Adobe MAX – Interview with Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc.

Adobe Max 2011 LA – Interview with Ben Forta, Senior Technical Evangelist for Adobe Systems

Sponsored by the Adobe Systems, Inc. the Adobe MAX conference is one event and perhaps the only event that I know of that successfully combines a strong element of design, technology and business for its attendees. To explore what Adobe has is in store for this years Adobe Max LA conference scheduled for October, 2011, I reached out to interview Ben Forta, Senior Technical Evangelist.

In this six minute interview, I asked Ben if he had any buzz that he could share surrounding this years event. I also asked him to share his thoughts regarding just how effective the mixing of the content ranging from creative, development and business is for the event and its diverse group of attendees.

“The days of being a silo with a single product or single technology are over. If you are building websites and using instruments HTML, CSS such as JavaScript, and backend, may be is not enough. You are going to be talking everything from Ajax to Flash to Flex to all technologies as well. If you are a designer, then you will more be faced on the coding also, you know that’s the reason we put scripting in your Flash with that’s the reason there is so much buzz around, around products like you know the preview of Edge right now, which lets designers to do, to start doing some animation, before it wasn’t really possible. And yeah the necessity for developers, designers for all players in this space to broaden their skills sets, understand to other source work, understand the work flow integration, process has become very, very compelling, really critical, really important and so you know, we actually don’t see that if people come to Max anymore who sign up for all the ColdFusion sessions, or all the Flex sessions and that’s it.”
Ben Forta, Adobe Systems.

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Transcript:

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: I am on the phone with Ben Forta, Senior Technical Evangelist for Adobe Systems with a great history, ColdFusion and Flex, good afternoon Ben and thanks for being to the interview.

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Hi Bill, good to talk to you, thanks for having me.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: I appreciate that Ben, you obviously have been around this space for number of years going back to Macromedia and Allerier days with ColdFusion, great pleasure to talk to you today and I have a couple of questions for you about Adobe Max.

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Ah, Max my favorite topic, go for it.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: Yeah, I appreciate that, so any buzz that you can share with us regarding to this year’s Max?

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Well, a little, well I can’t tell you, just, I think it will be a lot of you know really interesting product announcements, some don’t knows that will well completely roll people, if you think of a scene of, I suppose Adobe Max before, there are interesting real surprises this year. So now I can’t tell you any specifics about any of those but I think it is probably worth noting that if you look at Max for the last few years, we have a history of showing very compelling stuff, going back several years ago, when we first showed this sneaker feature that got a standing ovation from the audience, then Adobe is coming with the new [indiscernible] [00:01:15] in Photoshop probably released to couple years ago when we first showed that its own features, started working with flash and plug, so then we ended up on an iPad and then last year with that of TV. So every year we’re showing very compelling things that’s of unexpected and help revolutionize the space really push the platform forward.

I think you will be very, very excited about what we have installed this year. So, you know I think previous years, we had two very compelling key notes, we are working them right now, we have our sneaks’ session that we do Tuesday evening every year and I am looking for the summer sneaks content right now as well. It was very, very cool content.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: With that in mind, I have a question for you so, because this event has an element of technology force, it has an element of creative, because it is creative medium and it has a heavy development conference, in other words it’s one of the events that I know of, one of the only events that I know of kind of combines the element of art, technology and business and so with that in mind, curious to know as a technology evangelist, how do you think that mix the overall development community and how does that work for the overall creative community?

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : That’s a good question, and you’ve obviously been attending Max for a long time, if you ask that question because that’s probably the metamorphosis that Max went through amidst [indiscernible] [00:02:33] over a decade ago when it was a very much of single product above all the conference and it’s a lot along the way. It is, it isn’t very much those mixes, in fact you know when you look at the content, we divide them into, into three very high level tracks for the developers, designers, and then the vision track which is more the, the higher level of the case studying history, business opportunities, kind of a less technical law, industry trends and things. So we do try to console those, I think it’s really important because the days are being a silo with a single product or so with technology over. If you are building websites and using instruments such as JavaScript, and backend, backend may be is not enough. You are going to be talking everything from Ajax to Flash to Flex to all technologies as well. If you are a designer, then you will more be faced on the coding also, you know that’s the reason we put scripting in your Flash with [indiscernible] [00:03:22] that’s the reason there is so much buzz around, around products like you know the preview of Edge right now, which lets designers to do, to start doing some animation, before it wasn’t really possible.

And yeah the necessity for developers, designers for all players in this space to broaden their skills sets, understand to other source work, understand the work flow integration, process has become very, very compelling, really critical, really important and so you know, we actually don’t see that if people come to Max anymore who sign up for all the ColdFusion sessions, or all the Flex sessions and that’s it. They will do cross knit, do mix and there is a lot of crossovers below that and that’s good, it’s important, we try to solve and complete into one story. We want people to read our story you know they should come to learn for, it’s people who will come to Max for one particular thing but always we want to expose them to a broader variety of expanded options, so we can realize just what they can be doing and what we want them to built.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: Yeah, actually that’s a great summary of that, I appreciate that and thanks, I think that’s what is so valuable about Adobe Max is that it brings all of those elements together with a strong emphasis on business right at the end of the day, you know that’s great to be a savvy developer, terrific, creative, artistic designer, but at the end of the day there is a strong business element to all of the great stuff that we do right?

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Yeah, and we actually see that in, even our content as well in Max, so if you go back years ago, the keynotes were, let’s talk about what to improve, let’s talk about what to do in ColdFusion, every product by product centric and look at about what we’ve done on the last few things that quite a bit and the keynotes and the big messaging is very much driven about what problem you are trying to solve hence with the recognition that, you know your business need, hence the problem you are addressing is going to likely necessitate a variety of products, a variety of technologies all working nicely together, and so you have the, we have done a big shift away from the very product silo centric thing to, to business problems and business solutions and helping developers and designers actually address real problems and become a very successful in doing so. So yeah that is entirely inline with how we position Max now a days.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: That’s what important one, right at the end of the day we want not only you know developers to think like designers and designers to think like developers but at the end of the day, we also want them to start working better together right, it’s all whole work flow environment?

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Yep, absolutely.

Bill Cullifer, WebProfessionals.org: Yeah, excellent, well I think that’s a terrific summary on that, I appreciate, so we look forward to seeing you when in October, what date, Ben?

Ben Forta, Adobe Systems Inc. : Yeah, I will tell you, it’s going to be Los Angeles, registration is still open, and it’s really fun, it’s going to be, hopefully we expect this to be our biggest Max hits. We have lot’s of very surprises in store, some of the pre-conference sessions are actually already sold out, but there is still [indiscernible] [00:06:05] Max itself you haven’t attended go to max.adobe.com and you can register right away. You know there is two days, we have two days of keynotes, we have the big special party that would be, even more special this year I can promise you. On the second night we have the sneaks, we have the Max awards, sessions, this year we have greatly expanded the “Bring Your Own Device” sessions that became popular over the last couple of years where [indiscernible] [00:06:31] bring their own devices, so you are up, and books and pretty complex scenarios and so yeah it’s everything Max has always been just bigger, more of its, more people and more products, more technologies and whole of more fun as well, so if you haven’t signed up yet, I’d love to see you there. Go to max.

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