Tom Ortega II

Archive for the ‘360Flex’ Category

See you at FlexCamp and 360Flex!

In 360Flex, Community, flex training, Silicon Valley Living, silvafug, Workday on July 27, 2007 at 8:25 am

Sorry for my long absence, but it’s been a busy past month.

We made the move from San Jose to Walnut Creek. The reason for the move was in an earlier post. I’m an employee at Workday, Inc. It’s a truly great company, doing some amazing stuff. The move and conference have prevented me from going hog wild on the code, but I’m rectifying that now by having some alone time with the code and trying to work on my bugs. If you’re heavy into Flex and want to do some amazing things that will change the ERP space, talk with us.

When and where can you meet us? At Adobe’s Flex Camp tonight. Me and some members of the Dev team will be there. I’ll be the loud laughing Mexican sporting a Workday t-shirt. Stop and say hi to me and the team. We may even demo what we’re working on if you ask nicely. =)

The other thing eating my time like nobody’s business is 360Flex Seattle. It’s going down August 13-15. John and I have been hard at work on this. Having a central hotel and proper conference space is bit more involved than just giving random hotel links and booking an internal corporate meeting space. =) That said though, this one is going to blow away the first 360Flex conference. We’ll have some cool oversized postcards promoting 360Flex to give out at Flex Camp, so look for them! Hint: They’ll be next to the cool green 360Flex t-shirt!

I love meeting and interacting with members of the Flex community, new and old. If you’re a newbie, check out my free trainings at the Silvafug site. Stop and ask me about any roadblocks your facing while starting up. If you’re a guru, stop and chat too. I’m always interested in meeting those folks that are taking Flex to the next level.

See ya soon!

Community: What does it mean and how can I help?

In 360Flex, Community, Silicon Valley Living, silvafug, Technology and Software on June 28, 2007 at 7:05 am

I like communities, but do you? When you hear the word “Community”, what comes to mind? Do you participate in communities? If so, why? If not, why?

With Silvafug and 360Flex, I’ve come to realize that I like to serve the community. It makes me feel good that I can help you all learn some new tech skills while providing a place for you all to network. I think it’s equally important for us as people to develop socially as it is for us as developers to grow mentally.

I have an idea on what to build next, but I thought I’d get some feedback from you all first. Is there a void in the community space that you think needs filling? Is there something I can do to better serve you all? Just hit up the comments or email me personally at tom.ortega@gmail.com and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

Otherwise, stay tuned for more info on my next community adventure. I hope you’ll find it as exciting as I do.

Leaving eBay to start a new Workday

In 360Flex, Business, eBay, flex training, silvafug, Workday on June 12, 2007 at 7:02 am

It’s official. My last day as an eBay employee was Friday, June 8th. My first day as a Workday employee is Thursday, June 14th.

This is the first time I switched jobs for a strategic purpose vs. disliking the company. As a whole, the team I worked with at eBay was great. The North Campus where I sat most of my eBay life is beautiful. The work was fun and rewarding, especially during the “crunch” times.

I grew a lot during my tenure at eBay. Silvafug, free Flex training and 360|Flex were all hatched during that time. Heck, eBay even hosted the first 360|Flex conference!

If it was all so great, why leave?

One thing is size. I’ve been in corporate life for quite sometime now. I miss the days of knowing most, if not all, of a company’s employees. Knowing a team of 20 at eBay was nice, but was a drop in the bucket in number of total employees. At Workday, knowing 20 would be roughly 1/5 or 1/6 of the company.

Another thing is the amount of customers I can impact. At eBay, my direct customers were the various internal users of my apps. Indirectly, one could say that all the eBay buyers and sellers were my customers too, but I never felt that vibe. At Workday, I’ll be joining the UI team and will directly serve Workday’s customer base. I can help make the lives of these people more simple, fun and efficient. As the numbers of customers grow at Workday, so will the number of people I help. After serving a few hundred customers directly with 360|Flex, I found that serving large numbers of customers directly is something I enjoy.

I’ll be moving out to Walnut Creek for my new job. It has a slower pace feel to it than San Jose does. It also has a ton of restaurants that I can’t wait to try!

Adios, eBay: It’s been a blast!

Hola, Workday: Let’s make amazing things happen!

Saffron – My prayers have been answered

In 360Flex, Business, eBay, Flash*Flex*AS, Programming, Technology and Software on May 31, 2007 at 12:24 am

Ryan dropped a post on Saffron. Recently, I did a big write-up internally at eBay about a tool to help our XUNI development (Flex-based framework) go smoother when integrating with the Java folks.

