The Newbie's Guide to Autodesk University

Autodesk University (AU) is coming up in a couple of weeks so we thought we'd provide some tips for first timers. Every major software company has a big convention, but AU is the premier gathering for those dedicated to technological advancement in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space. If you want to be a major player in the game, this is the place to be.

Go to the keynote

The keynote is Autodesk's opportunity to inspire attendees with what they've been working on. There are big announcements, important speakers, and a look towards the future. The keynote will be on Tuesday, November 15 at 10:00 a.m. Warm up for this event by watching last year's keynote.

Learn to survive

Here are some survival tips that you'll need because 1) you'll be at a long conference and 2) it'll be in Las Vegas. First, wear comfortable shoes. I've never tracked how far I've walked but it's easily several miles each day. Second, bring a water bottle or you'll dry out. Third, you may want to consider stocking your room with Ibuprofen, Red Bull, and Gatorade – just in case you go out at night. Fourth, bring an external battery for your phone. Trust us, you'll need it.

About those classes...

Hopefully you've signed up already. If not, do it now. Entry to classes is controlled by your badge, which links to your photo in the AU database. You cannot crash classes or share badges.

What it's really about...

The most important aspect of Autodesk University is the chance to meet other people who are doing work similar to your work. Talk to as many people as you can, connect with them on LinkedIn, and ask them for advice. People attending AU are ready to help; they have the time because they're away from work, and it is a very collaborative environment. If someone you meet can't help you with a problem you're facing in your Autodesk world, they likely know someone who can.

Establish goals

You need to establish goals for your trip to AU. This is important because you will often be asked by others what you're looking for while you're there. It's much better to answer, "We're looking for a better way to write a GUI for our spooling work," than it is to say, "I don't know." In addition, when you ask your boss to go to AU next year, you'll want to have a record of your previous year's goals, how you achieved them, and how it translated into your work over the course of the year.

Autodesk University can be very overwhelming, but we hope you are able to learn and connect. Autodesk is, essentially, about collaboration, and that's what AU aims to facilitate.



As you may have noticed, we've been doing a lot of writing about the impact of computational BIM, generative design, and the future of how we work. One thing we haven't done is turn some of this thinking into more rigorous analysis. But now we're ready to do that! 

If you work for a general contractor, subcontractor, or design firm and want to collaborate on whitepapers that quantify how computational methods of working will change our industry, reach out to us and let’s talk about what we can do. We're open to collaborations worldwide and have lots of ways of measuring performance indicators to gain insight into change in our industry. Contact Brett Young at

Tags: BIM Autodesk Software

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