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 Canadas best Macromedia Flash
developer at the FlashintheCan Design and Technology Festival held in Toronto in April 2005.
Even 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 worlds finest web-graphics
work of 2003.
Skinners 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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