26 Sep 2018

The Forge DevCon 'Forge Basics' track

Forge DevCon Las Vegas is just around the corner – just over a month to go! (Eek – don’t leave it too late to register and sign up for classes, or all the best classes will be full). And its Forge DevCon classes that are the topic of this post.

Kean Walmsley's excellent post in his Through the Interface blog about his role as content lead for the Forge DevCon ‘Complementary Technologies’ track has embarrassed me into writing a post of my own about one of the tracks I’ve been managing for Forge DevCon – what we in the DevCon team call the ‘Forge Basics’ track. This track is intended to cover general Forge topics: from helping people who are just getting started with Forge to demonstrating advanced Forge usage tips and techniques.

Looking at the Forge DevCon class roster as a whole (Monday classes, Tuesday classes), the division between our different ‘tracks’ is extremely blurred – nearly every class could arguably feature in more than one of our tracks, but we simplify class selection by allocating each Track Lead a ‘budget’ of class spots they’re allowed to select, and then reviewing everyone’s selections together at the end to ensure we have good coverage. We started with the 400 Forge-related class proposals submitted to the combined Forge DevCon and AU Las Vegas Call For Proposals, and the Track Leads’ combined ranked selections brought this down to about 50 classes. Making those cuts was already really hard, but then Shawn Gilmour (Director for Forge Product Management) and I had to reduce those 50 down to our final 35 Forge DevCon classes to be scheduled on Monday November 12 and Tuesday November 13th in Las Vegas. This was incredibly frustrating, as we had to reject some very compelling proposals to do that. (Happily, a few of the classes that didn’t quite make the Forge DevCon cut were picked up by Track Leads for some of the Autodesk University Tracks, and others by our Forge DevCon Germany team).

(An example of the blurred lines between our tracks is that if our AEC and Design & Manufacturing Track Leads hadn’t selected the proposals for Design Automation for Revit and Design Automation for Inventor classes, then I would certainly have added them to the Forge Basics track).

Because of these blurred lines, I won’t give you a list of all the classes that might fall under the Forge Basics banner. Instead, here are my top four “don’t miss” Forge Basics classes at Forge DevCon:

  1. FDC227961 – “Building for the Future: Forge Roadmap”. If you only attend one class at Forge DevCon, then this is the one. Shawn Gilmour, Director for Forge Product Management) will be presenting his annual ‘state of the platform’ presentation, explaining what we’ve added and enhanced since last year’s conference, and what we plan to add in the coming 6-12 months. This class was so popular last year that some people couldn’t get in. That’s why this year we’re scheduling it twice – as the first and last classes on Monday – and in a room with a 300 person capacity. Even so, sign up early, because the combined Forge DevCon and Connect & Cosntruct Summit attendance is likely to exceed 2000.
  2. SD224712 – “Build your Forge Application on the AWS Cloud”. Many experts at writing addins for Autodesk desktop products come to Forge DevCon to accelerate migrating their excellent desktop programming skills to web application development. This means you’re not just trying to learn Forge – you’re also trying to learn how to build and host a reliable, scalable and secure web application. This 90 minute class will walk you through the steps you need to know to build such a Forge application using AWS infrastructure. AWS are the official Cloud Sponsor for Forge DevCon, and the AWS developer advocate team collaborated in creating the samples for this class to ensure the examples presented are ‘best in class’.
  3. FDC196412 – “Creating Flexible Offline Workflows using Autodesk Forge”. A very common use case we’re asked about is how to architect a Forge application so that it can be run in a temporary offline disconnected mode, and then resynchronize with the server when reconnected. This is very useful, for example, if you want to take a model to a construction site, view it and mark it up onsite, and then save the markups when you get back to the office. This class shows you how to do this simply and efficiently.
  4. SD226781 – “Advanced Techniques for Using the Forge Viewer”. By far the most popular use for Forge is customizing the Forge Viewer in order to display additional information about a model; for example, color coding model elements or displaying hotspots to highlight issues, using heatmaps to display simulation results, or animating the model to create assembly/disassembly instructions. This class will demonstrate many of these techniques and leave you with a library of sample code that you can use in your own applications.

See you in Vegas! :-)





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