I was just one of a huge community of users & Autodeskers who participated in product alpha/beta discussions in MyFeedback. While much of what went on remains hidden behind a cloak of NDA here are a few notable memories;
The AU Plane: A MyFeedback competition, sponsored by the AutoCAD Platform Group, resulted a paper plane that flew all the way from New Zealand to Autodesk University. My, then six year old, niece thought I had gone mad trying to film a paper plane flying around the garden in the rain!
Finding a bug: This screen-shot from my home PC shows even fellow insects helped to find bugs in MyFeedback. Seems fitting it was a Mantis!
The Avatar Horrors; Changing avatars presented quite a challenge, the subject. My last one (above right with my stats) was me at a "Royal Style Banquet" in Viet Nam. Others have included:
The Benefits: Beta does take some time but there are also real commercial benefits. Several times I have completely changed my plans based on what I knew from beta discussions & trials. The best example of that was canning a planned reorganisation of our Store CAD folder structures. It would have been completed just months before Architectural Desktop 2004's Project Manager feature arrived. The new structure was based on Projects, seen in the beta, and their content management features which have saved countless hours updating store projects as content has evolved.
A glimpse behind the scenes: It can be frustrating when you see problems reported in the beta appear in release code, along with the frustrated user cries of "Why didn't this get found in beta?". Often they were seen and debated intensely behind the NDA firewall. However, one other benefit of MyFeedback involvement has been a glimpse of the shear effort involved in creating, releasing and maintaining complex applications.
It's amazing how an apparently simple fix can impact many aspects of the application, partner applications and even localisation. If nothing else you see these applications are not the output of a faceless corporation, but rather hardworking dedicated people striving to deliver the best product they can. It's also apparent that many factors, not just technical, can impact their ability to do so...
The Community: Thanks to all who were involved running and participating in MyFeedback. It's been a privilege working with you, meeting some at Autodesk University and cad events closer to home. In fact I "met" several Kiwi cad users on MyFeedback long before meeting them in person! While most posts were project related MyFeedback really was a community of beta users with personal (wedding, baby etc) and off-topic threads tolerated by the beta teams. I hope some of that will happen in the new space.
The Future: If you are a MyFeedback user accounts will not be automatically migrated. Both existing and new people who want to be involved should sign up at: http://beta.autodesk.com