Today I attended the Autodesk DevDays event in Bangalore. DevDays is a series of events across the world that Autodesk holds once a year where they invite members of the ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) and show them the new stuff in the upcoming releases. Under NDA of course. 😉
The whole idea of doing so is to educate development partners in advance of product changes that will affect their plug-insand help them take corrective action so that when Autodesk ships the new versions of their products, the plug-ins work with them as well. Autodesk has a well established system in place for doing this and from my experience the company does a pretty good job taking care of their development partners. After all they understand that one of the things that prevent customers from upgrading to the latest version of their software is incompatible plug-ins.
There were about 30 of us in the audience today, all programmers. I like these kinds of events because the marketing bullshit is virtually non existent. The language is as technical as it can get and the information passed on to us is really helpful. The presenters are very frank in admitting the mistakes the company made in past releases, letting us know the precise limitations of what is being released without sugar coating anything and what they will try and squeeze into to the next release. They even let us know what is planned a couple of years from now so that we can make necessary changes in our code.
As part of the media I get briefed by different kinds of people in a company. Executives, marketing, product managers, PR, etc. As a programmer and software development partner I also get briefed by the people who are actually building the software or work very closely with the people who do. I must admit that I sometimes have some fun at the expense of the former when I ask them questions whose answers I already know and they possibly can’t. Makes the briefing much more interesting. You know me. 😉