Meet the Team: Rumiana

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Swati Teerdhala
Category: BehindTheScenes


We’ve got another interview for you this week with Rumiana Williams, a Product Design Manager at Adobe.

Hi, Rumiana!


Tell us a bit about what you do.

I am a Product Design Manager on the Components team at Adobe. I manage a team of designers working on a system of mobile components inside the Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Some of those components are offered as part of the UI components in the Creative SDK to third party developers.

What do you love most about your work?

I love that we create tools for creative professionals and for people who want to be creative. It’s very exciting to provide the medium for that audience and see the work that is being created using the tools we make. In general, the theme behind our mobile apps is that inspiration could happen anywhere and you should be able to capture and start the creative process on your phone or tablet. Also touch devices provide natural gestures that creatives use when drawing, for example. Today with tools like the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil creating on a mobile device is easier than ever before and feels very natural.

What made you initially decide to become a designer?

I was trained as a traditional Graphic Designer but very early on in my education I discovered a passion for anything interactive. I enjoyed creating brand identity and print projects but what excited me the most was being able to prototype my designs in Action Script and think about the whole user experience. I enjoyed the design research phase and figuring out what a product should do and feel like. At some point in my career I started designing for mobile devices and I enjoyed the challenges that the small screen presented as well as the context in which it was being used. It was much different than designing a website.

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

I am currently working on a new tool for letterform creation called Project Faces. It allows adjustment to the whole alphabet simultaneously. The app is a starting point for creating quick designs which can then be perfected in Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop. We are in the very early stages of development, user research and design but so far the project has been received very positively by the design community. Brand designers are really excited since it provides the ability to do quick ideation and gives them the ability to create letterforms to use in logotypes rather than modify existing ones.

What excites you about the Creative Cloud ecosystem?

One thing that is very unique to the work we do is that we don’t only create individual apps and components, we actually create an ecosystem of apps and experiences. All the work that we create is synced and goes with the user anywhere they go including the desktop apps. Our mobile apps are often a starting point for continuing creation on the desktop. The UI components that my team produces provide the building blocks of the app experience.

Designing a system at this scale is challenging and requires a lot of collaboration between product, design and engineering so that the apps feel like a family with similar look and feel and common interaction models.

Where do you see the future of mobile creativity going?

As mobile devices become more powerful, the tools that creatives use have to become more complex too. The separation between where and on what device you create is disappearing. Creatives and people who want to be creative have the ability to start a project on one surface but finish on another and not focus too much on where they are creating but rather on what they are creating, which is exciting!

Thanks for talking to us, Rumiana!

Meet the Team: Jack

Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 by Swati Teerdhala
Category: BehindTheScenes


We’ve got another interview for you this week with Jack Sisson, an Engineering Manager who works on Adobe and Aviary projects (including the Creative SDK).

Hi, Jack!


Tell us a bit about what you do.

I’m an engineering manager at Adobe, directly managing 12 people who work on the Aviary app and other efforts including products related to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Photoshop.

What do you love most about your work?

The people and the types of problems that we face are incredibly interesting. We have some of the best talent out there and we’re in a cool sort as a company. We have a number of massively successful creative products that have worked really well on desktop. Now, we’re trying to bridge the gap between our desktop products and mobile in a way that not only satisfies our existing customers but excites all those who are new to Adobe.

How did you start coding?

I was a math and music major, which involved a little bit of programming, and I realized I liked coding very late in the game. I took a job in marketing out of college but left it to pursue music. Eventually, I realized I liked programming more and made some moves to work as a programmer. Most of my learning came on the job.

What’s your suggestion for someone who didn’t study computer science in school?

I would say give yourself a fair chance to figure out if you’re passionate about programming. Codeacademy isn’t going to cut it — you’ll learn the grammar of a language but you won’t be able to read or write in that language. It’s also difficult to experience what is so addictive and fun about programming without going and building something. So my advice — try to build something — just pick a website idea or an app idea and go do it.

Don’t be afraid!

Where do you see the future of mobile creativity going?

Mobile hardware is getting really good, to the point where it’s nearly as good as desktops in terms of processing power. Screen real estate is still a challenge, but some designers, who are first movers, are already trying to shift their workflows toward mobile. Now, it’s up to the entire industry to catch up and meet that desire. There are apps out there that can do cool things, but nothing really rivals the desktop tools that are available, like Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC.

What excites you about the Creative Cloud ecosystem?

There’s a lot of opportunity for our products to be the best touch-first, cloud-first creative applications on mobile and desktop. Also, there are still a lot of problems our users face and we have the opportunity to build apps or optimize our current apps to solve those problems, which is exciting!

Thanks to Jack for talking to us about his current role and his path to get there!

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!