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Flex 2 Boot Camp

I decided to attend a one-day bootcamp for Flex 2 in New York City which was piggy backed onto a RealWorld Java Conference.  Our instructors were Yakov Fain and Victor Rasputnis from www.faratasystems.com (they make some cool Flex add-ons you should check out).



It was a day of intensive brain crunching.  It seemed to me that it was definitely aimed at Java developers (how many CF developers know what ant is?) more than anything else.  A lot of the topics covered were already very familiar to me, including a lot of the Flex code itself -- at least until the second part of the day.  What was significant about the second part of the day was the software engineering insight as to how to approach flex apps over the "out of the box" approach Adobe (and formerly Macromedia) used to present. 



We covered topics such as compiling re-usable code into SWC files, logging and optimizing data traffic between your DB and Flex using ADF instead of slower verbose web services.  These were topics I haven't seen covered anywhere else.



Overall money well spent, though there were some clear holes in the offering as a whole.  We jumped into advanced topics pretty quickly; we only covered a few simple UI components; Mac problems.  Don't get me started on the Mac problems....  word to those out there:  Macs may me great for desktop publishing, but dont expect things to run smoothly when you are trying to develop enterprise class client-server apps on your Mac.  nuf sed.



The Good:

- Low cost (around $1000)

- No long hotel stays

- Good material (enterprise application architecture, modularized code, technique)

- Good foundation of when/how to use Flex for an app.

- Excellent coverage of ADF and communication with server side apps

- You walk away with working code on your laptop

The Bad:

- Don't expect all the dev software it to work on your Mac

(I use a PC -- with no problems i might add -- , so im not "talking" about myself here)

The Mac delays caused us to lose about an hour of instruction time -- which for a single day seminar really hurt.... (hey Yakov and Victor -- if you see this, maybe a discount is in order for future bootcamps?)

- Topics jumped from relatively simple to very advanced in the blink of an eye

- Not quite enough coverage of the UI components in Flex

- No coverage of "states" in Flex (pretty essential if you ask me)

- Not enough coverage of http and web service connections (since 90% of flex developers will use this exclusively over ADF/server side components)
Hope this is helpful.  Watch my blog for announcements of new exciting flex stuff I am building!

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