On this day a much younger version of me left a design seat as an Autodesk customer and started with Autodesk in San Rafael California.
Here is my first Autodesk employee badge as well as a photo of me in my san Rafael office.
Autodesk was hovering around $6.50 a share price and now is over $110 per share although I cant really claim any credit for the increased valuation. In 1998 I moved from Portland Oregon to the Bay Area where I joined AutoCAD Product Management with Eric Stover and Jeff Allen and a couple others awesome deskers on the Autodesk Beta Team. I joined during AutoCAD R14 development and on the heels of R13 when Autodesk needed some more customer focus and connection to prevent problematic releases from impacting customers.
I have been involved in beta of most Autodesk products at some point over the past 20 years and connecting Autodesk customers and our product teams to improve the products our customers use, its a win-win and great relationship as our beta testers are vital members of our extended product team. In 2001 we were still sending out CD and floppy disks of beta products and waiting weeks for faxed in bug reports to come in meanwhile development was still progressing. I had the crazy idea to just post the software online allowing for immediate downloads and web based bug reports to allow defects to be immediate communicated to the team and also allow a private forum for everyone to discuss the testing feedback.It changed beta making it more timely and connected and eliminated the cost and delays for creating and shipping CDs around the world. That was a game changer and innovation for feedback and closer customer connection.
A couple other memorable highlights:
Developing the first comprehensive command map for AutoCAD.
Started this blog, then a series of other Autodesk blogs. Thank you to all the readers of Between the Lines!
Started Autodesk Labs. We had so many cool technologies inside Autodesk but no mechanism to let customers test them and tell us if we should invest in making them actual products. Some were Google Earth in AutoCAD, DGN Import for AutoCAD, and Autodesk Fusion all started in the Autodesk Labs as did hundreds of others including Rendering in the Cloud.
Met the founder of Autodesk John Walker at his home in Switzerland.
I joined the Autodesk Office of the CTO aka OCTO on the Corporate Strategy Team as Technologist in the Office of the CTO. Also started flying drones commercially for research project in reality capture. Diary of a Drone Pilot
Traveled to remote Northern Kenya with my good friend and colleague Gonzalo Martinez and joined Louise Leakey to map fossils in 3D and also fly drones to experiment in mapping fossils.
Capturing Ancient Remains in Kenya with a Remote Octo-Copter
Moved back to Portland Oregon in the local Autodesk office. We move to our new downtown building in April 2018. First Year Back in Oregon
Mapped the USS Arizona in 3D and coral in Kalaupapa Molokai with the US National Park Service and Autodesk’s Pete Kelsey.
Creating 3D Models of the USS Arizona and USS Utah Using Underwater Photogrammetry
Using LiDAR and Aerial LiDAR mapping in 3d of amazing sustainable bamboo architecture in Bali for a chapter in the Autodesk Book Future of Making.
The Future of Making
My unofficial morning AU5k runs became an official AU event! We had over 200 running at AU early in the morning.
Autodesk University 2017 Day 1
There have been so many good memories over the years including water fights in Civic Center offices and the weekly beer busts to get employees together and collaborate and learn something as well enjoy beer and pizza. Those on the AutoCAD Team early days will re,member my weekly internal reports communicating beta feedback and also encouraging people to read the reports by doing bad Photoshop fun on colleagues.
I have made so many life long friends from colleagues, partners, and customers in the past 20 years, thank you. Autodesk has been more than a job or an adventure – it has been my family. If you are ever in Portland or I'm at an event near you, please come say “hello.”