Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why was not this simple thing fixed or added to AutoCAD 2009?

Don't underestimate the work needed to implement something new for a large company like Autodesk.

Now that AutoCAD 2009 is on your desktop or installed you might wonder why didn't Autodesk fix this or that or add this simple thing that would save my day. Take a look at the newsgroups and you'll see proof of that.

I looked at the list of people behind AutoCAD 2008 that is showing in the hidden easter egg and found the following:

118 Software Development
59 Test Development
7 Integration and Build
18 User Assistance
16 Product Design
15 Product Management & Marketing
9 Project Management
38 World Wide Localization
3 Beta Team
11 Interns
7 Special Helpers
9 Senior Management

The AutoCAD 2009 team is probably in the same size.

So here is one small wish I have listed on my AutoCAD 2009 page:
"Saveall command should respect the Options setting to save in another version."

How much work can it be?

It might look like this in no specific list order:

  • One developer to spend five minutes implementing the change.
  • Activate the Beta Team so some guinea pigs can give it a try outside the walls of Autodesk.
  • One program manager to write the specification.
  • One localization expert to review the specification for localizability issues.
  • One usability expert to review the specification for accessibility and usability issues.
  • At least one dev, tester and PM to brainstorm security vulnerabilities.
  • One PM to add the security model to the specification.
  • One tester to write the test plan.
  • One test lead to update the test schedule.
  • One tester to write the test cases and add them to the nightly automation.
  • Three or four testers to participate in an ad hoc bug bash.
  • One technical writer to write the documentation.
  • One technical reviewer to proofread the documentation.
  • One copy editor to proofread the documentation.
  • One documentation manager to integrate the new documentation into the existing body of text, update tables of contents, indexes, etc.
  • Eleven translators to translate the documentation and error messages into all the languages supported by AutoCAD.The managers for the translators probably live in in other countries like China and Europe, which are both severely time-shifted from the HQ, so dealing with them can be a fairly complex logistical problem.
  • A team of senior managers to coordinate all these people, write the cheques, and justify the costs to their Vice President.
  • Still wondering? Hopefully not that much now.

    I was thinking about the post Is Eeyore Designing Your Software? when I wrote this.

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