Today I’m announcing a free training course that I’ll be hosting in Glasgow in a couple of weeks. The course is loosely based around a video training course I helped make with Colin Moock and James Paterson, published on DVD by O’Reilly.

Who’s this for?

It’s aimed at people with some experience of making stuff using Flash Professional, with a bunch of AS2 on the timeline, or perhaps you’ve tinkered with throwing your code into a base class. Either way, you’ll have got to the point where this feels cumbersome and your code feels more like spaghetti than sushi.

The course will take place on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November, and will be held in Charing Cross in Glasgow, with the space very generously provided by Marque Creative. I’m not a morning person so I’ll ask you to forgive the start time of 10am, and the kicking out time of 6ish.

We’ll use a hashtag to allow the questions and group chat to continue over the weekend as I’m sure you’ll want to tinker with your new skills. :)

As this is a free course, you’re going to need to bring some stuff.

  1. A packed lunch.
  2. A Mac laptop, or if you’re strong, an iMac, running at least OS X 10.6.
  3. FDT and Flash Professional installed on your computer. Trial versions will suffice.
  4. Two days of your uninterrupted attention*.

How to apply.

Read the FAQ below. If you ask a question already answered in the FAQ you’ve failed the intelligence test to get in. Once you’ve read the FAQ and if you’d still like to sign up, then send me an email with your contact information and any questions you have. If you’re unable to discover my email from this link, then you too have failed the intelligence test to get in.


Why do I have to bring a packed lunch?
We’ll not stop long for lunch, so if you need to head out to buy food you may well miss something valuable.
Can I use my Windows laptop instead?
You’re welcome to try, but there will be stuff I’ll not be able to help you with, like setting up to build for iOS. Everything we do will be doable on Windows and FDT is a great cross platform, but I won’t be slowing down to translate shortcut keys, file locations, etc.
Can I use Flash Develop/Flash Builder/IntelliJ instead of FDT?
Those are excellent tools for building AS3 projects, but I will, at times, rely on the corners that can be cut by the wonderful code completion and error correction features in FDT. There’s no reason you couldn’t keep up using another IDE, but in reality if you are able to do so then this course is not going to be advanced enough for you.
What do you mean you want my uninterrupted attention?
I ask all attendees to switch their phones off during the workshop. This stuff is way easier to learn if I have your full, continual attention. If you need to be checking your email more than morning, lunch, and evening then there is chance you’ll miss something and fall behind.
Are there any other dates available?
If enough people ask for the course to be repeated on a specific date, as long as it’s on a Thursday and Friday, and as long as I’ve got space in my schedule, I’d be happy to set something up specially.
How much does the course really cost?
You will have to pay for your travel, your lunch, and if you want to buy dark chocolate digestives to share with your fellow classmates then that would be nice. You will also have to (obviously) invest 2 days of your time. My time comes to you free of charge.
Why are you not charging for this?
I’ve been in the incredibly fortunate position to have talented friends teach me how to do this stuff and they didn’t charge me. I’m simply passing on the love. And perhaps I’ll charge for a more advanced workshop in the future.
I’m going to be able to make money from what I learn. Can I pay you something?
Yes, this is going to raise your game in a very short space of time, putting you in a strong position to charge for your new skills. If you’d like to thank me financially for this at any time in the future, I would be delighted if you made a donation to the British Heart Foundation.

Here’s the course outline. It’s subject to change as I complete the teaching materials over the next two weeks.

Day 1.

  1. Objects in the real world.
  2. Real world inheritance.
  3. Simplification through abstraction.
  4. A silly game with stickers where we pretend to be objects.
  5. Setting up FDT with the latest Flex SDK.
  6. Procedural AS3 on the Flash timeline.
  7. HelloWorld and the objects you didn’t know you already knew.
  8. Rebuilding our timeline app in FDT.
  9. The relationship between Classes and Objects, and the value of being Static.
  10. Why Strong typing is your best friend.
  11. Debugging errors with breakpoints.
  12. Runtime environments, and why you can’t debug in Chrome.
  13. How to use your Flash library items in FDT.
  14. Custom fonts without the headaches.
  15. Verbose naming and never having to comment your code again.
  16. Private vs Public — creating an API
  17. A look at the game we’ll create tomorrow.

Day 2.

  1. Planning your app using pseudo code.
  2. Tiny steps, or how to prototype.
  3. When to use Composition instead of Inheritance.
  4. Responding to user taps, clicks, and strokes.
  5. Standing on the shoulders of giants — using third party libraries.
  6. Using Signals, because they’re easier than Events.
  7. Getting our prototype onto an iPad in less than ten minutes.
  8. Controlling timeline animations from your pure AS3 app.
  9. Quick and dirty sounds.
  10. What a bloody mess! How to Refactor.
  11. Wireless debugging on iPhone and Android.
  12. We just made a multiscreen app without realising it. A recap.