2010 Year in review

12/28/2010 in Community View Comments

This past year has been a whirlwind of change for me professionally. I really got into blogging, Twitter and got more involved with the community. I met some fantastic, talented and genuine people that love what they do, and also got to know some old friends again. Attending some of the great conferences that were held this year really kept me in tune with my profession, and somewhat ignited my passion for an industry that I had lost over the last few years.

RIA Unleashed: I sadly wasn’t able to attend this in 2010, but closing out 2009 with this conference is what really got me excited about 2010. I had only been to Adobe MAX conferences in the past (2 Macromedia DevCons, MAX New Orleans, & MAX San Francisco) and had no clue that the smaller, more focused conferences were what I get the most out of. Props to Brian Rinaldi.

360Flex 2010 San Jose: Yet another great smaller conference, at least in comparison to a MAX, 360Flex was a great chance to meet new friends and learn about new processes and tools. I wasn’t able to make it to 360Flex DC, sadly, but am definitely planning on being at 360Flex Denver in 2011. Big ups to John Wilker and Tom Ortega.

Flash and the City: I love NYC, and mixing a Flash conference with NYC was a no brainer for me. I was able to take my wife along on this trip and turned it into a mini-vacation. The conference was a hit and I really enjoyed spending time meeting new friends and enjoying the city with my wife. Thanks Elad Elrom.

Adobe MAX LA: The most recent conference was MAX in LA, which was special to me in several ways. This was my first conference as a Litl employee, and also my first speaking gig (FATC Unconference). Litl won a MAX Award for Multiscreen, which rocked of course, and I got to hang out with some new friends and all around great people. Thanks Adobe, Motorola, Google, and of course Martha Stewart.

2010 also brought on some new challenges for me professionally, coming from a design centric past. I dug deeper into OOP, design patterns and just really how to program correctly. I read many books, mostly technical, and honed my skill as a developer. Clean Code, Growing Object-Oriented Software-Guided by Tests, Test Driven Development: By Example, and ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns were extremely valuable and books that I plan to re-read again in 2011. I dug deeper into tools such as Git, Vim, Ant, TDD (FlexUnit 4), RobotLegs, and IDE’s such as FDT3.5/4 & IntelliJ IDEA 9/10. I also experimented with Java, Scala, C++, and Objective-C. I feel almost like I drank from the programming fire hose. Big shout outs to Bruno Fonzi & PowerFlasher, you guys rock.

Professionally I made some major changes, and leaving King Pharmaceuticals for Litl was the biggie. Litl is great, has unbelievably talented people and I really enjoy working there. King was a great place to work, and I honestly miss working there. It was an extremely hard decision to leave, but something I had to do to grow in my field. King was a great experience in a large corporation, mining and reporting on massive amounts of data, automation, and structure…but not necessarily something I ever want to do again ;) . Sadly, just after I left, Pfizer announced a buy out of King, so my fingers are crossed for the future of my fellow employees in the Business Applications department.

Enough about 2010, 2011 is what I am looking forward too. I founded a new Adobe Flash UG (Blue Ridge FUG) and, along with Tim McLeod, am excited to kick off 2011 with some great meet ups. I also have a lot of plans up my sleeve which includes jump starting a new creative resource, family relocation, and a few new additions to my tool belt. I plan on attending several conferences, and have even applied to speak at a few…so we’ll see how that pans out. I am excited about new conferences such as GeekyByNature, which goes hand in hand with some changes I want to make professionally. Here’s to the new year, there will be great things to come.


Representing litl: FITC Unconference @ MAX 2010

09/03/2010 in RIA View Comments

I am super stoked to announce that I will be presenting how to get rocking with Git at the FITC Unconference during the Adobe MAX 2010 conference in LA, October 25-27. I will be representing litl and delivering an intro to Git leading into an awesome set by Kathryn Rotondo on team code review. I am rounding up swag to give away during the presentation so be sure not to miss it!

Check out the sessions below for more information:

I have joined litl!

08/23/2010 in RIA View Comments

Looking forward to the next chapter…

I am stoked to announce that I have joined the great minds at litl as a Channel Developer. While I love the city of Boston, I will remain working remotely, for now. I can’t express how happy I am to be able to tele-commute and be able to spend more time close to my family.

I have been an enterprise developer at King Pharmaceuticals for the past 3 years and am ready to get back to the other side of the firewall. While King is a great place to work, both for East Tennessee and for the team members, there is little chance to do much public facing development. Also, I am really looking forward to working with a team of peers working on similar projects that I can contribute to and learn a lot from. To me, a new job is not only a chance to bring my own experiences to the table, but to soak up as much of the massive brain power of the other team members as possible.

