Autodesk DevCon 2024


Last week I attended Autodesk DevCon 2024 in Munich. This event, directed mostly towards the IT world - programmers and developers, is also very popular between power users of Autodesk products. Being in a rare position of checking both boxes I knew I had to attend this event. I decided to share with you some of my notes from lectures and discussions (formal and informal):

  1. Autodesk Platform Services – It was the main subject of this conference. While Autodesk invests in cloud-based platforms, it also opens them to the other developers. With the use of APIs it gives them a possibility to create new features or extend existing ones by using data, or other tools, from various platforms made by Autodesk.
  2. During discussions with power users, most of them were suspicion of this idea. They explained that they pay for the software, so they expect to have workable programs, which are better every year. Because of that attitude (+well known luddite approach towards technology in AEC), software developers I spoke with, expressed deep concerns about making significant investments in AEC, without a clear ROI.
  3. As a maker of Drafter, plugin for Revit, I very often encounter this problem. People are happy with features of my tools but expect them to be a part of Revit. In extreme cases, the idea of paying extra is even hostile to them. Because of that, it is not the easiest environment to develop new tools and I am very curious to see how this situation in the industry will progress.
  4. Autodesk Forma – In the opinion of power users lack of elementary functions is a reason why Forma is not wildly used in architectural offices. “At one moment we tried it, but we couldn’t do something simple so we swapped back to Revit.” Still, majority of them plan to use it again at some point in the future.
  5. Autodesk Forma - After seeing a presentation about making add-ins for Forma, I promised myself to make a small add-in for it – It looked so easy and its APIs so nice!
  6. Autodesk App Store – There is a discussion at Autodesk about extending possibilities of it to include Revit Families, templates etc. I had a chance to take part in this discussion. We concentrated on what formats should be included in it and how to protect IP rights. I think any developments in this area will have a significant impact on how we use Revit.
  7. Autodesk App Store – There was consensus between developers, that it needs to be further developed and we need more modern way of using it.
  8. PowerBI connector is so cool.
  9. Lack of people – One of the big problems in the AEC industry is and will be a lack of talented individuals. Autodesk hopes to mitigate it by introducing more automation and more connectivity.
  10. Autodesk DevCon is for everyone. It is not hard, and most presentations were introductory to the topics. Some people complained about it while other said it was a good thing.
Written on June 8, 2024