Archive for December, 2004

Dec 22, 2004

Adobe Photoshop engineer Chris Cox talks to students

Source: Northwest Arkansas News

Farmington, Arkansas–The Haas Hall charter school hosts Photoshop engineer Chris Cox for “Career Day”.

Cox recounted how he went from a physics graduate at Carnegie-Mellon University to working for a software company in Portland, Ore., and then Adobe.

His first exposure to Photoshop was in college, when version 1.0 was released. That version was designed so people could add codes and functions to their versions, and he experimented with writing code for it.

The year he graduated from college, the federal government cut funding for a variety of physics research projects, so getting a job in that field was nearly impossible.

His experience with computer programs earned him the job in Portland. When that company went under, he managed to get a job at Adobe working on the Photoshop program in 1996. One of the biggest challenges with designing such a widely used program is trying to “meet the needs” of its various users, he said.

Most individual users only use 10 percent of Photoshop’s features for their specific projects, and experts only use 30 percent. “I have to know all of it,” he said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s fun.” How you improve things for the filmmakers using Photoshop without short-changing features used by government researchers, for example, is something he has to continuously keep in mind.

Read the article.

On a personal note, I’ve known Chris from the old Photoshop Chat Room on AOL days. I was visiting Adobe the day that Chris started work–I still remember the look on his face after getting his official Adobe ID shot, he was grinning from ear to ear. Adobe is lucky to have Chris. . .and short of Thomas Knoll, I can’t think of a person on Earth that knows more about Photoshop. If you get into a debate on Photoshop with Chris, the odds are you will be wrong and Chris will be right.

Additional note from Chris: Chris says he has no idea why the article author quoted him as saying “He rewrote about 44 percent of the software code for the latest version, Photoshop CS (8.0)”. Chris has no idea what percent of the code he’s touched–but it’s alot.