“How do I get invited to a Revit Inside the Factory event?” is one of the most frequent questions I encounter. Inside the Factory (ITF) events take place in each of our Revit development locations – Boston, Bucharest and Shanghai. Pre-Covid, these were week-long in-person events where customers were invited to spend a week with the development teams working in the Autodesk office. Lately, our teams have hosted online sessions periodically with small groups of customers.
The purpose of the ITF event is to gather customer feedback on real-world projects utilizing new features that may or may not be included in the next Revit release. It is a way for developers to understand how customers are using Revit daily and determine the value of the features they are working on. It is also a way for customers to meet and interact with members of the Revit development team.
Here are a few ways to get involved and have your feedback heard:
- If you are interested in participating in the Preview Release and Inside the Factory events, email email@example.com or visit feedback.autodesk.com.
- If testing isn’t your thing, head on over to the Revit Ideas Board to add your votes or suggest new innovative Ideas for Revit.
- You can also check our Revit Trello Roadmap to vote on what our teams are working on, including those that originated from your Revit Ideas.
- Subscribe to the Revit Blog for further exploration into more Revit Ideas. Our product teams value your input and feedback!
The ITF Experience
I had the privilege of attending two ITF events in the former Waltham, MA office and in Boston. We met with the Revit developers and product managers throughout the week and tested features that were under development at the time. Multistory stairs was one feature that I had the privilege of testing that is now a capability in Revit. The ITF team also planned fun evening events like traditional candlepin bowling (see photo below) and made sure we were properly fueled with the best seafood around! We spent the week with about 15 new colleagues from around the world, and we got to know the people who work hard to make Revit better. I have also participated in a few of the online events. While very different from an in-person event (especially the food!), online ITF events are still a great way to interact directly with the product teams and others in the industry.
The Application Process
So, how does someone get invited to participate in an ITF event? I spoke with Angel Valez (Sr. Principal Engineer), Nicholas Seibert (Principal QA Analyst) and Tiff Buer (Executive Assistant – Building, Infrastructure and Design Products) about what it takes to become an Inside the Factory Insider.
First, join the Revit Preview Release (see blue block above). Inside the Factory events are posted in the Preview Release. The Preview Release gives you access to the beta version of the software as well as information on the features that are being developed. Spend some time perusing the forums there. Try out some of the features using the latest beta build of the software. This can be done either by downloading the beta version if available (it is recommended to do this on a separate machine from your working software…hey, stuff happens!) or try out the beta version on a virtual Frame environment – no download required. Post your feedback on the Preview Release forums. You will then be able to apply to attend an ITF event (the link to apply is on the Preview Release page). The more active you are in the beta version, the more likely you will be selected for an ITF session.
Of course, activity on the beta is not the only criteria that is used to select participants for a session. Selection is also dependent on the features that are being developed and the timing of the development. Structural features will usually be tested by customers in the structural field, for example. Features may be at different stages of development. Participant groups are diverse and try to include several job types, and a variety of company sizes and geographic areas.
Inside the Factory events are a great way to meet and interact with the Revit team here at Autodesk. The new ITF series will be starting later in April 2021. My positive experience with ITF was certainly a deciding factor for me when I decided to come work for Autodesk. I encourage everyone to explore any of the options available in the blue block above to give Revit feedback and to get to know the people who are working to improve Revit every day.