clients from different industries; both projects are redesigns of existing Java applications. One project has a small number of Flex screens but very serious requirements for the communication layer. The other project has lots and lots of screens with LCDS on the back. Both projects require three types of Flex personnel:

1. Flex GUI developers
2. Flex component developers
3. Flex architects

The first group is people who can create the view portion of the application. This is the easiest group to get into if you already have some programming language behind your belt. The rumors about high consulting rates plus work of educators and technical evangelists create an impression that working with Flex is easy – just drag and drop components on the screen, align them nicely and write the functions to process button clicks or row selections in the data grid. Sort of a Visual Basic of the Web. These skills are easy to obtain, and you can expect a crowd of people there, but do not expect high pay rates in this segment.  If something is easy to learn many people can master it, and savvy project managers either outsource this job to a third-part vendors or send their own developers to a one-week Flex training class.

GUI developers interact with Web Designers that come up with the look and feel of the screens, which can be presented as a wireframes created in Photoshop, some third-party tool or even in Flex itself. But even in the latter case, GUI developers should not start implementing screens until approved by a Flex component developer or an architect.

While this is a right way to start Flex career, you definitely should consider moving to the second group and become a Flex component developer.  This title is awarded to people who know everything that GUI developers know plus object-oriented and event-driven programming. Knowledge of design patterns helps, but be careful here. Especially it applies to people coming from the Java world. Do not abuse MVC. Think out of the box. A screen created by a Web designer has to be scrutinized and redesigned into a set of components that communicate with each other. Applying the Mediator pattern to the initial wireframe is a good start as I’ve described in this blog .

Also, keep in mind that even though the syntax of ActionScript 3 looks very similar to Java, it has provisions for dynamic programming and you might not need to create tons of well defined objects as in Java.

The third group of people knows everything the first two groups plus they can see a big picture. They know how to build the entire application, how to communicate with the mid tier, how to structure your project, and how to make communication between reusable components, views and the persistence layer the most efficient. Flex architect are people who’d never suggest using a framework for creation a simple Video player as done in this blog. You do not gain these skills after a week of training, but you build them on top of your prior experience in other programming environments and by constant studying.

Not every Flex developer can be profiled as a member of one of these three groups. In smaller teams, one person may wear two hats: a component developer and an architect.  If your team has decided to use one of the frameworks on top of Flex framework, you may wind up with a new type of team members that can be called framework coders.  In this case it is assumed that this XYZ framework provides a structure that will take care of inter-communication between components, and coders just need to put their model, view or controller objects into the right directories, buy popcorn, press the button “Play” and watch the movie. This may or may not work as expected, but you may find out about it later in the game. If you are not lucky and the film got stuck in the projector and caught fire well into the movie, get ready to ask for an extra budget for a new project called “Removal of the XYZ framework”, which again reminds me of a good old joke.

 A poor man comes to the rabbi complaining that his family has only one small room, many kids, and almost no money. The rabbi says, "Take all your money, buy a goat, and keep the goat in your room. Come back in a month."

"But, rabbi, we don't have enough space even for us," the man said
"Just do what I say," the rabbi replied.

A month later the man comes back complaining that the goat smells and breaks everything.

"Sell the goat and come back in a month," the rabbi tells him.
A month later the man comes back to the rabbi with flowers.

"Thank you, rabbi! We're so happy the goat is out, now we have more room and some money from selling the goat!"

If you are considering adding Flex to your set of skills, it’s still early in the game and you can join the fast growing Flex community. Decide which group of the Flex developers looks most appealing to you. Set a goal and go for it. Be what you can be.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, discussed how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees learned how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He also looked at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers can be the ...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.