So I am back from Washington DC where I have been for the last couple days. Staying over Wednesday night, I spent the day Wednesday simply enjoying our nation's capital and paid a visit to the National Zoo. Contrary to popular belief I have hobbies other than playing with CAD. In fact I am also an avid photographer. While visiting the National Zoo I was able to shoot some photos that can be seen below:
While I could easily spend days shooting photos of Washington DC, that was not the primary purpose of my visit. Today (Thursday) was the second stop for the Autodesk Experience the Possibilities Tour. For those not familiar with the event, Autodesk is currently touring the country introducing the 2008 line of products. Regardless if you are an architect, engineer, or a general CAD user, the Experience the Possibilities tour has something to offer you. Naturally I attended the Civil Solutions breakout where Autodesk's own Pete Kelsey and Steve Gonda presented Civil 3D 2008.
If you have kept up with my blog you have likely read my Civil 3D 2008 – First Impressions post. Likely going without saying, I am rather excited about the upcoming release of Civil 3D. While I am no Nostradamus, if I had to make any predictions I'd say AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 is going to be the release Civil 3D starts being seen as a practical design platform for the masses. The Civil 3D presentation provided a powerful overview of what the software can do. Regardless if you have been using Civil 3D since it's preview release days, or simply considering it as a possible solution, there's something in the presentation for you.
For me the true benefit in the whole day was the opportunity to have Autodesk employees at your disposal for just about any question you can think of. Autodesk's intent is of course to sell software, and consequently there were parts of the day that felt more like a sales pitch than an info session. Even still, you can't fault Autodesk for that, after all their business is to sell software. I tend to feel their true sales strategy is much like the “Field of Dreams”. Rather than “Build it and they will come”, Autodesk seems to say “educate (users) and they will use (the software)”. Again I cannot express how helpful it was to have so many people available to ask questions.
Not an Autodesk employee, but equally helpful to talk to was Dana Probert over at Engineered Efficiency. You can catch her blog posts over at www.civil3d.com. She too is an invaluable resource for just about all things Civil 3D. Just another example of the top-notch people you can expect to bump into.
Concluding the day was a presentation by Lynn Allen on AutoCAD 2008 Tips & Tricks. If you have ever had the pleasure of attending Lynn's presentations you know how dynamic of a speaker she is. We get caught up in our vertical product world, and often forget about good ole’ AutoCAD. Lynn did a great job previewing what all is in AutoCAD 2008. She has promised her new AutoCAD 2008 Tips & Tricks booklet will be posted to her blog “very soon”.
Autodesk's "Experience the Possibilities Tour" is making its way to cities all across the US. Washington DC was just their second stop, and so there are still plenty of stops left on the tour. Making the event even better was its price – FREE. You can get details about the tour by visiting http://www.autodesk.com/experience.