I am making a very big prediction, it is the beginning of the end of Adobe Flash. When I first saw Flash 12 years ago I knew immediately that this was it, it was light years ahead of anything on the web. It is rare that you see something and know immediately that this is going to be big. In the years 1998, 99, 2000 the Flash community was awesome, it was like we were in the wild west just discovering new stuff. I really felt I was in on something and could not believe that other people could not see the same.
You may have seen numerous articles on the Flash vs Silverlight debate such as this one. I believe that the articles being written and discussions that are taking place are simply asking the wrong questions.
The discussions should not be between the specific details of Flash and Silverlight. But it should be at a higher level, such as “How long will it take me to become a professional in Silverlight?”, by professional, I mean someone is compensated for their work. Just think of the possibilities that are opened up by learning this product, you basically open yourself up to a whole new industry.
So if I am right, the million dollar question is – How long is it going to take to learn this new software product?
In my honest opinion if you are a Flash developer as soon as you start the program you will know about 60% of it right out of the box. Simply due to the similarities between Flash and Blend, practically the same tools, timeline, stage, properties, layout code etc. The following videos I have made are about 30 minutes in total length and will get you up to about 80%. Think about that, 80% knowledge of a new product and you have invested less than an hour.
Integration with Adobe
Importing graphics from Adobe Illustrator into Microsoft Expression Blend 3
Implementing a custom hit area in Microsoft Expression Blend 3
Creating a Silverlight button with Microsoft Blend 3
When all is said and done, it comes down to money. If a developer is as knowledgeable in Flash and SilverLight, the Silverlight developer will be compensated more, PERIOD. The flash job opportunities mostly come by way of the Advertising field and game development worlds and the projects built are measured in days.
The Silverlight opportunities will come by way of Engineering based companies. Engineering companies mostly work on projects that are measured in years.
The Bottom Line…
For the last 10 plus years when asked what I do, I would proudly say “I am a flash developer that ….
Moving forward my answer will be “I create user experiences and I use products a,b,c.
Try Silverlight for 60 days for free. I feel like it’s 1998 all over again and can’t believe more people aren’t aware of this movement. I am going to do everything I can to push Silverlight in front of everyone whether they are developers, users or clients.
Either way we will be the winners from this, us the developers. Microsoft and Adobe will be forced to improve.