Adobe MAX 2009 - Los Angeles, California

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Adobe MAX 2009 was held in Los Angeles, California at the infamous Los Angeles Convention center (right next to the staples center were the Lakers play) The event was held from October 4th-7th.  Adobe MAX brings everything from entry level designers to the highest level Flex and AIR developers, no matter what your skill level your sure to enjoy the event.

I enjoy learning about any emerging technologies and am always trying to find ways to improve myself not only in the web development world, but the business side as well.  I attended Adobe MAX last year (in San Francisco) and was very excited to see all the new things adobe has been working on and really just learning as much as I can.

Flash on the iPhone?  Well sort of.  The big buzz that everybody seemed to want to know was if Flash will finally be released on the iPhone.  Well they did showcase Flash running on the iPhone (in iPhone applications) but seeing Flash in a browser wasn’t quite there yet. It is interesting that they also mention Adobe Flash and iPhone last year on Adobe MAX 2008 in San Francisco but it looks that there was no progress in that direction :(

First up was the keynote, which is always fun because they introduce new technologies and showcase some new products.  Of course the big talk was Flash on the iPhone but a couple other innovative items of topic were Flash 10.1, ColdFusion 9, AIR 2, and Augmented Reality.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was John Mayer (yes that’s right the singer) who showcased his Interactive Augmented Reality music video.  He did a very impressive job explaining the technology and had a great sense of humor as well.

After the keynote everybody went to classes and labs.  Last year I enjoyed the sessions much more than the labs mainly because I found them more inspiring and useful in everyday situations. Probably my favorite of the entire conference was the Augmented Reality class.  I went into it really knowing very little and came out feeling like I could develop something myself.  Jesse Freeman, Rich Tretola and James Alliban showcased some of their work which was very impressive.  Everything from creating music, going into space and fighting monsters. I felt it was extremely helpful they talked about how you can start, how they started, and were it’s going.

One of my favorite parts about the conference was the fact they have a sneak peeks session were Adobe showcases what they have been working on. Everything from the newest Flex and AIR Additions, to their newest projects such as browser labs and Adobe ROME.

An extremely impressive project Adobe has been working on is “browser labs”.  With so many different browsers and so many different versions testing is a nightmare for front end developers.  Well the project is still in beta (and free for now) it still boasts many features.  Unlike the typically browser compatibility service Adobe browser labs lets you view many different browsers with the click of a button, no waiting around wondering when you’ll see results.  I definitely do my far share of front-end development so I was extremely excited to see this new service.  This is without a doubt the most impressive browser compatibility service I’ve seen to date.  The only downfall is that they only have around 7 browsers you can test in, but it is in beta and they plan to add more in the future.

Another item Adobe has been working on is an application that bridges the gap between developers and designers.  Often times designers will just hand over the PSD’s to developers with very little communication on how they envisioned items to work and function.  Flash Catalyst (it was in beta on Adobe MAX 2008) hopes to bridge that gap making it easy for designers to showcase how the site should work with everything from roll-overs, drop downs, transitions and other functionality.  I must say I was very impressed with how easy it is to use and absolutely no code necessary whatsoever.  The only caveat is that it is mostly designed for Flex, SIR and Flash developers, but can still be used in the prototyping phase of the project.

Perhaps the favorite among everybody at the conference is the “Max Bash” which is their annual party.  This year it was held at ESPIN Zone.  It was very impressive, open bar, free food, free games and a band.  It’s amazing how well they can accommodate thousands of people.  The party was incredible and I was able to talk to some of the biggest people at Adobe including Ted Patrick and Ben Forta to name a few.

I came away from the conference feeling very confident about the industry where it’s going and how we all can help contribute to it. More importantly I felt very inspired by many of the speakers and presentations and was glad to see how much I knew and how much I can know.

Gary Howell

adobe max

Tags: adobe max, conferences

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2 Responses to “Adobe MAX 2009 - Los Angeles, California”


  1. Edwin Says:

    I was there this year and have to say that the online community is in good hands with Adobe products, creative minds, thinkers and business individuals. All in all a great event. Next year in L.A. again.


  2. Los Angeles Web Design Says:

    Seems like you are a regular visitor at the Adobe MAX. Anyways I am surprised to know that John Mayer was present there…. I missed it. Well thanks for sharing with us the overview of Adobe Max.

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