10 Questions with Stacey Mulcahy.

For those out there who are involved in Flash Platform Development , you will be familiar with Stacey Mulcahy. Stacey Mulcahy is best known for his weblog, BitchWhoCodes where he write about his passion for Flash Development while juggling work at Teknision Inc. The guy is also a professor at Algonquin College where he teaches Interactive Multimedia and moonlight as a technical editor for several publications about my favorite technology.

[1] Paul: We have to ask this, what is with the name BitchWhoCodes?
Stacey: Bitchwhocodes is simply what is suggests - it's intended to suggest that you don't take yourself too literally. It came as a result of a former employeer calling me bitch as a nickname because I am pretty much anything but that, and I just adopted it as the 'bitch who codes'. Most people don't take it too seriously, although I have had some female opposition to it.

[2] Paul: We know that you worked at at Teknision Inc, care to describe to us, what is an average day at Teknision Inc like?
Stacey: Lately, my average day at Teknision has been something along these lines:

0800hrs - Stroll in with a coffee in hand, sit down and surf the aggregators and blogs to see what is new and exciting in the world of flash and development.

0930hrs - Follow the small herd into a morning meeting where we discuss projects, workloads, deadlines, last night's hockey games. Grab another coffee and settle in around to start attacking whatever maybe on my plate- client work, internal r & d etc. Intermittently get distracted by the blinking taskbar that is Steve messaging me via msn about some great site I have to check out that he found.

1200hrs - Like clockwork, mid-afternoon everyone's headphones come off to listen in on a spirited discussion Tony and I have about some aspect of development - typically I tend to play devil's advocate for pure entertainment value. The day itself, is merely a set amount of time for the collection and development of ideas, where they bounce off of each other, snowballing until we have something tangible that we need to define and file away for when there is a time and place to implement it. Everyone is involved in that process,- developers, designers, project managers. We try to fit in a couple of laughs too, usually at the expense of someone.

1700hrs - The foosball starts in the office.

1800hrs - Tony and I set aside the day's work to start collaborating on an internal project that we consider more of a playtime than anything else. You get caught up in the learning process and loose a grip on how much time has passed.

[3] Paul: Your bosses at Teknision Inc Tony MacDonell and Steve Mackenzie are pretty well known in the Flash Development arena. Describe to us in 5 words, what is it like working together with them?
Stacey: Continuously Consuming Vortex Of Ideas.

[4] Paul: You are involved in a quite a fair bit of flash development work yourself too, how did you get started?
Stacey: My start in Flash is a series of distractions. I got into multimedia thinking I'd use my university degree and be a scriptwriter and copy editor. That never truly happened because I got sidetracked by Director, becoming an ardent supporter and developer for 2 years. I learned Flash in college, but hadn't touched it. I had a bit of lag time at work, so I picked up Flash to make a game. An addiction of sorts ensued.

[5] Paul: What is your most treasured work so far?
Stacey: My most treasured projects to date - would be a toss up between an internal timetracking application and a madlibs based game for Centre for Consumer Freedom. The first uses asp to manage and maintain timetracking. The reason why I treasure it, is because we use it every day and is a tool that is simply indispensable at this point. The madlibs game was just a fun project to do overall, and really combined the technical with the creative.

[6] Paul: You should be right to person to answer this, what do you think is the best use for Flash?
Stacey: I can't possibly suggest one best use of Flash, which is the reason I love working with it. Some great experimental works have been done with Flash, some solid RIA's have been built with Flash, some interesting animated shorts have been done with Flash. My favorite uses of Flash typically involve the Flash Communication Server - I like the idea of creating environments where people are connected and those communications are described in abstract format.

[7] Paul: Now that you have made quite a name as a flash developer, what's next? Any exciting new projects in the near future?
Stacey: I'm most excited about the recently released Flex2 and AS3 from Macromedia. All of my extra time has been devoted to learning the new framework - we've been busy working on projects that showcase just how robust the technology is.

[8] Paul: Any advice for all the up and coming flash developers out there?
Stacey: If you don't love what you do, don't do it. Learn how to use resources. Learn to love the help files. Give yourself a project and realize it. You will learn much more by doing than you can any other way.

[9] Paul: Last two questions, we saw your name at Algonquin College, it stated that you are a Professor is it for real?
Stacey: Yes, I teach flash development at Algonquin College in the Interactive Multimedia program. Actually, everyone who works at Teknision Inc is an Algonquin graduate and 4 of us, at any given time throughout the year, teach in various programs and are a part of several advisory boards.

[10] Paul: Last question.How did you manage to know all the great guys are Northcode Inc and Flash Platform Developer Relations?
Stacey: Prior to working at Teknision Inc, I worked at Northcode Inc as a flash developer. Tim Goss actually gave me my first chance, for I hadn't really worked with Flash in a work environment, more on my own time, prior to that. He took me on knowing that I wasn't a guru of any sort but that I wanted to learn. He's also partly responsible for my nickname!

The Flash community is pretty supportive and social, so most of my acquantainces I have met through conferences, email conversations or even Halo on Xbox Live. So people like Flashguru, Jeff Conrad, Mike Chambers, Jesse Warden, Darron Schall, Chafic Kazoun, Greg Burch - I met through Xbox oddly enough. Some others I know from my days in Edmonton - like Grant Skinner, Phil Cheng, and Ryan Matiskas. And others through email correspondance - Kristin Henry, Josh Dura, Jen deHaan.

As a flash developer, we are really luckily to have such an open, active and supportive community that encourages learning and sharing information.