Career Trends in Flash Design and Development
Onward Search Career Cast, Episode #14
The latest episode of Onward Search's Career Cast covers the hot topic of careers in Flash design and development.
Andrea Guerrero, Manager of Staffing for the Onward Search Chicago office, joined host Peter Clayton to talk about some of the opportunities and trends in Flash careers right now. The questions cover everything from an introduction to different Flash roles to the outlook based on the relationship between Apple and Adobe so whether you're just starting out in Flash or you're a seasoned professional, tune into this episode for valuable advice and insight.
PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 12, 2010
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Peter Clayton: Welcome to an all new episode of the Onward Search Career Cast. This is your host Peter Clayton. Joining us today is Andrea Guerrero, Manager of staffing for the Onward Search Chicago Office. Today we’re going to cover a hot topic indeed which is careers in Flash development and design.
Andrea, thanks so much for joining us on the Onward Search Career Cast.
Andrea Guerrero: Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited about this podcast. It’s my first one and I’m excited to talk about Flash.
Peter Clayton: Great. I’m sure the listeners of this show know what Flash is but what they may not know is all of the types of roles that are out there for Flash developers and designers. Could you give us sort of an overview?
Andrea Guerrero: Sure, absolutely. We’re seeing a really high demand for Flash designers and developers for projects ranging from creating a banner ad or a splash page to developing videogames, mobile apps and even animation, so really anything on a website that requires animation video or any kind of internet activity has really traditionally required Flash designer and developers.
Research conducted that I’ve read as recently as a few months ago indicates that 98-99% out of every 100 PCs in mature markets around the world are running Adobe Flash. So it’s very important to clients to have skilled talent on hand that is familiar with and can really dive into Flash.
Peter Clayton: We often see job postings that say Flash designers and Flash developer; is that one and the same or is that a different role?
Andrea Guerrero: That’s a really good question. I recently read an article that spoke to this issue and referred to it as cats versus dogs/Cain versus Abel scenario. The designers are really an original thinker, the one who’s responsible for the creative concepts and translates them into the visual format that we see. They’re really mainly concerned with how the website looks, while developers are responsible for and really interested on how well the website works. It’s the part we don’t necessarily see but we really appreciate like how quickly a page loads, things like that.
Peter Clayton: In your opinion, is Flash a good field to get into right now?
Andrea Guerrero: Yeah, I say absolutely. Adobe products, Flash included, are really targeted to the web as a whole and not to just an individual product. While growth of mobile devices across the board, the need for Flash designers and developers is just going to continue to increase as users increase the ways in which we access the web. All kinds of reach content is still being done on Flash.
The opportunities we see are typically in the more fun projects, really exciting clients and overall, our candidates are really happy with the jobs they’re being placed on and the projects they’re participating in. I don’t really see that slowing down any time in the near future.
Peter Clayton: Well, you know Andrea, speaking about mobile devices, at times it seems like Apple most notably is on a mission to eradicate Flash from the world. How have their decisions not to support Flash on the iPhone and most recently on the iPad impacted the job market? Should I be worried if I’m a Flash developer?
Andrea Guerrero: I don’t think so. I think that the initial shock of open letters that went back and forth there, it struck a cord no matter what side of the debate you fall on. When people see the kind of numbers that Apple consistently puts up when unveiling a new product, it may not be such a farfetched reaction that Flash could become obsolete but I really think that that’s not going to be the case.
If you step back and take a look at it and realize that, well Apple is a force to be reckoned with, they’re not the only player in the game. In the whole scheme of things, the number of products comprise a relatively small portion of internet accessible products so, I think that Flash is going to remain completely relevant especially as the speed of the internet picks up and we start seeing more websites such as Hulu or Netflix were therefore Flash, so I think that there is no slowing down of the need for Flash designers and developers.
Peter Clayton: Well that’s good news. Are there any niches within Flash that are particularly hot right now? For example, is there a subset of skills that are in real high demand?
Andrea Guerrero: Yeah, I think that, here over the last couple of months we’ve really seen an uptick on the demand for Action Script, Flex, Omniture and Dreamweaver. I’d say those are probably the four that we get the most requests for, but of course in Flash platforms you can build social, mobile and video applications and all sorts of rich media marketing campaigns. Flash overall is still really hot.
Peter Clayton: What should Flash developers and designers pay most attention to when it comes to keeping their skill sets updated?
Andrea Guerrero: I think the best way for anyone to kind of keep their skill sharp is to use them on a daily basis, whether you choose to freelance or you work at a full time permanent position. Using those skills kind of day in and day out is always the best way to keep your skills sharp. I always advise candidates to proactively seek out new opportunities to keep those skills sharp – either volunteer for a project or step up for a project at work or even within your community. There are a lot of not-for-profits in larger cities across the country looking for volunteers that can design and develop their websites. The old phrase practice makes perfect is just as relevant for developers and designers as it is for athletes.
Other than that, using those skills on a daily basis, I think keeping up with the hot industry trend is also very important. Trade publications, networking groups, LinkedIn groups, I think you’ll find all sorts of resources to stay on top of the cutting edge trends in technology.
Peter Clayton: I think that’s some really great advice. Andrea, are you working on any hot Flash jobs that our listeners on the Chicago area should know about?
Andrea Guerrero: We always have a fairly consistent need for Flash designers and developers. Right now, we’ve got a senior level Flash designer opportunity for a project that’s starting here within the next week, so we’re looking for a senior level designer. We also have developer needs that are, again, kind of an ongoing basis. We’re always looking to talk to really talented individuals within the Flash space.
Peter Clayton: Are these primarily from agencies or from corporations that you’re getting these jobs?
Andrea Guerrero: It’s really quite a good mix. I think that we see a higher need within the agency realm because some Flash projects are project-based. Agencies tend to lend themselves nicely to those project opportunities and they really kind of have those projects that talent want to sink their teeth into and be a part of and have that on their resume. I’d say mostly agencies, but we do have some corporations as well.
Peter Clayton: Andrea, thanks so much for taking time to speak with us on the Onward Search Career Cast.
Andrea Guerrero: No problem. Thanks so much for having me.
Thank you for tuning in to Onward Search Career Cast. For more information on the career opportunities available through Onward Search, you should visit us online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter. And you should also follow Onward Search on Twitter at twitter.com/onwardsearch.