Autodesk DevDays 2009 – Part 4

Here are a few pictures of the Autodesk DevDays 2009 event in Bangalore. Click the images to view them in full size.

Jim Quanci, ADN Director, on the right with Stephen Preston, DevTech Americas Manager, on the left getting ready to give a presentation. Stephen focuses on AutoCAD and works very closely with the AutoCAD team in Engineering. From my conversations with him, I get the feeling that he has the unique ability of dreaming in C++ and .NET. If you have any problem related to ObjectARX or any other AutoCAD API, Stephen is the guy.

The DevDays theme this year is “Choose the right tool for the job“. The thing with Autodesk is that it has a wide variety of software products, each specializing in a different field. Autodesk partners are usually proficient in the API’s of one or two products. For example, at SYCODE, we develop plug-ins for AutoCAD and Inventor. We have built custom solutions for customers that involve 3ds Max, but do not have commercial products that we sell off-the-shelf as yet. The focus this year is to encourage partners to look at other products in the Autodesk stable and learn their API’s in order to effectively create solutions for customers.

For example, one could write an AutoCAD plug-in that automatically creates a spiral staircase using parameters supplied by the user. But that would be at least a thousand lines of code. But the same thing could be achieved in Inventor using just a few lines of code due to Inventor’s inbuilt parametric solid modeling features. Of course, if it is a custom solution for a specific customer, you need to first check whether the customer is ready to make the investment to purchase a new product and get trained on it. Assuming that is the case, the developer’s job then becomes much easier when it comes to developing, implementing and maintaining the custom solution.

This is the Indian DevTech team that I mentioned in Part 3. An extremely helpful bunch of people. Second from left is Arvindh Thangli. He manages Autodesk’s partner program in India, Australia and I think a few more countries in the region. If you are in this region and want to become an Autodesk partner, that’s the guy you want to know.

Throughout the day, we were shown a bunch of presentations and new product demos. However, I guess I am allowed to show you only this one masterpiece.

After the event Arvindh invited me to their customary dinner. There is only so much that can happen over email. A little more can happen over the phone. A lot can happen in a meeting. But nothing comes close to what can happen over beer and good food.

I look forward to attending Autodesk DevDays 2010 next year.