are a self employed IT Consultant working in the
areas of web development, training and database
development. When did you decide that this was
the right career for you? How did you begin your
|I have been interested in computers
from an early age but started out working in Human
Resource Management. In 1994, I had the opportunity
to start my own business and did so focusing on
training and database development. I discovered
the Web in 1997 and immediately fell in love.
is your favourite programming language and why?
|Technically I’m not a programmer,
I work with scripting languages. I write VBScript,
the flexibility of ActionScript and the way it
can be used to integrate dynamic content into
new features of Flash MX do you like the best?
|I’m assuming you’re
talking about Flash MX 2004. Although I’ve
played with it, because I’m busy maintaining
a lot of Flash MX sites, I haven’t really
made the transition yet. I spend ages working
with LoadVars in Flash MX so I guess that’s
my favourite Flash MX feature.
or where did you learn your Flash skills?
|I’m totally self-taught in
Flash, mainly from the Web although there are
some excellent Flash books out there. It’s
been easy to learn ActionScript because of my
that I have no formal IT qualifications!
you have any thoughts about where Flash is going
or should be going in the future?
|I love the direction of Flash as
an alternative to HTML in creating graphical user
interfaces and I’d love to see this usage
increase. However, there are still many people
who think of Flash as only being used for multimedia
presentations so it might take a while for this
projects are you currently working on?
|At the time of writing, I’m
finalising a dynamic Flash site for a graphic
design company and a Content Management System
for a mining company. I’ve just completed
editing two books for the Accelerated series –
Flash MX 2004 and PhotoShop CS.
did you get started speaking at conferences? Was
your first talk at the Kinetic Flash Conference,
|Because of my training experiences,
I’ve had a lot of opportunity to speak publicly
about a range of topics. My first International
conference was Kinetic Flash in 2002. My teachers
always said on my reports “Would do better
if talked less”. If only they could see
that you gave quite an inspiring talk at the Flashkit
Conference 2003 in San Jose. Could you give us
a brief summary of what you spoke about?
|I spoke about scripting components
and using them to create web applications. I used
a very simple web survey application, populated
from a text file to demonstrate some approaches
that could be used. I find that there aren’t
many ASP developers using Flash so I felt that
I could offer a different perspective from that
point of view.
you give us a sneak preview of what you’ll
be speaking about at Flashforward2004 San Francisco?
|I’ll be looking at building
a diary web application using an XML file as the
data source. So we’ll be covering how to
use XML in Flash as well as how to develop a Web
have some beautiful photographs of your travels
on your site http://www.sasjacobs.com.
What kind of camera do you use?
What is the most interesting place you’ve
|Thanks very much. I got a real buzz
when someone came up to me at FlashKit San Jose
and complimented me on my photos. I have an ancient
Minolta X-300 that takes great pictures. I only
take slide film nowadays as I find the quality
much better. I have been to some interesting places
but I think I love Africa and particularly South
Africa the best. There’s an indescribable
feeling that comes from being in the African bush.
I’m hoping to go back sometime this year.
also a musician and have played in a few bands.
Could you tell us a bit about this?
|I started playing keyboards in bands
when I was 18, writing my own music and singing
backup harmonies. When I got a mortgage, I switched
to cover bands and took up the sax as well. Most
recently, I’ve been lead singing and have
had some experience as a session vocalist.
next for Sas?
|Who knows but I’m sure it
will be very exciting! I’m always on the
lookout for my next adventure.
advice or tips do you have for people just getting
started with Flash?
|Flash can be very frustrating at
first, especially when you’re coming to
terms with ActionScript. There are some great
Web resources out there, so persevere, as it’s
not as tricky as it first seems.
you could say one thing to the goddesses out there,
what would it be?
The only way to learn Flash is
to work with Flash, especially ActionScripting.
Don’t just leave it to the boys, get in
there and get your hands dirty with some code!