In our current development cycle, I’d say 20 to 30% of our Flex dev time is building the actual Flex code for the UI parts, the remaining 80 to 70% is spent on integration. When you try to do concurrent development of the front and middle tiers, the part that suffers is communication and clarification of your data model. Let me show you the problem that we experience:

  1. Middle tier gives you a Transfer/Value Object (i.e. what gets sent from them to you that houses the data they have and you need) at the beginning of the project
  2. You (the flex peep) code to that object
  3. If you’re lucky, you get a stub web service call that sends you back one of these objects
  4. You test your code against the stub and tweak your code until it works perfectly
  5. Middle tier changes the object for justifiable reasons. However, due to schedule and delivery timeframe, they forget to inform you of the change and most definitely do not update the stub web service
  6. Integration testing comes and it doesn’t work obviously
  7. You tweak your code so it works with the new object
  8. After all integration bugs are solved, you hand it back to the Business Systems Analysts or user for a test run. They say the data is wrong and needs to change again
  9. Both you and the middle-tier folks make the changes and finally wrap up the project

Sound painful? Yes, it is. What would help is a tool that all parties (users, Business Systems Analysts, java devvers, Flex devvers, heck even QA) can use to visualize the data objects and spit out code for the front and middle tier developers to stay in sync with.

The parts of Saffron that I’m most excited about are:

  • Wireframe editor allows both developers and/or designers to create wireframes for their projects
  • Allows for Actionscript 2, Actionscript 3, PHP4 and Java Code generation directly from the app.
  • Enterprise level capability having the ability to support models with hundreds of classes without performance degradation
  • Integrated Version Control

I’ll admit that I don’t know Samuel Agesilas Paste personally, but if you do tell him to drop a line to info@360flex.com because the developer world needs him to speak about Saffron at our 360|Flex Conference in August!

Is that THE Ryan Stewart?

In 360Conferences, 360Flex, Business on April 11, 2007 at 4:30 am

That was the inside joke we had during 360Flex. Every time we saw Ryan strutting down the halls of eBay’s Town Hall, we’d scream that at him. (If you’ve never seen Ryan strut, it’s pretty sweet….I wish I had a strut like that).

Going into business with someone is not easy. Ask anyone who has a business and they’ll tell you that. In the case of John and I, when we thought of who we’d like on our side moving forward the choice WAS easy. Lucky for us, he was kind enough to drink our kool-aid.

Welcome, pardner. Let’s do this thing. =)

360Flex – My Thoughts

In 360Flex, Business, eBay on March 9, 2007 at 8:31 am

360Flex is over and guess what. I’m sad. =( I may be the only person in the world who enjoys making sure that 380+ individuals are having a good time and are learning. It was an honor for me to be both your conference host (as part of the 360Flex committee) and your location host (as I work for eBay and you were in “my house”). You attendees are amazing and make every bit of time and effort worth it.

The true stars of the conference were the community and the technology. Sure, we the committee gave a lot of time and energy, but it was the attendees and presenters that made this event into something special. I love that a lot of our speakers were just as excited to see other speakers as they were about presenting their sessions. Plus, we owe a big thanks to Adobe and their wonderful teams for creating the technology that we could spend 3 days discussing and learning.

Some have commented on how I didn’t appear stressed or nervous, despite the fact that I have never been involved in an event of this size before. The reasons for that is many. I had 2 trusted companions at my side in the committee. If you had John Wilker and Ted Patrick backing you up, you wouldn’t be nervous either. Another reason was that I was so excited to meet you all. I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone despite trying to while handing out badges Sunday evening and Monday morning. Next time though, we can shoot for me meeting all of you.

The feedback that you guys have been providing has been great. Please keep it up by filling out the survey and by posting your thoughts on your blogs. We want this event to keep getting better for you. I know we messed up some areas, and they have been marked for “repairs”. =)

I’m actually kind of jealous of Ted’s job now. He gets to meet you all throughout the year as he does his evangelizing. Well, don’t forget to drop a note to me and let me know how things are going, where you need help, etc. If your on the east coast and a big corporation/organization with a conference facility, drop me a line. The only way I’m gonna get to see my newest 400 friends is with another conference, so onward! =)

‘Til next time, thanks for coming and making our lil conference a success. If you’re local to the Bay Area, don’t forget to sign up for Silvafug (http://silvafug.org) so I can see you sooner. =)

360Flex Badge Pick-Up Today (Sunday) from 5pm to 8pm

In 360Flex, eBay on March 4, 2007 at 8:29 am

In case you somehow missed the 3 posts yesterday, I’d thought I reemphasize:  Beat the crowd and get your 360Flex badge today, Sunday.  Ted, John and I will be passing out badges from 5pm to 8pm at eBay Town Hall.  Come down, grab your badge and chit-chat with the other smart attendees beating the rush.

