There’s a shortage of Flash/Flex talent right now. Everyone knows it. And those of you that really ‘know it’ are capitalizing on it. Let’s face it though, there is PLENTY of work to go around, and we need more people. As someone who is responsible for hiring, I see the shortage of talent as a huge problem in getting projects up and running. The more projects, the more adoption and the more adoption, the better we all look.
Lecturing at BU, I met the eager young Flash minds of tomorrow. Nearly everyone in attendance, faculty included, was on the edge of their seats as I presented some of the most effective uses of Flash today. Their questions were super intuitive, asking (begging) for information on how to get into the industry.
When the most anyone can put on there resume is 10 years of experience, I explained, just by putting in 6 months of time puts you in mighty contention for at least a junior role. My suggestion was to go get a book on Flash, learn it to the max, work out every example and lesson and publish what you’ve done in some portfolio. Take it to the next step and put your own design to it, make the example do something unique to your liking. This shows you know it and that you can do it.
As a strong believer in internships (the two I participated in personally while attending BU were huge in shaping me), I suggested they position themselves in high profile companies, where possible, ASAP. Networking in ‘our’ Flash community is key, where it’s not so much who you know that helps, but who knows you. Internships give you real world experience, but also allow you to associate yourself with proven professionals. Those same pros will guide you and later vouch for your abilities to your prospective employers.
It’s a developers market and I sure hope it stays that way. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace the next generation of talent, especially when they are so eager to learn Flash and code. The conference circuit is saturated. Let’s break away sometimes from the current models, be it corporate or the new developer to developer low-budget ‘camp’ approach.
Start holding conferences on college campuses, engage the educational community, beef up educational version distribution and make sure college tracks (both CS and Communications) are integrating thorough Flash courses.
Let me know your ideas and let’s see how we can embrace the eager young minds I presented Flash to today!