“Are you out of your [CENSORED] mind?!”
The Autodesk Feedback Community can help you answer that question.
A few years ago, when I was a CAD Manager, I did what could have been a strong career-limiting move: I upgraded our CAD and PDM systems to the latest version. Upon release. Yes. You read that right: Upon. Release.
As you can tell from my title, I was kindly asked the question — or maybe it was an affirmation…
You must be out of your [CENSORED] mind!?
My great Vice-President of Product Development at that time, as you can tell with that kind of title, was deeply involved with what came out of our CAD and PDM system. Not only that, we were running two divisons: one in Canada and one in France. He was fuming. He was ready to put me in the shredder as he was well known to do from times to times with documents (with the binders and everything). It was somewhat therapeutic for him.
It’s baseball post season right now so let me put it this way: It was bottom of the ninth and I was losing. I had to aim for the fence at this point.
My explanation was, literally, in Beta
I love the CAD world and everything that revolves around it. It’s somewhat a passion of mine.
Hi… my name is Marc and I’m a CAD Nerd…
This is why/how I was attracted to the Beta Program or, as we should refer to it, the Feedback Community.
This is where you can test new features, from Beta to RC (Release Candidate); this is also where you could be asked to participate in usability exercises for software prototypes and attend focus groups.
I felt it was my duty to be involved in such a great program. Not only was I able to satisfy the insatiable CAD Nerd in me but I was able to test the upcoming release. Again, you read that right: I was able to test the upcoming release.
What this means is that I was able to run a life-like/day-to-day simulation of what we were doing. At that time, we were not using everything in the CAD. Maybe more like 50% of it. Mostly: sheet metal, simple 3D modeling, mid-to-large assemblies. Our PDM need was even simpler: check-in, check-out, user rights, replication.
When you do a simulation of your daily tasks, please, please, please, back up your PDM/file system. Don’t do Beta tests with “live” files because you will loose them. No doubt.
You. Will .Loose. Them.
I knew, without a doubt, that the Release Candidate was stable enough and that it would give us an edge over what we were using right now. The new features and overall novelties included in the newest release would make us more efficient and it would impact our daily productivity. Those were the results of testing and simulating the new features and novelties through our “lifelike” environment.
We’re lucky, as Autodesk we have such a great community. A lot of our users are involved in our forums answering other users’ questions. Our community is also involved in shaping our solutions through the IdeaSation
Another way to get involved is through the Feedback Community
My action item for you is: Get involved.
Don’t forget: Feedback is vital
Every aspect of these programs is targeted to involve you, our customer. The direct feedback that you provide as part of these programs enables us to continue our tradition of producing better products, with higher quality, that is more appropriate to your needs.