Editor's Window

31 May, 2008 By: Amy Stankiewicz

Reflecting on 25 years of advancements for our publication and our industry to celebrate where we've been — and to anticipate where we're going.

It's always interesting to look back on something after a decade, or in this particular case, a quarter century, has passed. Hindsight gives you the chance to view details in a broader, more objective manner, and allows you to see things that you might very well have missed along the way.

Take, for example, the astounding success of Autodesk. What might the founding fathers of this technological venture be thinking today? Are they amazed at their impeccable timing when they decided to focus solely on developing a fledgling computerized drafting package and push other, potentially more popular, development efforts aside? What prompted them to make this decision, even in light of the hardware and storage obstacles that plagued that time period and quite possibly could have resulted in the demise of their initial undertakings? Is it really all a matter of something as simple as luck? What makes companies like Autodesk and Microsoft and Google and so many others excel to levels never thought possible in the technological world?

Again, hindsight often helps to put these questions, as well as their possible answers, into perspective. We can learn from the answers we obtain, maybe even gain a better understanding of how decisions have affected our successes or failures. This is one reason why, in celebration of Cadalyst's 25th year of publication, we've decided to dedicate this issue to looking back on the triumphs and trials that have shaped our magazine, the CAD software industry, and the hardware arena throughout the past quarter century.

We want you to participate in this retrospective as well. On page 30 of this special anniversary issue, we've published quotations from various industry leaders and Cadalyst writers in response to the question, "What do you see as the biggest technological challenge facing AEC and/or manufacturing professionals in the coming decade?" Drawing upon the lessons they've learned from the past several decades, these individuals have offered their vision of the MCAD and AEC industries as they see them 10 years from now.

Lean and green manufacturing practices, the rising popularity of social networking sites, increasing globalization in response to economic changes, and the growing challenge of sharing information across disparate enterprises are just a few of the trends these leaders see impacting the coming years. You can remark on any of these answers or provide your own vision of the future by visiting and leaving your comments today.

Cadalyst began nearly 25 years ago in Nelson, British Columbia, when two men purchased three seats of AutoCAD and, in the process of becoming dealers for the micro-based CAD system, decided to publish a newsletter that provided answers to technical questions and offered a forum for fellow users to voice their suggestions for software improvements. Did Lionel Johnston and Eric Clough have any idea that their fledgling newsletter would flourish to become a premier source for CAD news and analysis for tens of thousands of readers around the world?

My guess is that they didn't. But it sure has been fun tracing the roots of our magazine's success from a small house in British Columbia to the respected industry resource it is today. It's provided valuable insight into what our readers have wanted since Cadalyst first appeared, and it's given us a good idea of how we can continue to anticipate your information needs as we move into the next quarter century of technology advancement and achievement.

Amy Stankiewicz
Editor-In-Chief, Cadalyst

About the Author: Amy Stankiewicz

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