Family reunions are among the joys of summer. Like fresh sweet corn, backyard grilling and outdoor water parks, reunions are anticipated and enjoyed with the bursting fervor of ripe tomatoes on the vine.
National Instruments' annual user conference is a lot like a family reunion. In the August heat of Austin, Texas, engineers and academics from around the world gather together with NI developers each summer to stoke the ongoing conversation that makes NI's products so inherently evolutionary.
"The guys from NI that you talk to will give you a personal phone number and e-mail and work with you on any problem," says Adam Suchko, chief engineer at Engineering Concepts Unlimited, an electrical control equipment manufacturer in Fishers, Ind., as well as a high-school engineering instructor and a FIRST Robotics mentor. "In the days of endless phone menus to get to someone, NI stands pretty much as a bastion against corporate clutter," he says.
Yes, you can always rely on family.
This year's NIWeek saw the release of the newest version of NI's flagship product, Labview. Multicore processing features, statechart modules, a new library of OPC drivers, and a graphical approach to FPGA programming were celebrated in keynote presentations. But the big news was taking place in hallway conversations and lunch talk. Real-world users and NI staff exchanged ideas on existing releases and future developments.
Let's keep the dialogue going. What innovations would you like to see in the products you're using? How could your life as a member of Machine Builder Nation be made easier or more efficient?
You can tell us. We're all family.
Check out our report on what the extended family of attendees had to say at NIWeek.