As part of the restructuring that went on at Autodesk, last week, I have a new role. This isn’t a bad thing, thankfully: in fact it’s the opposite… it’s something I’ve been working towards for several years.
I’ve been in the AutoCAD team for the last 4 years and was in the Autodesk Developer Network team for my 16+ years at Autodesk prior to that. These were great environments for me, for quite different reasons, but my ultimate interests lie in where the company (and the broader industry) is heading, technology-wise… one reason I’ve always felt drawn to the work done by our Office of the CTO (OCTO).
So it is, as of this week, I’m now working in a team that belongs to OCTO: to Autodesk Research. This is really a dream come true for me. I first considered this direction when I was still based in the Bay Area, 13 or so years ago, before Autodesk had a dedicated research arm (this came with the acquisition of Alias, back in 2006). While I haven’t necessarily been pursuing a role in that organisation actively, since then, it certainly feels like I’m moving to a place I belong. I’m passionate about Autodesk’s vision for the future and want to play a part in shaping it.
What does it mean, from a day to day perspective? While I know the team I’ll be reporting into – the awesomely named Complex Systems Research team, headed by Azam Khan – there are still minor details that have yet to be ironed out… my immediate manager, my specific job title, etc. I expect to continue writing this blog – bloggers Shaan Hurley and Scott Sheppard both belong to OCTO, for instance – but I’ll also be hands on in areas in which I’m extremely interested: the Internet of Things and Augmented/Virtual Reality. Autodesk Research is investigating both these fields, and it’s my sincere hope to play an important role in their exploration. I also expect to use the opportunity to work more closely with local academic institutions here in Switzerland (and hopefully elsewhere in Europe).
There’s a good chance the focus of this blog will end up shifting, somewhat – I’ll naturally be spending more time away from AutoCAD – but I hope that readers will still find it interesting to come here to find out what I’m up to and where Autodesk is heading. I’m definitely excited about the future!
(In case you’re wondering about the above photo… my 11 year-old son is a Pixlr Express power user. Some of the fun he’s been having – such as using it to give virtual tattoos to all his classmates – inspired me to play around with it, myself. In fairness I feel I should really be welcoming OCTO with open arms, rather than trying to fend it off, though… ;-)