Adobe Engage: It’s what I imagined the Valley would be

When I moved from the Los Angeles area to the Silicon Valley, I had nerdy delusions of grandeur. Just like those who do the reverse expect to see movie stars and red carpets everywhere they go, I too expected to see nerds and interesting conferences around every bend in the Valley. Suffice to say, for the most part, I was wrong, but yesterday Adobe helped make my delusions come true.

Adobe Engage is what I would think every company would want to do. Take a bunch of smart people, put them in a room, let ’em strut their stuff, talk tech, talk biz, and see what happens. I felt more like the fly on the wall instead of a major contributor to the conversation, only because I couldn’t believe that events like this really take place.

My notes are at the end of this post, but I have to say, “Mad props to Ryan Stewart.” How you can blog while taking in an event like this amazes me. I started out with high hopes of noting every speaker/discussion, but then I got distracted by following the event. My apologies if you feel I under covered the event in my notes. Go check Ryan’s rather prolific posts instead.

Dave had a good point that was refreshing to hear from the Sponsor. “The most interesting and best part of the day will probably be the evening reception when everyone gets to chat.” When I drank, I thought the whole network thing was overrated. “It’s a chance to drink, period.” Now that I don’t drink, it’s even more apparent how important it is to network, especially at an event like this. I did the whole biz card shuffle, but it’s neat to just talk to geeks (more on that thought in the next post).

All in all, it was a great event because of the people present and the discussions that did go down. Bravo, Adobe! I can’t wait for Engage Too (sic).

Here’s my notes:


David Mendels welcomes the group. Brings up a good point: “Put a bunch of smart people into a room, and good things will happen.” Crowd is purposefully diverse. The event is a catalyst for a conversation.

Round the room intros. I always like that. It’s always nice to put faces to names.

Kevin talks about what Adobe is doing to help people engage each other. Adobe is about engaging users across multiple forms. Print, Web, etc. Acrobat readers updates will be better (read: less painful) next year. PDF Reader will not bring Flash Player down. Designer/Developer Tools(Creative Suite, Studio, Flex Builder), clients (flash, pdf), servers (Flash Media Server, FlashCast, LiveCycle+Flex Data Services, ColdFusion) and Applications (Acrobat, Connect). Tim and Kevin chit chat on whether end users want a consistant experience across the board. Tim’s suggesting that Adobe teach companies how to better serve their customers by using the tools correctly. Kevin and Jeremy chatted back in the Macromedia days about the non-page paradigm that became Apollo, such as icons on your desktop, can’t raise notifications. Kevin pulls up a RIA Tech Trend chart. “It’s a little bit confusing, sorry.” platforms is the y series (windows -> cross-platform -> cross-Phone/Device) and technology is x series(web pages -> browser RIA -> desktop RIA -> native desktop app). Apollo 06 is starting (2 x 2) bottom-left and moving up and right in 07/08, MS is starting bottom right 1×1 (“not to scale”) and moving up-right in 07/08. Apollo is looking to do local file access, online/offline detection and events, drag-and-drop, clipboard access, background processing, multiple windows support, custom window chrome, etc. (Sorry, got wrapped up in the preso/discussion) Kevin shows eBay app.

Jeremy Allaire showed off Brightcove Aftermix. Poor Jeremy took a little beating on his nomenclature of “consumer” vs “creator”. Aftermix would be cool for people to create music videos with for their favorite songs.

InteliSea show’s its sweet little Yacht controlling app. We saw this at the “Meet the Flex Team” meeting. A very cool little app that unfortunately has a $27M price tag, but it comes with a yacht.

Acesis – Point-of-Care – Way to enter/track patient interview with minimum click and easily extendable forms

B-Line Medical – SimCube – for running medical simulations and coordinating

Adobe Kuler demo within Illustrator – very kule

Adobe Digital Editions demos Aboder Ligtweight Reader, Flex 2 interface

General theme is that Adobe has to be careful to keep the end users in mind, not just the content providers.

Interesting post-lunch – “Is Apollo Valid?” discussion

Sho chatting up flex. =) Show’s off Ely’s cool stuff like the anatomy book

There was more, but that’s all I got.

Free Flex Training

That’s right. Your eyes ain’t deceiving ya. This is bonafide, real-deal training on Adobe’s Flex Product line. The training will be performed by me, so take it with a grain of salt, cuz it ain’t my day job. However, it’s absolutely and completely free! Stay for the meeting afterwards and you’ll even get free pizza and drinks to boot! How sweet is that?

I’m very excited to be able to provide this to the community. My employer, eBay, has given me their support and Adobe has volunteered to help any way they can. Lastly, roundpeg is going to be there to pick up the training where I leave off. If you’re curious about Flex and serious about learning it, then you need to be there. More details can be found at .

I know that some of the local boys (eBay, Yahoo, Google) are jumping on the Flex bandwagon. If you work there, be sure to post the flier (found at ) around the office and take advantage of this opportunity.

See you there!