Friday, May 18, 2007

Anything besides Google?

I've been thinking a lot about search lately. Specifically, what are the most popular, creative and unknown, but perhaps extremely effective ways for developers to find information? And with Google's recent updates, I figured its time to blog about it.

More than anything I'm really curious how developers are find finding answers to their technical how to types of questions. Quickly finding answers problems is key to being a productive developer, and hitting project milestones. Clearly the folks at Searchcoders have realized this, and they've done a great job aggregating resources for Flex developers and making it easy for people to find answers. If you haven't seen their demo, or downloaded the Apollo based desktop version of their work, its really worth checking out.

So how do you find answers to your questions when developing stuff with Adobe technology? Do you Google it, and that's it? (And is there anyone that doesn't use Google as their default search engine? If so, what are you using?) Or perhaps you use Google's advanced search capabilities to search, like inside a specific domain.

But what if Google doesn't find your answer? Then what do you?

Do you come to and search for an answer? And when on where do you look? Do you browse through the Developer Center? And check out things like the Flex cookbook? Visit the forums? Check out livedocs (that's a link to the Flash CS3 livedocs)? Use search? Search for knowledgebase articles in the Support Center?

Do you check out sites that index code and APIs for you like and Krugle?

Or perhaps you just look to your specific community for the answer, and post your question for others to help you out?

I'd love to hear from people in the Adobe community on this. So please comment away in my blog and let me know how you find answers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Developer Idol: Launching the Adobe Developer Spotlight

Note that the voting for the Developer Spotlight ending on May 14th, 2007.

We know that developers using Adobe technologies are doing great things every day. Some build cool apps; some answer questions on forums and lists. Others blog, write books, develop extensions or components, or work on open-source projects to extend our products. Others provide us with valuable feedback by reporting bugs or supplying ratings and comments on our website—the list goes on and on.

Some of the most active developers out there in the Adobe developer world are part of a program called Adobe Community Experts. But we want to do more to recognize—and introduce you to—the efforts of our developer community. So starting very soon, we're going to be launching a new feature on the Adobe Developer Center called the Developer Spotlight. This new area will periodically feature a developer who is doing some cool stuff. You’ll be able to gain deeper insight into what these developers are working on and find out a bit more about who they are.

We thought that a great way to kick this off would be to highlight some of the folks in the community who have shared their knowledge with others through their articles in our Flex Developer Center. So we've taken the top authors of Flex Developer Center content and given them a shot at getting our first Developer Spotlight.

But here's where it gets fun: We're not making the call. You guys are. So please vote using the polling widget on the right side of my blog.

If you’d like to find out more about this group before you vote, check out their articles on the Flex Developer Center, including their biographies at the bottom of the first page of each article. The first-round nominees are:

So lastly, you may be wondering a few things about how this will all work. It’s a new thing for us, and we haven’t figured out all the details, but we didn’t want to wait any longer. Here are some answers to some of the questions we think you may have about the Developer Spotlight.

Q: How often will Adobe be featuring developers on
A: We are shooting for once a month.

Q: Will it always be open for the community to vote on?
A: Perhaps. We're going to see how it goes.

Q: What if I want to be in the Developer Spotlight or want to recommend someone for the Developer Spotlight?
A: In the near term future, we'll have a way for the community to submit themselves or others to be considered for the spotlight. But we’re not there just yet.

Q: What do you get if you are featured in the Developer Spotlight?
A: Admiration (most likely) from the community…and that’s about it. But we think that’s a pretty good start...

Q: How many times can I vote?
A: Once. So no, this isn’t exactly like the “idol” signing contests taking place around the world. You can’t vote as many times as you want. Just one vote per person.

So vote away via the poll on the right side of my blog. And let us know what you think of this idea, by providing comments on this blog.

Please Note: When this post was originally published on the evening on May 6th 2007, Renaun Erickson was also listed in this post and the associated poll. As soon as I found out that Renaun is now working at Adobe, I opted to remove him from the running. I'm thrilled Renaun is working here, but this was a vote for non-Adobe authors of the most popular Flex content. As a result the vote was reset at 8:52 am PT on May 7th, 2007 and it now only includes Yakov and Derek.