My interview with Jesse Warden I’m fresh off of my trip to 360 Flex in San Jose, which was a spectacular educational event showcasing the bleeding edge of Flash Platform innovation. If you weren’t there, make sure you get to one the next time around. I met SO many people in person that I had only previously only known from Twitter or their blogs. I also learned the importance of having your actual face as your Twitter icon. It helps. I got to spend some time with friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile too, including Jesse Warden. In case you haven’t heard, Jesse recently began a video series called JXLTV, where he discusses Flash, Flex, ActionScript frameworks, tools, and methodologies, as well as interviews some of the people making waves in the Flash Platform development world. After one day’s sessions had concluded at 360Flex, a group of us were standing around talking about where to get dinner that wasn’t Chipotle. While chatting with Joel Hooks and Powerflasher FDT Evangelist Bruno Fonzi, Joel suggested that Jesse should film a new episode while at 360Flex, where attendees would “try to convince Jesse Warden to switch to FDT.” I’m a recent FDT convert, so Bruno suggested me. Not wanting to do any disservice to FDT, I also brought along my buddy Brian Connatser because of his veteran experience and intimate knowledge of FDT. However, Brian never saw the front of the camera. Jesse hadn’t planned the interview out extensively, but we started talking about FDT, and the conversation just kind of took on a life of it’s own. When I walked into the little meeting room in the eBay center, I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. I mean, Jesse Warden is a household name in the Flash community, and TONS of the people that I look up to, look up to him. What made it even more nerve racking was Jesse’s interview style. The guy is good. I mean, really good. If you’ve ever seen him speak, you know that Jesse is an intense, rapid-fire kind of guy, who knows his stuff. The interview was no different, but in hindsight, I’m really glad it happened the way that it did. I had no time to try to formulate responses or think of what I wanted to say. I didn’t even remember to push Flash and the City, (which I’m still kicking myself for). I just gave raw, knee-jerk, “to the best of my knowledge” responses, which I think is the perfect scenario for a real interview. Let’s start from the beginning. The pre-interview consisted of about 5-6 topics he wrote down as he thought of them, and then we just started. It took me a full minute to realize we were filming because he had hit record before he even sat down or started the pre-interview. Before I knew it, we were 15 minutes in, then 30, and I was wondering when Brian was going to tag in so I could get a break. That break never came, but I’m kind of glad it didn’t (and I think Brian was too, being seemingly camera-shy), and not because I’m a narcissist, or fancy myself a celebrity of some sort. Quite the opposite, in fact. I learned something very interesting about Twitter and my place in the Flash community at 360Flex. I met probably close to 100 people I follow on Twitter while in San Jose, and every single one knew who I was. They recognized my face and my name, but almost NONE of them knew where I was based out of, or what I “did.” Lots of people thought I was based out of New York because of my involvement in organizing Flash and the City and my guilty association with Jesse Freeman and Elad Elrom. Some people thought I was from Boston, probably because they thought that I was Chuck Freedman, or because I’ve been a Red Sox fan my whole life. Jesse Warden himself even thought that I worked for Powerflasher. While none of those are accurate, I definitely consider them all to be compliments. The reality is a little less glamourous, but I’m really happy, and very content where I am in my life. I guess I never realized how little information the community has about me, though. So, for me, this interview is really great opportunity to pin down my place in the Flash community, and I hope it clears up any questions people may have. It’s also a reminder to me to get more involved with some of the open-source projects that are out there. Unfortunately, most of the work I do, and forums I participate heavily in, are under strict NDA. But, there are a handful of projects I have going on right now and in the near future that will be, ahem, very, public. So, without further ado, here is my interview. We cover FDT, Flash Builder, what I think about Fireworks and Flash Catalyst as design tools in the RIA world, User Experience Design, the people I’m inspired by in the UX field, the need for RIAs in small business environments, and finally get to the bottom of what it is “I say I do here”. Hit up Jesse’s blog for links and resources mentioned during the interview. Then read some of his excellent Flex/AS3 posts! HUGE thanks again to Jesse Warden for having me on JXLTV and to Bruno Fonzi for nominating me. Enjoy!