Paul Robertson's words, punctuated

Thoughts on development, user-centered design, code, etc. by Paul Robertson


Unfortunately I can’t give this topic the time it deserves right now, but for those of you who are interested I wanted to let you know of some “significant life changes” that are happening to me.


New job. New city. New house. Moving tomorrow. Offline for a week or two. Don’t say anything important while I’m gone. (Sorry FATC, especially Reflex: no breaking announcements or innovation allowed. =)

1. Job

I am now no longer working for Adobe. I have started a new job with Dedo Interactive, Inc., as a Flash/Flex/ActionScript/AIR developer and also as an active collaborator with the UX design group. As Danny and Jonathan have already described, this is an exciting opportunity with a group that’s pushing the boundaries of hardware and software solutions. It’s also exciting for me to be a “regular developer” like everyone I hang out with and pretend to fit in with at conferences. Of course that’s where my roots are – in being a Macromedia/Adobe customer first before being an Adobe employee – so I’m just going back to the place that I’ve tried my best not to leave anyway.

2. Location

Since Dedo is located in Plano (N. Dallas) Texas, naturally it seems that I need to be located there too. Danny has been really great about letting me start as a remote employee. Nevertheless, I am typing this while mostly surrounded by cardboard boxes, as well as a few too many things that I should have already packed into cardboard boxes. In approximately 32 hours a moving truck will pull up to my house and load everything up. Then I’ll pack my family into a minivan and drive for many hours and days until we get to our new house. (Just signed the mortgage papers today – ack!)

3. Family

Fortunately, my family has agreed to accompany me on this crazy journey. I feel sad for my three young children. They’re obviously not happy to leave their friends and school and the life that they’ve known for the last three years. (My youngest doesn’t remember anything before California, and my middle child barely remembers anything else, in spite of the fact that they were both born in Indiana.) I’m grateful to have a wonderful wife and special children who make the hard times worth it, and who make the good times good.

4. Blog, Twitter, open source projects, conferences, etc.

Frankly, I have no plans to change what I’ve been doing with any of those. I’ve never been the most regular blogger or twitterer, and my projects don’t get updated as often as I’d like. That probably isn’t going to change with a new job and a new city. But the vast majority of my work on them has been on my own time anyway, so the fact that I’m no longer an Adobe employee shouldn’t make that situation any worse. In fact, the owners of Dedo said that they’re pleased with my community involvement, and want it to continue. I’m definitely still using AIR, ActionScript, and SQLite in my work, so I keep finding new things and ways to improve my projects.

5. Blah blah sentimental stuff

Adobe is a great employer, and a great company. In spite of all the negativity and mud-slinging that’s happening right now, I can say that I never felt bad or guilty about working for Adobe. On the contrary, I am proud to have worked for Adobe. I feel like Adobe is a good, ethical company that tries to make business decisions that lead to mutual benefit for partners and customers. (Don’t bother sharing your experiences to the contrary. I’m sure I could tell you plenty too. In spite of that, this is my opinion of the company and employees overall.)

In addition to my great employer, living and working and associating with the community in the San Francisco bay area has been a tremendous experience, and I consider myself very fortunate for it. I’m definitely sorry to leave, especially because of the great opportunities (being near Adobe HQ), the great community (I’m looking at you SilvaFUG), and the great weather =)

To all of you who I’ve met and become friends with over the last 3 years, farewell, and I look forward to seeing you online and at conferences of the future. I only regret that I didn’t get to come to one last meeting and tell you goodbye in person.

Meanwhile, I’ve been amazed to learn how many talented and community-oriented developers call the Dallas-Fort Worth area home. I’ve already attended one users’ group meeting and plan to attend many more. I look forward to getting to know you better.

As I’ve been preparing to move, I’ve been trying to go through my many boxes that I haven’t touched since the last time I moved across the country. I was a little astounded to find so many of my college (and even a few high school) notes, papers, textbooks, etc. among my possessions. I’m getting older and more cynical now, plus we have to pay the movers by the pound, so I tried to get rid of as much as I could bear. I was amazed at how much I’ve forgotten from what I once knew. (Some of my academic papers were quite impressive to me – and it was astounding to find my 2nd year Hebrew notebook and later my calculus notes, and consider the fact that I wrote all the scribblings in there. =) I also couldn’t help but think over the many people I’ve met and known and worked with in Houston (where I grew up), Salt Lake City (where I did my undergraduate), Bloomington Indiana (grad school and my first “real” job), and of course most recently the bay area. It’s quite astounding to consider the path that life has led me on, and how I’ve ended up where I am today.