10 Great Ways to Learn Flex

After answering a couple beginner questions on a forum today, I decided it would be awesome to have a list containing the best resources for getting started with Adobe Flex. If you’re looking for useful information about building the next generation of RIAs with Flex, I encourage you to use this list as a launch pad because the links it contains should lead you to more and more knowledge throughout the web.

  1. Adobe’s official Flex Quick Starts offer some simple code samples to get you started, and they’re categorized very nicely into the sort of tasks you’ll want to learn right away.

  2. Additionally, Adobe offers free video training with a series called Learn Flex in a Week. If you’re willing to throw down some cash for video training, you might want to see the Flex online training available through Lynda.com. Another premium option is the Flex content available from Total Training. Finally, be sure to take a peek at the Flex category on Adobe TV for content aimed at a wide variety of skill levels.

  3. If you find yourself doing a lot of work with Flex, the Flex Language Reference will be your new best friend. Even as your skills and knowledge increases, you’ll keep coming back to this ultimate guide for Flex and Flash Player’s APIs. Every component property, method, event, and style is at your fingertips, often with useful inline examples. You can access it directly under Flex Builder’s Help menu too, if you prefer.

  4. The flexcoders mailing list is a great place to ask questions if you’re having some particularly difficult problems with Flex. You can also read the flexcoders archives through The Mail Archive for an easier reading and searching experience. Also consider subscribing to the flexcomponents mailing list to learn about building custom components for Flex. You shouldn’t post general Flex questions here because this list is specifically designed for discussion focused on components. Even if you aren’t into building components, I recommend watching the discussions there because many of the list’s experts share useful insights into many hidden aspects of the Flex framework.

  5. The Flex Cookbook is a community-driven site that includes a lot of short and simple how-tos for Flex. The style is much like the ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook. As an exciting bonus, the best contributions to the site will be considered for inclusion in the printed versions of the Flex Cookbook, published by O’Reilly.

  6. Join a local Flex user group or consider starting your own. Typically, Adobe user groups meet once a month and include tutorials and presentations by local experts or special guests from the worldwide community. These guests tend to work with Flex in the trenches for companies large and small. From time to time, you might even get to meet a real Adobe employee who can offer excellent insights into the products they evangelize.

  7. Play around with the sample applications from Adobe’s Flex DevNet. They also come with Flex Builder, and should appear on the Start Page, which you can reopen from the Help menu. The best part of these applications is that you can right-click on them and choose “View Source” to look at the complete source code. Additionally, and perhaps not as well known, you can download the source code for all the ActionScript 3.0 examples that appear in the Flex documentation in one big ZIP file from Adobe’s site too.

  8. We’re starting to see some good stuff for Flex on bookstore shelves. Current and upcoming books that focus on Flex and ActionScript 3.0 include the following (in no particular order):

  9. Consider installing Tour de Flex, an AIR application that includes a plethora of examples for all the Flex components, effects, data access classes, AIR capabilities, and data visualization controls, along with several open source and commercial components built by the community, and even public “cloud” APIs that can be used in Flex-based mashups and other applications.

  10. Finally, there’s Flex.org, the official developer portal for all things Flex. It offers a ton of links to blogs, consultants for hire, and job postings related to Flex. Flex.org is probably most known for its showcase page which highlights some of the best Flex content on the web.

If you’re looking to help get someone started with Flex, or someone asks you what they need to learn to build their first Flex application, please send them here. Remember, anyone you help as they’re struggling as a beginner may be able to help you in return someday in the future when they’re past the early hurdles. The best way to build a strong community is to contribute to it yourself and encourage others to participate too.

If you found this post useful, you might also want to check out my related post, 12 Great Ways to Learn ActionScript 3 in Flash. It includes links to more great content that should benefit Flex developers too.

About Josh Tynjala

Josh Tynjala is a frontend developer, open source contributor, bowler hat enthusiast, and karaoke addict. You might be familiar with his project, Feathers UI, an open source user interface library for Starling Framework that is included in the Adobe Gaming SDK.


  1. Dan

    I think you left 1 really good resource off this list. Lynda.com provides excellent introduction and advanced learning into both Flex & ActionScript. I always use different avenues when trying to learn a new product and this is a very good way to pick it up.

  2. Campbell

    You know what else is great…. the debugger, learn how to use it to inspect objects at runtime and you can start to learn alot about how objects are proccessed. Its 10xbetter than the old flash one but still needs more work.

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  4. Tanya

    Awesome resources 🙂 hopefully it’ll help with my Flex Journey 🙂

    i also notice you’r usually the one answering my begginer questiosn on the Adobe Forum.
    Thanks for all yoru help

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  7. Ben Edwards

    Thanks for the great list of resources. Hopefully it’s never too late to add another one. Flex After Dark is a “learning community” dedicated to developers learning Flex and related technologies. The site is under ongoing development, but right now there’s some excellent Flex/ActionScript documentation and examples. Check it out at http://www.flexafterdark.com.

  8. Ben caeser

    hey josh,
    are the links you’ve recommended above still valid for flex 4, im a beginner in flex and can see that this forum is quite old so are there any recent books or links that can get me started as a flex beginner.

    kind regards

  9. Trevor Holman


    Where might I find more information on how to use data from a database? I’m unable to determine if I should pull data into value objects or just create arrays and loop through data as needed. What I read is that value objects would be best but I’m not sure how to proceed, such as writing these objects back into the database when they change, etc.