COFES 2011 Survey

I just took part in the COFES 2011 Survey created by two analysts Jim Brown of Tech-Clarity and Brad Holtz or Cyon Rresearch. The results of this survey will be presented at COFES 2011 in April which I will be attending again this year. This short 5 minute survey tries to get to the “mood” of the engineering software marketplace. If you are a software developer or reseller, I strongly urge you to take part in this survey. I believe CAD users will find this survey interesting as well.

Click this link to take part in the survey.

  • MC

    I completed this survey in mid February. I was surprised how business-oriented it is. Perhaps I have misunderstood the purpose of COFES. However, if all COFES conferences are this business-oriented, it is no surprise we have seen little real and useful innovation in mechanical engineering software in the last 20-30 years.

    • MC

      OK, perhaps I will amend my original comment to say “12-20 years”.

  • Shyamalroy

    I have been involved with COFES since the first summit in Chicago in 1999.

    I am also honored to have contributed to COFES summit in India.

    COFES is all about meeting of the minds and having a frank discussion about issues involving the future of the industry. It is not about writing the requirement specs for the next mechanical CAD system.

    Mechanical engineering software has benefitted immensly from COFES – got to get a glimpse inside Michael Payne, Buzz Cross, Jon H, Joel Orr, Peter Marks, Deelip Menzes, and Al Dean’s firtile brains over the last 10 years in an extremely present environment!

    Perhaps COFES is the most unique gift to the industry.

    • MC

      I am certain COFES is composed of many intelligent people with some amazing ideas. I would certainly not expect those at COFES to write requirement specs for the next mechanical CAD system. However, I would expect discussions about issues involving the future of the industry to consist of more than just big picture business strategy (as was demonstrated by the survey). Although business is a big part of the CAx industry, those ideas generated at COFES are ultimately implemented in the engineering software itself (the tools). The majority of my experience is in the CAD/CAM/PDM areas of CAx. As you say, I am sure mechanical engineering software has benefitted from COFES. I just have not experienced many large changes or innovations in the CAD arena. Not only do we still create our 3D models on a 2D screen, but also the biggest discussions of the day involve cloud computing and history-based vs. direct modeling (all of which are old technologies). Most of the changes I have seen in this arena over the last 10 plus years have been little more than window dressing or marketing gimmicks that do little to really enhance geometry/model creation. Now, even if the industry in general agrees that these technologies (cloud computing and history-based and/or direct modeling) are worth pursuing further (although I may or may not agree), I still expect other changes from the industry over time:

      • Lower Prices for the Software and Maintenance/Greater Accessibility.
      • Cleaner Code/Fewer Bugs/Better Software Engineering & Development Practices.
      • Better Customer Service at the Vendor Level (I am not including VARs here).

      I am not trying to beat you up. I appreciate your response. I just expect more from the CAD side of the CAx industry by now, and I don’t think I am alone.

      • Shyamalroy

        MC what you say is very true.

        COFES started as a result of seeds I humbly planted after an industry trade show in Chicago over a beverage with Dr. Joel orr and Evan Yares in 1998.

        The goal was to have meaningful discussions amongst developers, eductaors, users, and analysts in a free form format.

        Brad Holtz picked up the charter and has brilliantly executed since then.

        The purpose of COFES is not to leave with answers but have questions that attendees can process and deliver solutions to.

        • MC


          Thank you for your response and for taking the time to explain COFES. I appreciate it. Have a good weekend.