8 Years, a Retrospective.

I was looking at the blog today, thinking how neglected it is, when I realized that its 8 year anniversary had recently passed. That got me scanning nostalgically through old posts, and wistfully pondering how much has changed since my very first post on Sept 1, 2003.

At the time, I was a spiky-haired, fresh-faced, freelance developer who had just recently won my first few awards, and had spoken at my first few conferences (a thoroughly nerve-racking experience). I was completely unsure of my place in the industry, had no idea how to promote myself (though I was starting to learn), and wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I just knew that I REALLY loved building cool things in Flash.

Eight years later, a lot has changed, but the important parts have stayed the same. I’m a grizzled veteran, with more than a few white hairs, and am no longer so fresh of face. I’ve spoken at hundreds of conferences and events around the world, but I still get completely stressed out before every single one. I lead a team of 14 absolutely amazing developers and designers, working on cutting-edge projects for some of the biggest brands in the world, but I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I just know that I still REALLY love building cool things and sharing them with the world.

There are a few reasons why I still love my work so much. Foremost, I love the continuous challenge and the sense of creation. I don’t think I’ve had a day in the past 8yrs when I haven’t either learned something new, or built something (however small) that I can be proud of. I also appreciate the diversity – I’m sure I’d be a much wealthier man if my company focused on building “enterprise blah blah blahs for the yadda yadda market vertical”, but I much prefer constantly tackling new challenges. We’ve worked on everything from intros & micro sites to frameworks & enterprise apps to games & installations to technical demos & art pieces.

I also really appreciate the people. My own little team is made up of intelligent, creative, and fun people that I genuinely love working with. Our clients tend to be smart, savvy, and eager to do fantastic, progressive work. And, the communities I’ve been honoured to participate in have been hugely supportive and giving. Seriously, the Flash community is one of the coolest groups of like-minded folk I’ve ever had the pleasure to interact (and party) with. I’m still getting to know the HTML/JS community, but I’m hoping they will be equally cool.

I know it’s a bit sappy and cliché, but I have a deep passion and love for what I do, and a great deal of respect for the people I’ve been privileged to work with over the past decade. I’d like to think that’s helped make my work better, but if not, at least I’ve been having fun the whole time!

(and, yes, I will try to post more often – Twitter and G+ have made me lazy)

Grant Skinner

The "g" in gskinner. Also the "skinner".



  1. Great post :] mr gskinner :] I’m a big fan

  2. This post reminds me of a comment by Gabe Newell when asked what his favorite game to work on was (Half-Life, L4D, etc)… he said, “for me the thing the thing that is the most fun; what I enjoy doing the most is coming to work each day and working with the people I work with and being apart of what happens in these offices.”

  3. Congrats!
    From the heart.

  4. 8 years that’s amazing, I’m a fan as always and I love your envelopment with the community especially for making an effort to come out and speak at our small event (Flash Israel).

  5. Great article , Congrats 🙂

    I like to hear that you still love what you do, hopefully I can learn that from you 🙂

  6. Just read a comment from your first post:

    Hey, I’m new to blogging – just heard of it the other day. So why don’t you put a link on your site so newbies can figure out how to start their own blog.



  7. Wow, I think I’ve been reading your blog for nearly all those 8 years and I feel like I’ve “grown up” in many of the same ways. Congratulations for doing what you do well and with passion! Can’t wait to see where another 8 years takes you.

  8. The excited, fresh-faced kid still breaks out with each creative new ‘FLASH’ (Ha! Ha!) of inspiration. I greatly enjoy sharing the experience!

    Love you!


  9. Cool, I think I saw you speak at siggraph 2003… been “following” ever since!

  10. ӏ hope that you will bе еlaborating a littlе more on thiѕ theme.
    I am used to a tad mоre information.

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