Christian Cantrell
Prototyper • Writer • Technologist

About

If I had to choose one word to describe my career, it would be "cross-functional" (if you'll allow a hyphen in a one-word response). From a management perspective, my core strengths are team building, leadership, dot-connecting, and reasoning from first-principles. But it's my proven history of execution and iteration that I am most proud of.

My philosophy, expressed in pseudocode:

function iterate(i) {
    design();
    prototype();
    research();
    eval(i);
}

function eval(i) {
    if (customer.needsMet && customer.isDelighted) {
        ship();
    } else {
        iterate(++i);
    }
}

Employment

Adobe (December 2002 - Present)

Director of Prototyping
Adobe Design
March 2015 - Present

The Adobe Design organization is in charge of user experience and visual design for all of Adobe’s products — desktop, web, and mobile. As Director of Prototyping, my job is to lead an international, multi-disciplinary team through the product discovery and development life cycle. That means close collaboration with designers, product teams, researchers, product engineers, and customers to validate and rapidly iterate on innovative new product directions. Half of my twenty-two-person team is hyper-focused on specific and discrete features like toolbar interactions, gestures on multi-touch devices, and object manipulation in AR. The other half functions as a full-stack product incubator, designing, prototyping, and researching entirely new opportunities (increasingly conceived around AI/ML).

To learn more about the team I built and lead at Adobe, see Building to learn: the role of prototyping in Design.

Senior Engineering Manager
Web Platform
October 2011 - March 2015

Adobe’s creative tools and services address every available platform and medium: print, desktop, web, mobile, and even immersive mediums like AR and VR. Of all the platforms we target, the web was historically the slowest to evolve. Late in 2011, Adobe began working with Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla to help move the web forward faster. As Senior Engineering Manager inside Adobe’s Web Platform Group, I led an international team of designers and engineers focused on helping to define and showcase the newest web technologies. Working with partners like National Geographic, Food Network, and PBS Kids, we created several extremely engaging, web-based experiences to help define and validate new web standards.

Technical Product Manager
Platforms
July 2006 - October 2011

As the Technical Product Manager for Adobe’s Flash, desktop, and Web Platforms, I was in charge of identifying requirements, defining APIs, and working with the developer community to help encourage platform adoption. The web, desktop, and mobile applications my team built helped validate platform direction, and were open-sourced to showcase new features and capabilities.

Technical Product Manager
Developer Relations
December 2002 - July 2006

I spent my first four years at Macromedia and Adobe managing a subscription-based product called the Developer Resource Kit. Between releases, I spoke at conferences, contributed to the Java open-source community, and built and maintained Macromedia’s first blog and RSS aggregation platforms.


Amazing Media (July 1999 - December 2002)

Senior Engineering Manager

I started out at Amazing Media as a Java developer. When I left three and a half years later, I was managing the design and implementation of a large-scale digital advertising platform. Because I reported directly to the VP of Product, I also helped define product requirements, prioritize features, and I collaborated with partners such as eBay and Amazon.

Fiction

I double-majored in literature and creative writing in college, and in addition to my software career, I have carved out a successful niche for myself selling speculative fiction to studios and distributors like Fox 21, TriStar, and Hulu.

My first three science fiction novels — Containment, Kingmaker, and Equinox — are what opened doors for me in Hollywood (Kingmaker was optioned by the producer of the 300 films) and will likely be republished after the release of Scorpion in 2021.

Most of my work is in some stage of production (or reproduction), but you can read (and/or listen to) a short story I wrote called Negative Proof on Medium.

And finally, here's my IMDB page, though it's pretty anemic at the moment. Hopefully it'll fill out when production starts again post-COVID.

Nonfiction

Between short stories and novels, I like to write about other things on my mind (usually technology related). Here are a few of them:

Miscellaneous

Patents

With over two decades of experience in the software industry, I've accumulated a few patents (with several more waiting to get published):

Skills

A Few Interests

Social

Education

Bachelor of Arts
Literature and Creative Writing (double major)
June, 1995
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA

Contact

You can always DM me on Twitter. Or, you can email me at the address below. (Move the slider to decoded my email address.)

Easter Egg

To find an easter egg left especially for you,
start with the type of source you can view.