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CFDJ: Article

SYS-CON Radio Interview...with Steve Drucker & Dave Gallerizzo

SYS-CON Radio Interview...with Steve Drucker & Dave Gallerizzo

CFDJ: Fig Leaf Software is one of the top e-business consulting and training organizations in the world, specializing in the application of technology from Allaire and Macromedia. Steve Drucker, president and CEO, and Dave Gallerizzo, vice president of consulting services, will tell us what they're currently working on.
Steve Drucker:
We're contributing to a new initiative for Macromedia and Allaire called Harpoon. Harpoon is a new toolkit - Macromedia Flash objects with Invocation methods for ColdFusion, Jrun, all the macromedia tools. You're going to be able to use Dreamweaver and ultraDev Dreamweaver, as well as Homesite and ColdFusion Studio. There's going to be a lot of really cool advantages to it in that these objects are going to be cross- browser or cross-platform. They're also going to be dynamically resizable and can be used with Jrun and ColdFusion to pass information in and out.

CFDJ: When is that going to be available?
Right now were not at liberty to say what the actual release date on the toolkit is.

CFDJ: Well, we'll keep our eyes open for it. What other stuff are you working on these days?
Dave Gallerizzo:
We're actually doing quite a bit with the full-fledged suite of both Allaire and Macromedia technologies. A lot of what were doing is Spectra-based. We're building an intranet for T. Rowe Price, a large financial company. We're driving all their internal content with Spectra and ColdFusion. A lot of the interface pieces are built using Macromedia, Flash, and Java. We're also using Spectra pretty heavily in the marketplace to drive dynamic content. We're building a pretty advanced system to do dynamic flash content through a generator using Spectra. This is a pretty big deal and the Macromedia guys have actually approached us to do a Spectra generator white paper. We're training all over the world right now. As a matter of fact, we just got back from South Africa where we ran a one-week spectra class. We're preparing to help Allaire update their Spectra materials, anticipating more than five coming out very soon. So we're moving down the road with the technology as quickly as we can.

CFDJ: Can you tell us a little about Fig Leaf as a company, general things you guys are involved with?
Fig Leaf is really centered around relationships with two of our vendors: Allaire and Macromedia. We're currently a 65-person company headquartered in Washington, DC, with an office in Atlanta, Georgia. We'll probably expand into a third market in 2001.

Basically, the company is broken into three major pieces: a consulting division that focuses on web strategy application development using Allaire and Macromedia tools; a training division focused on products that our developers actually use; and a multimedia group that's really doing some wonderful work. Most of our developers double as instructors, so were training the entire Allaire and Macromedia curriculums, as well as helping to write them. We actually wrote the official curriculum for Macromedia Flash 5 and for Macromedia Generator, as well as contributed to Spectras five-day course. As for our multimedia group, we're about to relaunch the Fig Leaf web site with some really hot Flash objects.

CFDJ: You've recently won three Readers Choice Awards from the ColdFusion industry. How does it feel to be embraced by the industry?
It's great. One of the founding principles of Fig Leaf was to embrace a community and give out as much information as we took in. We started the very first ColdFusion users group, and we now run one meeting each month in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Atlanta. We take all the neat things we've done that other companies might consider to be trade secrets, and we give them out to developers as freeware. We say, "here guys, learn from the stuff we've done; let's learn from each other's mistakes, learn new techniques, and together we'll help Allaire and Macromedia build their respective markets." It benefits everybody.

CFDJ: That's definitely a different strategy from those that others are taking. Is there anything else you want our listeners to know?
The really cool thing about the awards we won - Best Consultancy, Best Design, and Best Training - is that's what Fig Leaf does. All the things we really center on, we got awarded for. So we really push it down that route and we do it very well , and it's because of the technology and the support we get from companies like Allaire and Macromedia that were able to be as successful as we are. We couldn't do it without them and we definitely want everybody out there to know it.

CFDJ: What plans do you have for making sure you win those three awards again next year?
I think we've got a pretty good track record. Basically, the company is focused on empowering our developers and growing the staff. So we're continuing to actively seek opportunities for our instructors to contribute to newsgroups, to talk at various trade conferences, and to author books. Next year we'll have at least two books: a Flash 5 book and a new Wrox book. Fig Leaf acts as an engine to help it's developers grow and succeed. We run monthly internal users group meetings where we do some very advanced stuff and focus on new technologies. We think that focusing on employee development is going to give us a return on our investment.

CFDJ: How do people get more information?
They can go to www.figleaf.com or come to one of our users groups on the first Wednesday of the month in Washington, the second Saturday of the month in Atlanta, the third Wednesday of the month in northern Virginia, or the fourth Wednesday of the month in Baltimore.

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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