For those arriving too late to come tonight,  doors will be open at 7 am Monday morning.   The sooner you get there, the smaller the line will be and the better selection you’ll have for breakfast.  =)

I’ll include Ted’s hi-res, professional quality maps to help get you here.  =)

Main map

Town Hall

My 360Flex Cairngorm Session – What do you want?

In 360Flex, eBay, Flash*Flex*AS, flex training, Programming, Technology and Software on March 2, 2007 at 6:04 am

Hi Folks,

I’m doing the Cairngorm Session on Monday and was wondering, what do you all want to hear? I have like a bazillion ways to take the talk. I’ll list a few, then you can choose. By all means however, post your own ideas if you would like.

Here’s my ideas, in random order with commentary :

  1. Straight up – This is Cairngorm
    This talk would cover what cairngorm is. No code other than the framework. I feel that this has been overdone, but I’ll do it y’all want.
  2. Simple App Gone Cairngorm
    It would be nice to see why you need Cairngorm. A lot of people get the idea of frameworks, but would be at a loss to convert their apps. I could take a simple app that has “gone ugly” and make it “frameworky pretty.” I could do a lot of pre/post Cairngorm code comparisons.
  3. Cairngorm @ eBay
    While technically, the talk will be @ eBay. I was thinking more along the lines of Cairngorm in action at eBay. I could show what we’re doing with Cairngorm inside eBay.
  4. eBay Pre/Post Cairngorm
    This would just be a mix of ideas 2 and 3 from above.

Those are the few paths I was thinking of taking. Please, please give me some feedback and let me know what you want. I don’t want the twitter chatter to be, “This dude is boring!”, ” We’ve heard this crap already!” or “This isn’t really very useful.”

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

John Wilker’s available for work…hire him! Here’s why.

In 360Flex, Flash*Flex*AS, Programming, Technology and Software on February 4, 2007 at 10:13 pm

This is in reference to John’s post at johnwilker.com about being available for work.

I work at eBay and, if you see my earlier post, I love it. There’s only one thing that could make life better at eBay, that’s if John was there. I’ve been in and out of corporate life for 10+ years now. I’ve worked for the likes of Bank of America, The Walt Disney Company, eBay and Ameriquest Mortgage. In all those years and all those work sites, I’ve only met one person like John.

John and I met at Ameriquest. He tried to leave, but I hunted him down and hounded him until he came back. That’s how much fun he is to work with. How many of your co-workers, who left a company, have you tracked down and did everything you could to get that person back? Me…only one, John.

John has technical skills: ColdFusion, Flex, Databases, yada-yada. Every one in Monster.com has those skills. John has two things most people in Monster.com do not have: organization and personality.

In the organization department, John’s topnotch. From the moment your project starts, his organization skillset kicks in. If you let him run with it, you’ll have folders, communications, mailing groups, project sites, time tracking, etc. He’ll make sure you know how to track progress on everything and will ride your bootie when you start to fall behind on the deliverables. He’ll be harsh on that too, but that’s a good thing for you, because that’ll help deliver a better product.

Personality, though, now that’s where he’ll shine. If you have a 1 month project, you’ll see some of it, but not all of it. You need to keep him onboard more long term to fully experience it. When I first met him, we passed each other many, many times for a month or so. We finally started chatting one day, and not a weekday has gone by since in the 5 or so years that we haven’t chatted. Wilker is one of the funniest guys around. He’s not an insulting kind of funny, but one of those calls it as he sees it kind of funny. It’s those views that are funny.

John and I are similar in some things, but total opposites in others. It’s for that reason that he’s been on my short list of possible business partners. He’ll agrue til he’s blue in the face for things that I can’t see at the time. Usually, as the weeks go by, I find myself saying, “Hey, you were right about that thing.” He never makes me feel bad when I do that too, when he could totally rub my face in it if he wanted.

John is 1/3 of the 360Flex Conference committee. When the conference is over and everybody’s yammering about how great it was, it will be because of John. If they leave complaining about something missing/gone awry, I’ll most likely be typing over IM to John, “Ya know, I guess you were right about that one thing.”

One more thing, if you wonder if he knows a particular skill for your project, just ask him. He’ll tell you the truth. If the answer is no, don’t worry, hire him anyway. Tech skills are learnable by buying a book, but personality…like MasterCard says, “Some things, money can’t buy.”

360Flex – Cheaper Lodging

In 360Flex on January 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

A lot of people have asked me about cheaper hotel info for the 360Flex conference. Hence, I have updated the Hotels and Travel tab to include some cheap hotels and a link to the free Light Rail Shuttle from San Jose Airport.

I’d say y’all could stay with me, but 400 in my 2 bedroom apartment may not go over so well. LOL