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
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix 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. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...