17 Jun 2020

Susanna Holt's Advice to all Potential Forge Speakers at AU

Call for Proposals season for the first digital Autodesk University (AU) is nearing a close. There is less than a week left to submit your Forge Class Proposal by June 22, 2020, so don't delay. You've worked hard building great new solutions and applications with Forge. Autodesk and your professional peers want to hear about them!  For more information on submitting the perfect proposal, click here


Susanna Holt, Vice President of Autodesk Forge, was interviewed at last year's Forge DevCon. Watch the interview below to hear her insight on Digital Transformation as well as her experience and guidance to software engineers. 


We followed up with her this week, to seek further advice on Digital Transformation and why you should be a Forge Speaker at AU. Here is what she had to say:

It has been a few months since we checked in with you on Digital Transformation. With everything happening in the world today, how important is Digital Transformation for businesses and engineers?  

The importance of Digital Transformation has continued to increase since the last time we spoke - as we all expected it to. That development has been amplified by the pandemic and a greater need for people to work and collaborate remotely, and to embrace the cloud. While the use of the cloud and digital transformation is not quite the same thing, they are closely related, and it would be impossible to make good use of the cloud without some degree of digital transformation. I firmly believe that trend will not be reversed if and when we return to something resembling a post-pandemic world. The increase in usage of the cloud is also giving us valuable information about what kinds of workflows are most important for users, allowing us to develop those with a greater sense of urgency. 


Forge and businesses aren’t the only ones going through a Digital Transformation. Autodesk University is as well! What excites you most about the conference going digital?  

Indeed! First of all, this will be an opportunity to reach far more people than we have in the past, as the barrier to attending will be so much lower than it has been. Secondly, this gives us an opportunity to rethink the format of AU - which has been stable for a while. I don't know what the new format will look like, but I have high hopes of this being a great refresh. 


What advice would you give to speakers who are thinking of submitting a Class Proposal?  

The key point is to think of your audience. Who are they? What are they passionate about? What do they want to hear? And what are their blockers? And tell a story! As speakers, our job is about more than sharing content: we want to engage the audience so they know the time they spent with us was worth their while. When it comes to giving the actual presentation, be yourself. We are all learning how to engage virtually, and creating that connection with the audience in front of just a camera is challenging. We are all on this learning path together. 


I agree with Susanna - show your passion, be yourself, and engage with your peers! To submit your Forge Class Proposals click here.  If you are interested in viewing previous Forge classes and events click here

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