I started my career in this industry working for a start up that was very innovative, pushing the boundaries of what could be done with the tools available, and had unbelievable talent. The group at litl reminds me somewhat about a start up I worked for so many years ago (pre dot bomb) and for so long ( at least the good parts ;) ).

Since beginning my career in the mid 90’s I have been a 3D artist/animator, Flash and Director developer, web designer/developer, project manager (gasp) and an enterprise developer. After all of that Flash is still my passion and I am super excited to have the opportunity to help create some ground breaking experiences on the litl web book and soon the litl web-connected TV product.

What I look forward to most is being able to rub elbows with some of the Flash community’s most talented: Kevin Suttle [ @kevinsuttle ], Chuck Freedman [ @chuckstar ], Ash Atkins [ @razorberry ] and Kathryn Rotundo [ @krotondo ] just to mention a few.

My FlashBuilder 4 color scheme.

08/16/2010 in RIA View Comments

Something that still isn’t very intuitive to do is changing the color scheme on the editor in Eclipse. FlashBuilder 4 is no different, but hopefully this post will help ease the pain. To me a darker background with soft colors helps me concentrate more than a white background and black text. I once had a professor tell me that staring at a white background is no different than staring at a light bulb…light is projected from behind the screen.

Inspired by Kevin Suttle’s awesome instructions on how to customize the color scheme in FlashBuilder 4, I am listing my own settings below. I have always been a dark gray / blue type of designer and the colors I use in my editor work best for me. As with anything, pick what works best for you and if you want, share them. You can find these preferences in Flash Builder by following the links shown before each set of values below. I thought about posting my actual preference export, but there is a lot of personal system and software information saved in there. Instead of risking the removal of a key line in the preferences I am just listing the values that I changed within each section. This will give you a better idea on what changes anyway… You may notice that even my lighter fonts are still not white, but #DDDDDD.

Window > Preferences > General > Editors > Text Editors >

Line number foreground: 192, 192, 192
Current line highlight: 56, 56, 56
Print margin: 176, 180, 185
Find Scope: 185, 176, 180
Selection foreground color: 0, 0, 0
Selection background color: 0, 0, 0
Background color: 39, 39, 39
Foreground color: 221, 227, 230
Hyperlink: 25, 74, 165

Window > Preferences > Flash Builder > Editors > Syntax Coloring > ActionScript >

ASDoc: #3f5fbf
Bracket/Brace: #11a37c
Comment: #7f7e7e
Default text: #c9c9c9
Keyword: class: #5fa0c1
Keyword: functio #5fa0c1
Keyword: interface: #5fa0c1
Keyword: package: #5fa0c1
Keyword: trace: #76b0c3
Keyword: var: #11a37c
Metadata: #11a37c
Operator: #11a37c
Reserved: #5fa0c1
String: #96cee1

Flash Builder > Editors > Syntax Coloring > MXML >

ASDoc: #3f5fbf
Comment: #999999
Component Tag: #11a37c
Default Text: #dddddd
Processing Instruction: #11a37c
Special Tag: #11a37c
String: #11a37c

Changing the ASDoc Author name in FDT

07/26/2010 in RIA View Comments

One thing that you will notice when creating new .as files in FDT is that the default ASDoc Author will default to your systems user account. In my case, my user account on my system is “bconnatser”. I would rather have my full name shown as the author automatically when creating new Classes. There are two ways, at least, to make this setting change for FDT. One will permanently make the change for you from within the eclipse.ini file. The other way is from with FDT preferences settings.

Permanent change in the eclipse.ini:

  • Browse to the FDT install – In my case on OSX – “Applications/FDT/FDT4_Beta/FDTEnterprise/”
  • Then right click / CTRL + Click on FDT 4 and choose “Show Package Contents”
  • Now browse in the opened package contents to – “Contents/MacOS/” and open to edit eclipse.ini
  • Add the following, without quotes: “-Duser.name=[YOUR NAME]“

*The same is true if you are using FlashBuilder 4, just browse to your install folder and follow the instructions above.

Inside FDT’s Preferences:

  • Go to Preferences/FDT/Code Style/Code Templates (Misc)
  • Check “Override System Username- $(user)”
  • Enter the name you would like to use as the auther in the text field.
  • Click Apply
  • Click OK

Now when creating new Classes your Author name will be set to your desired name, rather than the user account on your system.

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