Dilbert and the Cloud

I have an Autodesk-related Dilbert story to share. Back in the late 90s, I was visiting Autodesk’s San Rafael offices (at Autodesk’s expense) and had an appointment to see a product manager. There was some confusion when I arrived at Reception, but after a few phone calls I was shown into a meeting room containing the manager and a lot of other Autodesk people. However, the open mouths told me that they were¬†discussing very confidential stuff. They were clearly shocked and horrified that an outsider had been allowed into that particular room at that particular time, even though I had signed an NDA and was due to spend that day giving some important future software a very thorough going-over.

The manager quickly shuffled me off to his own office and let me know he would be back as soon as the meeting concluded. I waited a while, staring into space. I did this for a while, but eventually got very bored and looked around for something to read to keep myself amused. Ignoring what was probably a lot of highly confidential paperwork, I discovered a Dilbert book and proceeded to read it. I became a fan right there and then. I also found myself respecting a manager who could see the funny side of the sort of management stupidity that is so effectively and bitingly satirised by Scott Adams. Somebody who buys a Dilbert book, I thought, is the sort of manager I can happily work with.

When he eventually returned, I thanked him for the uninvited use of his book and asked him what he thought of it. It turned out that he hadn’t bought the book himself. It had been presented to him as a gift. From his underlings.

Oh dear.

Fortunately, he hadn’t yet read it. I wonder if he ever did?

By the way, that manager is still with Autodesk. In fact, he has done rather well in that environment and is now a Senior Vice President. I wonder if his responsibilities include CAD on the Cloud? If so, he may be interested to read this Dilbert comic strip.

I love this comment from BlaDiBla3:

As IT manager I’m being pestered by management along the lines of the comic today.

I’ve found a partial solution I’d like to share:
When a director proposed to move standard Office applications to the cloud, I finally said:
“That’s a very good idea. You should be the first to migrate end use nothing else for a week”.
That project has now been canceled…

There’s an intriguing thought. Next time you’re at a presentation and an Autodesk representative is all gung-ho about the Cloud, ask them to fire up AutoCAD WS and do some real drawing work with it. Shouldn’t need a whole week to get the point across.

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