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Grant Skinner

When "Grant Skinner" and "Flash" are googled on the Internet, the result is 116,000 hits. Not bad for an Edmonton-based software designer who, at the ripe old age of 25, was named Canada’s best Macromedia Flash developer at the FlashintheCan Design and Technology Festival held in Toronto in April 2005.

Grant SkinnerEven more significant is that his company, gskinner.com, had been in existence for only a year prior to the award. Described by Skinner as "a mid-sized Flash development firm serving top agencies and progressive corporate clients worldwide," one might have the sense of a multi-national firm with multiple employees to match. However, the Edmonton office of gskinner.com is the only office and the employees number just six.

So how did the entrepreneur become an international Flash expert, with teaching and speaking appointments around the world, as well as publishing over the course of two years, three highly regarded books on Flash and other applications, including Usability Heuristics for Rich Internet Applications and Developing a Simple Application Using Forms & MVC?

Skinner graduated at the top of three classes at the University of Alberta (WeBuilder accredited diploma) and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Internet programming certificate and Internet consulting certificate). His freelance career as a digital media developer and consultant began in 1998, with curriculum development and teaching to follow in 2001.

In 2003, he secured his reputation with gModeler, a free online diagramming and documentation tool that won several international awards and was featured in the SIGGRAPH Web Expo of the world’s finest web-graphics work of 2003.

Skinner’s Flash-driven rise to success has shown the flexibility of the Web animation software developed by Macromedia, and the San Francisco-based company uses him as an adviser and beta tester. It seems only fitting, when other software developers, such as Intronetworks Inc. start calling you the "industry superstars."

Next on the block for this particular "superstar" is adapting Flash to cellular phones, to allow instant communication via the Internet.

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