You may have already noticed that my blogging activity has slowed recently. Late last year I moved into a new role – Vice President of eBusiness – here at NI. I’ll be responsible for ni.com and many of the internal systems and processes for publishing, e-commerce, user community, and communicating with our end-users. Obviously, now that I am no longer in the middle of day-to-day LabVIEW activity and decisions, I don’t have as much to say in my “Inside LabVIEW” blog.
I worked with the LabVIEW team for past 7 years. During that time, we tried a lot, learned a lot, and continued to build out the platform in many directions. Somewhere along the way, we realized that the “add-on” modules like Real-Time and FPGA were becoming core to the product, and we could no longer treat them as add-ons. We got a lot more serious about release cadence and alignment of all the moving parts to the platform. We kicked off a stronger focus on partners and add-on development. And we’ve driven a stronger focus on upgrading, compatiblity, and performance. I think you’ll like a lot of what’s coming in the near future with LabVIEW.
Many of you have shared with me your appreciation for us trying to be more open with our communication. I think the voice of the customer is being heard loud and clear today – whether its through formal tools like the Idea Exchange on ni.com, or through more informal channels. We’ve also started building a team of Field Architects to evangelize best practices and common approaches to application development, and I think that group is on the verge of starting a blog to spread the knowledge. I’m looking forward to that effort continuing to develop. You should see great things out of them. I’ll be sure to post a link as soon as something gets published.
Earlier this week, I snuck into the back of the room during an introductory hands-on seminar that we were conducting at a university. As I was sitting there watching the most basic concepts of LabVIEW and graphical programming being explained, and saw the students start to grasp the language, it struck me how innovative and cool the basic concept of LabVIEW is, and how even today – 25 years later- it still captures the imagination of scientists and engineers. Working so closely on all of the big, important, and complicated challenges of LabVIEW for so long made it a little too easy to lose site of the basic value and innovation that’s still core to the product. We’ll continue to drive LabVIEW into new applications and new technologies, but we’ll never lose site of that core value and innovation of graphical programming. Perhaps everyone at NI should be required to teach a hands-on seminar at least once each year to make sure we always see the wonder of LabVIEW with our own eyes again.
Looking forward, if there is one software “product” that is as complex, important, and used as much as LabVIEW by our customers, its probably ni.com. Feel free to drop me a note with any thoughts on how you use our Web site, what you like about it, and how it can be improved. I’m looking forward to the day that I can bring this blog back to life as the “Inside ni.com” blog – but for now, I’m starting with an internal blog to communicate about our roadmaps and vision. Like LabVIEW, everyone at NI has ideas and suggestions for the Web site – so I’ll be spending a lot of time aligning internally in the near term.