Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Autodesk opens its doors and we look inside

Its the 6th April 2010 and I have joined other bloggers, press and industry people for the Autodesk 2011 Media day. Autodesk often gets a regularly kicking from the wider user community, so this was a great opportunity to look inside this software machine and something that I have personally wanted to do for sometime. 


Much has been written about the IPD project for the Autodesk Waltham offices, but its not until you actually get here and see the quality of finish and the materials used, that you really appreciate why the IPD process really works. The quality is as good as you would expect from a high quality fashion store such as Gucci or LV. The workspace also looks fun; the guys and girls who work here look like they have a total blast and they are genuinely passionate about what they do.You get the feeling that everyone, I mean everyone wants to make the solutions better and better.


The morning starts with breakfast followed by an formal introduction to the days events from Paul Sullivan and Jay Bhatt. Jay explained that Autodesk where very proud of the 2011 release and that everybody within Autodesk had worked very hard over the last 12 months; especially during difficult economic times. He is well aware of some of the negativity that surrounded 2010, but explained that much work had taken place in terms of foundation building and with 2011 you now start to see the fruits of the labour.


So after the introductions, a number of us (me, Robert Manna, Steve Stafford and David Harrington) where sneaked out the back door for a secret gathering with Chauncey Wilson and Chris Yanchar to discuss, well…… some secret stuff! Time seemed to fly by as grilled us over some stuff (NDA’s are in place, so I can’t talk about the “stuff”). All I can say is it was good “stuff”! :-)

We then took a break for a coffee and the group split. Steve and I then meet with Erik Egbertson and Jean to discuss more “stuff” this time about railings. You should check Eric blog post as he wants your feedback on railing terminology. It was disappointing that time was not kind to us. An hour was just not longer enough as both Steve and I had so much to share with the Eric and Jean on the challenges that the everyday user encounters when using the railing tools.

We then broke for lunch and this was followed by a presentation from Commonwealth of Massachusetts who explained how they where using Revit and the BIM process to deliver their projects.


After this Robert, Steve and I where whisked off to join Greg Demchak for a scoping meeting with some of the other development team to review a “future” Revit feature. This was very interesting as it gives you a good insight into how they scope and plan for features within the time constraints of 12 months. You can see how they plan for immediate delivery as well as the long terms goal.  The whole process of scoping and planning is very much how a design team would work with a client to plan and deliver a building project.

After this we strolled over to catchup with Zach Kron at his desk.Scott Latch (RAC Product Manager) joined us as we all got geeky about adaptive points and massing! Be sure to checkout Zach’s blog and rest assure, he has some create articles coming around some of the 2011 features.

Steve had to split as he had a flight to catch and we said our goodbyes. We where then taken back to the hotel where we freshened up before being take to the Concord Inn for dinner. The Concord Inn dates 1700’s.In 1775, part of the Inn's original buildings was used as a storehouse for arms and provisions.  When the British came to seize and destroy the supplies, the Minutemen met them at the North Bridge on April 19th for what became the first battle of the American Revolution. As you can imagine I got a bit of s**t from all the Americans who where with me for dinner, about how the Yanks kicked are arse at the first battle of the American Revolution! My response was, lets just see you guys fair come the 12th of June 2010 when we meet you in the World Cup! All good fun and if you are in Boston at any time, be sure to go to the Concord Inn.


Then back to the hotel as I had an early wakeup call to catch a train down to the HOK New York office.

I have to say, I would like to extend my thanks to all at Autodesk who made this such a wonderful event. Especially David Mills, who went beyond the call of duty to get us all there and was a great host.

1 comment :

Allan said...

Wow, what an opportunity. Sounds an amazing experience. What I'd give to see a peak behind the curtain to see what is the factory! I'm super curious to know what was discussed for the future!