Autodesk, leading the back of the pack!

by Rob Galanakis on 26/11/2011

A recent discussion on G+ prompted this blog post (which I’ve edited to make more sense in this context and took out the rant target’s name).

His insistence on using MEL over python isn’t “sticking to his guns”, this is harmful conservatism. It would be one thing if a TA said, ‘I don’t want to code in python.’ I’d say, “Fine, that’s foolish, here’s why python is better, you’re going to have trouble finding a job, but whatever dude.” But he isn’t a regular TA, he is a Senior User Experience Designer at Autodesk. His actions, inactions, preferences, and opinions, ultimately impact me directly. When a middleware company releases new technology, I expect thorough tutorials, I expect support, and expertise. I expect technology companies to lead a path forward- I am presumably using their technology because they can do a better job creating it than I can and I should have faith in them to understand the space. When senior personnel who are supposed to be experts in user experience provide none of this, because they have avoided learning and embracing the necessary skills, that is, to me, no longer just kidding and becomes a cause for real concern. It’s yet another symptom of the instituional incompetence (or malevolence?) that has characterized Autodesk over the past several years.

Could things be worse? Yes, he could be yet another Autodesk manager that comes out only to post a link to some shitty tech we never asked for. Instead, he at least is part of the community. That, to me, is the most important thing. But it doesn’t obscure the serious issues with his exclusively MEL approach.

There are 3 comments in this article:

  1. 27/11/2011Dmitry says:

    That’s really bad, thanks for sharing though.

    The fact that Maya is out of date is becoming more and more obvious. When I’m talking to Autodesk guys on GDC while “new” Maya version demos, I can’t really understand do they really believe that e.g. new QT interface is a something we are waiting for? And when I see comment lines in default crappy Script Editor in pure _red_ color, I start to think they don’t know a thing about real life.

  2. 27/11/2011Annie Harper says:

    I didn’t want to sidetrack the G+ form on this topic, the discussion you two were having was pretty heavy. Rob, you and he who must not be named are both very intelligent men. You both had very valid points, and I in no way mean to demean either viewpoint.

    I do want to say though, I think a lot of that was cheerful banter that got taken very seriously very quickly. I don’t support obstinately sticking to outdated methods any more than anyone else, but I do have a habit of using sarcasm and teasing to diffuse heated discussions.

  3. 28/11/2011Rob Galanakis says:

    First I know it’s unfair to post this rant in a place he’s not likely to respond, and he has responded on G+, so kudos to him.

    Annie I understand what you’re saying but what you see as banter is passive-aggressiveness. It is a tragedy that once we know someone at Autodesk we are afraid to criticize them outright. Very easy to blame the big faceless corporation, and for their part, our friends at Autodesk aren’t tools (or they wouldn’t be our friends). But if you’re not going to speak up about things when a person or people there are listening, when are you going to speak up about it (even if you sound like a dick)?

    I’m not surprised Autodesk is as institutionally incompetent as they are. The nature of their relationships with their userbase reinforces it: the management relationships are as incompetent and unrepresentative as you’d expect them to be, and when developers know each other, we’re afraid to criticize.

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