This is version 2:00 updated based on cbutchers input.
Brain is still working!
In the last blog I talked about the importance of self-determination as one of the important reasons for starting organisations like GDevCon. I thought this article might be a good place to do a brain dump on the LabVIEW Eco-system.
In my mind the above diagram visualises the LabVIEW eco-system. We have new users being generated through education both formal and informal hopefully ending up being engineers with their first project.
These engineers have been told by their managers that "LabVIEW is easy" and tasked with making these expensive anonymous looking bricks, cards and racks work. They are tense about this, and will make purchasing decisions related to how tense they feel.
They will be looking to the community of experienced users for some form of support, this community could be graded by accessibility. I would suggest that currently conference and user groups cater mostly for the quite experienced user. The beginner would currently probably dip their toes into the eco-system via tech support and the forums.
Finally is NI R&D Internal Expertise. The experienced users should be feeding issues, making suggestions and commenting on ideas into this. Helping to solve difficult problems and seed new concepts for NI products, keeping new people interested.
I appreciate some of these interface points have changed of late (<-- being very kind here), this is more about how it should work, rather than how it currently works.
I'm not really going to comment on the introductory phase apart from to explain this is generally for non-commercial enthusiasts, this is essential for keeping the eco-system renewed, diverse and fresh. There's people much better placed than me that can talk about all of this section. Just know that I think we should love it a bit more!
My current focus is the engineer starting out on his NI journey. I think these people are really important!
People don't judge a language by it's syntax, they judge on how much help they get when learning or in trouble.
A lot of hardware is pretty worthless without the associated software. Fear of failing to convert card into system will push purchasers to take the safe choice (think oscilloscope vs digitiser)
A failed project will taint the reputation of the company/language forever in the engineer.
If successful the join the experienced users and new people are a good thing.
I also think this section is not being served particularly well at the moment and I have ideas/plans about this.
I sit amongst the experienced users and I currently feel that it is pretty well served. The user group scene is active if not thriving (post COVID), independent conferences are doing OK in Europe we're growing at a steady 12% per event and the GLA Summit works well in the virtual space. Other people can comment on tech support and the forums I assume they are working satisfactorily.
And the final section is Internal NI R&D, I used to know people in R&D, currently I don't. The Champions group is still pushing opinions upwards. IMO I would like a closer connection between experienced users and R&D. I would like to see this happen at GDevCon or CLA Summits (i.e. in person).
It would be interesting to redraw the diagram with thicker/thinner lines to indicate how well the interfaces are operating.
I'm planning to talk about conference/event ideas in the next article. Just going to let my imagination go mad and talk about finances and sustaining the organisations.