In March, Autodesk will host Autodesk Cloud Accelerator 2015. The two week program is designed to attract creative developers to leverage Autodesk APIs and cloud services. As the January 17th program application deadline approaches, ProgrammableWeb caught up with Stephen Preston, Autodesk Senior Manager for Developer Evangelism. First, Preston gave us the 30 second elevator pitch for Cloud Accelerator:
"The Autodesk Cloud Accelerator will allow participants to spend quality time working on a project that makes use of Autodesk cloud APIs (View & Data, BIM 360, Fusion 360, AutoCAD I/O etc.) while benefiting from help and advice from Autodesk cloud development experts. It’s an ideal opportunity to get away from the daily grind to work on building a new cloud-based product. The Accelerator will be held in the Autodesk San Francisco office on March 9th-20th."
Next, Preston shared where Cloud Accelerator came from. We asked if there was a certain problem Autodesk looked to address through Cloud Accelerator. Preston addressed:
"Autodesk has always designed software products as platforms that can be easily customized and extended through the comprehensive APIs they expose. That philosophy hasn’t changed for the new cloud platforms we’re developing. However, because these are new, we want to give a helping hand to early adopters of our cloud platform APIs – that may be experienced cloud developers who are new to Autodesk or developers experienced with Autodesk software products who are new to the cloud."
Autodesk seeks 14 developers to join the program. Autodesk will look for developers who have already engendered a creative idea and have the motivation to tackle a project. Preston described three benefits a developer will receive from Cloud Accelerator:
- Learning – the program includes daily presentations and discussions led by industry experts
- Master tools of the trade – get immersed in important aspects of cloud development
- 1-on-1 help – get help from Autodesk Cloud Engineering experts in real time
For the 14 participants, Preston expects a self-fulfilling reward. He explained:
"I’m looking for applicants with commercially viable ideas. I hope that most of the participants will go on to develop real products from the prototypes they create during the accelerator."
Applicants must have an idea in mind when applying. The viability of the idea will weigh heavily in the selection process. Preston expanded:
"‘The Cloud’ enables people to share and visualize design data in ways that have never before been possible. Therefore, I’m looking for proposals that are innovative; that are commercially viable; and that are feasible (given the expected coverage of our APIs now and in the near future). The proposals must make use of an Autodesk cloud platform API."
Cloud Accelerator 2015 is the first event of this nature that Autodesk has hosted. Preston hopes 2015 marks the first event of many to come. To measure success, Autodesk will consider both short term and long term metrics. Preston described:
"The short term success measure is that most or all of the participants will have a prototype they can demonstrate by the end of the two week program. The longer term measure is that some of these prototypes go on to become commercial products."