Yesterday evening I attended the first Onshape Boston User Group meeting. The meeting was organized in the Onshape office in Cambridge. I’ve been in this office many times before. My main interest in this meeting was to learn more about communities in the era of cloud systems. And specifically engineering communities. The majority of engineers are such introverts and would prefer that everyone will leave them alone. So, having an online cloud system is perfect. You can think that matched with online resources is everything you need. What can be the value of the local meetings between people? Or.. what can be the value of local reseller for CAD software? These are questions I had a meeting when I was heading to the meeting.
The meeting was kicked off by Richard Doyle. Knowing him for a long time as the “CAD guy” running Solidworks user group for 20 years, it was good to see him now working on Onshape community. He knows a lot about CAD communities.
Paul Chastel, Onshape VP R&D about Onshape foundation, updates, and tech.
Coming to Onshape office is always the opportunity to meet Onshape team and listen to first hand from them about Onshape.
Ty Tremblay, the leader of Boston Onshape group, also known as “the guy who registered first” shared FRC Team experience with Onshape. If you want to learn more about what FRC does with Onshape, go to Onshape public docs – everything is shared there.
Each Onshape user and team might have slightly different insights on what is the value of Onshape. You can find this one interesting.
What is my conclusion? The Internet can give us a bigger reach and expand our connection. But, the real-life community matters. I think this is good news for many people in CAD communities. Local group and face to face contacts make a difference. That was the conclusion of the meeting. The difference with cloud software is that software can follow people and not vice versa. You can bring your design from the browser and show it to people even if your office is 50 miles from the meeting. Software is moving to the cloud, but people are staying local. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.