Run up to Christmas 2016

It’s been a busy few months running up to Christmas. A trip to Autodesk University in Las Vegas, followed by a family holiday to Centerparcs Cumbria. This left 3 working weeks for me running up to my Christmas break which starts today (Friday 16th December). This blog post is a quick round up of what I’ve been up to the last few weeks!

Autodesk University

I was extremely lucky to go to Autodesk University in Las Vegas this year. I went to 3 of the 4 days of the conference so that I was’t away from my family for the whole week. The main purpose of the trip was to demonstrate how NBS and Autodesk technologies can come together to offer innovative solutions to our customers. I also wanted to find out more about the Forge platform, find out more about where it’s going, what the pricing model is etc and generally make some support contacts. I also wanted to attend some of the classes, visit the exhibitors and hopefully come away with a good haul of free stuff 🙂

I have to admit, the whole event was a total whirlwind for me. Las Vegas is an amazing place, but totally unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. Everything is massive and over-the-top. The venue and hotel I stayed at, the Venetian, for example was home of the famous shopping arcade with gondolas in it!

The conference was equally as huge – around 10,000 atendees – milling about a huge exhibition hall, classes, breakout areas, and labs. After a jam packed day starting at 8am, there were loads of after conference parties, the highlight being the AU party on the promenade. In a bar with a bowling alley and a tremendous 80’s tribute band, with a slightly politically incorrect name of The Spazmatics.

On the whole I got a lot out of the conference. I’m a big fan of going to conferences to get out of the office and see what’s going on in the industry. I especially liked seeing the advances in 3D printing, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining, Augmented Reality an Virtual Reality – hopefully I’ll get a chance to do something in this area in the next year or two.

Forge prototype

We got a load of good feedback from Autodesk off the back of Autodesk University so over the last few weeks I’ve been adding additional functionality to our Forge viewer prototype to get it ready for a private beta test at some point next year. I’ve also learnt a load about VueJS – the JavaScript framework I used to help with some of the logic. I used VueJS 1.0 – but still have a blog or two on how to communicate between components and how to get plain JavaScript code to update Vue observables – so watch this space!

New technologies and what to expect in 2017

As well as Forge, we’ve been planning the next year at work. In the new year I’ll be working on a few exciting projects that will look to use latest technologies to push our specification products on. I’m hoping for opportunities to do quite a few blog posts on graph databases, AngularJS 2 and more.

And finally…

On reflection, 2016 has been a fantastic year – at work I got the opportunity to visit Milan, San Francisco and Las Vegas. I worked on projects that used new technologies to me such as RFID readers, and technologies such as Forge. Outside of work, my wife gave birth to our baby girl, Chloe Eve Smith, who completes my wonderful family. 2017 looks to be challenging but extremely exciting times to be both in software development and working at NBS.