Autodesk University & DTMC 2010 Wrap-up

Now that the shooting pains in my feet and shins have subsided (even though I wore comfortable shoes!), I’ve compiled some reflections on Autodesk University 2010 and the pre-AU Design Technology Manager Conference (DTMC).  In no particular order:

The DTMC was a great concept, long overdue.  I’m sure that registration and table assignments will be refined next year.  Anyone who missed out – or booked only a break-out session or two – be prepared to attend (and participate in) the entire event in 2011.

Someone mentioned that Autodesk should give out pedometers as part of their “swag” – with a prize being presented to whoever logged the most steps.  I’m sure the winner’s total would be staggering (perhaps, literally).

AU2010 shall be forever known as “The Year of the iPad™”.  Never have I seen a single technology infiltrate an Industry so effectively.  What a great tool (and, no, I don’t own any Apple stock – outside of my 401k mutual funds).  The ideal of user productivity independent of location is becoming a reality.  Now, we just need to get some healthy competition between Hardware, Software and Service Providers.

The Vendor-sponsored receptions in the Exhibit Hall were much appreciated and were a nice way to peruse the booths without typical Trade Show Sales Pressure.  Thank you, Vendors!  The dessert table on Tuesday evening was outstanding.  And, I appreciated the opportunity to sample some different brews (none have displaced Leinenkugel’s Original north of the border and Negra Modelo south, though).

There has been much upheaval in the A/E/C Industry over the last couple of years.  Mine was not the only AU Badge that reflected a former working relationship.  That said, the mood at this year’s conference was upbeat.  Attendance increased over 2009.  We can only hope this is a harbinger of better times ahead.

The all-Autodesk band at the A/E/C Mixer rocked the House of Blues Monday night.  I’ve long felt there’s a connection between Musical / Computer / Architectural / Engineering aptitude.  My only suggestion is that 2011 brings a “Battle of the Autodesk (employee and end user) Bands”.  I’ll be building up my chops and trying to figure out how to fit one of my HIWATT amps into the overhead bins…  Anyone else want to join forces?

My Celebrity Sighting for AU2010:  I was waiting for a friend to join me at the China Grill Thursday evening, when Andre Agassi strolled by.  He stopped a few feet away, to complete a phone conversation, before continuing to the STRIPSTEAK restaurant & bar.

Being surrounded by thousands of extremely smart and enthusiastic individuals from all over the world is energizing and horizon-expanding.  Not only do AU attendees get a chance to discuss how their counterparts across their Country are addressing issues, but every Session, Meal and Break presented an opportunity to meet someone outside of one’s Industry and Continent.  How cool is that?

Autodesk University continues to offer the best bang for the buck in training, networking and over all attendee experience of any conference I have attended.  Kudos to the AU team for their seemingly tireless efforts to organize this event.  Hope you all got some well-deserved R&R afterwards.

AU will return to The Venetian in 2011.  That might mean less walking, except to the Dining and Exhibit Halls.  Either way, I’ll be wearing extra-comfortable shoes and hope to see you there!

About Dave Pluke

Dave Pluke served as "the man behind the curtain" (Principal and VP of Technology) of a successful Structural Engineering firm for over 2 decades. Overseeing the transition from two, stand-alone 80286 Personal Computers, through Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Design to a fully networked, Building Information Modeling (BIM) integrated environment has provided plenty of "life lessons" (sounds better than "battle scars", doesn't it?). This blog's purpose is to share those experiences and apply lessons learned to better assist meeting the challenges of the future.
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