Meet the Team: Ash

Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 by Swati Teerdhala
Category: BehindTheScenes


We’re excited to start a new series of posts on our blog, introducing you to our team and how we work behind the scenes. Today, we’re interviewing Ash Ryan, our Tech Evangelist and the go-to guy for our community.

Hi, Ash!

Hello, everyone!

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I’m the technical evangelist for the Creative Cloud ecosystem. In terms of the Creative SDK, I generate awareness of the product and what it can do by taking the journey to integration alongside our developers.

I also focus on helping the community through teaching about coding, answering questions and making sure our developers have what they need for a successful integration. Recently, I got a question on Stack Overflow, where someone from our community of developers was thanking our team for posting sample web repos on GitHub for the Creative SDK. That is what I aim for — to go a step further, really help our developer community, and make their lives easier.

What do you love most about your work?

I love being in a position to help developers get to their end goal. When you’re initially integrating an API or SDK, you have a vague idea of where you’re supposed to go. It’s pretty exciting to be on that journey with a developer and to help them get to that end point of integration.

Also, being at a company as large as Adobe, I have the unique opportunity to be able to write open source repos for our community online. I get to work with people all over the U.S and connect with the larger developer community.

How did you get into coding?

From two different directions. WordPress and my love for spreadsheets.

I started out as a WordPress user. WordPress lets you dig into the guts of your website but at the same time, It doesn’t force you to do that. You can start learning small pieces of coding without being thrown into the ocean, so to speak. WordPress became a gateway to more coding for me.

I also discovered early on that I really love spreadsheets. So, I started messing around with spreadsheets. I loved being able to go in and start with some small code that would eventually make a huge impact.

How did you learn to code?

I started coding in 1999 in HTML before CSS even existed — but I didn’t know it was a real job you could do. I left coding for a while and then WordPress came along and I quickly got back into it. I realized the more I coded the more I loved coding and I wasn’t satisfied with the progress I could make by teaching myself. I moved from Osaka, Japan, where I had been living, to NYC to join Fullstack Academy in the Financial District, where I focused on learning to code full stack Javascript web apps.

They had an emphasis on trying to get you to understand that whatever you’re learning today is just a starting point. To be successful in the tech industry, and as a programmer, you need to be constantly learning — because tech is constantly changing. You journey isn’t over at the end of the bootcamp. It was a lesson I took forward when I chose to join Adobe as a Technical Evangelist — I spent a month or so getting up to speed on Android and I’m currently teaching myself iOS.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on recently?

Coming from a bootcamp that was focused on web development, I learned pretty quickly that If you’re hired as a web developer, you might not have the luxury to learn more languages on the job. So, something I’ve also made sure to do is stay up to date on the tools available to developers.

For example, PhoneGap allows you to just write in Javascript and create an Android or iOS app. Because of my familiarity with the product, we recently released a set of PhoneGap templates for the Creative SDK so that our web developers could make mobile apps without the time strain of learning a brand new language.

It was also an awesome experience for me as a coder. I helped build the plugin, which required me to combine all of my knowledge across languages to build on the Javascript side but also build the side that talks to the native codebase.

What excites you about the Creative Cloud ecosystem?

The idea of letting people be creative on mobile, I’m in love with that. Mobile devices used to be considered creative “toys”. Now, we’re at the point where they’re an integral part of a person’s creative experience. However, there’s still a lack of connection between the device and your desktop.

Our Send to Desktop API, which allows that mobile to desktop connection, is one of my favorite components to demo and always garners a ton of interest. With the Creative Cloud ecosystem, and a product like the Creative SDK, you can work on mobile and continue that on desktop — and that’s so interesting to me.

Thanks to Ash for giving us a glimpse into his role on the Creative SDK team!