This is a two-part series covering last week’s Autodesk DevCon in Munich. I ended up choosing to write the series chronologically - so readers get a sense of the event’s flow - and found it was long enough to split into two: there was just so much to talk about!
On arrival at the central bus station I walked across to my friend’s place near Goetheplatz. It was conveniently located for the event: it would have been a 40-minute walk, so the following morning I opted to take a Lime e-scooter out to the Holiday Inn Westpark. (While it was a fun way to get there, I'm really not sure how the economics stack up. For a 20-minute ride it was €6.40, where public transport would have been quicker and cheaper at €3.70. It's probably better for some situations, but Munich has a very decent public transport network.)
The event was fully sold out, which is great. It’s been so long since we’ve had a centralized DevCon in Europe and it’s great to see there’s still strong demand.
After grabbing a coffee and catching up with folks I headed into the general session. There was a great crowd with lots of familiar faces.
The first day was kicked off formally by Emile Kfouri, our Senior Director of Platform Engineering Developer Ecosystem.
Here’s the agenda for that initial session.
Ben Cochran, our VP of Developer Enablement, presented Autodesk’s Design & Make Platform Vision.
It was a nice surprise to see my Autodesk Research colleague, Adam Gaier, take the stage to tell audience about our work on AI.
I’m very excited about the work being done by the AI Lab at Autodesk Research and I was pleased with how much information Adam was able to share about these efforts.
The first few sessions were in a slightly cut-down version of the general session space (but probably with nearly as many people attending).
There were a lot of QR codes shown for various platform features, and lots of scanning going on.
Lunch was very good, both in terms of the food and the company. I had the chance to have a nice long chat with some old friends, Frank Prekwinkel and Claus Mueller.
After lunch there was a session by Tobias Hathorn on our Data Exchange APIs, A very interesting topic.
Chris presented a number of interesting slides, including this mid-term view of the Forma platform roadmap.
The last break-out of the day that I poked my nose into was Augusto Goncalves’ session on the AEC Data Model.
With the learning out of the way, it was time for the evening event. I headed across with Peter Schlipf to help make sure things were ready for the buses of participants to arrive. It turned out that because the parking was so tricky - it was the last weekend of the summer holidays, so lots of people were making the most of the last few rays of sun - we ended up being beaten there by a few of the buses. Ah well.
As the buses were all there a little early, we did have to wait to get onto the boat that had been rented for the evening. People were very patient and mostly seemed happy enough to have the time to chat. At 7pm we were allowed to board:
It was a nice opportunity to hang out with members of the Autodesk team as well as the non-Autodesk attendees. Here’s a shot of Adam Nagy looking a little serious. (It’s the only one I managed to take of him, otherwise I’d post one of him smiling, which he almost always is.)
I also spent some time chatting with Håkon Dissen and Håkon Fure, both from the Forma team in Oslo. (Chris did warn us during his afternoon session that Håkon is a very common name in both Norway and the Forma team.)
The sunset was spectacular.
Dinner was a buffet, and people could choose to sit inside or out. I enjoyed being outside - it was such a beautiful evening to be out on the water.
After dinner was over we hopped onto the buses and headed back to the Holiday Inn Westpark. I admit I did end up stopping at the hotel bar for one last beer (and thankfully only one) before taking the U-Bahn back to my friend’s place to sleep.
In the next post I’ll talk about DevCon Munich day 2 and some thoughts about the overall event.