When I talk with other graphical designers and hardware gurus here in Austin and mention that this is my first NIWeek, their eyes light up. “I still remember my first NIWeek! How do you like it?” they ask. Across the board our first impressions match: there are just so many people here, from all corners of the world, who are involved with LabVIEW! That may sound obvious and trivial, but really it’s exciting to meet other developers, to listen to the projects they’ve accomplished using LabVIEW and attend packed question and answer sessions with NI engineers.
Not only do we get a first-hand first look at brand new products (as Darren mentioned yesterday) but attendees have a rare opportunity to rub shoulders with the engineers who make it all happen. That’s right, yesterday I attended sessions hosted by two of the people responsible for DAQmx Timing VIs and the guy behind the inline subVI compile.
My main focus is attending as many technical sessions as possible. I’m using this time to quickly gain knowledge of technologies we’re actively working with; most of the things I come across this week can immediately be put to use on current projects. So far I’ve learned about easy ways to implement tiered error-handling, creating disk images to better manage RT targets, cleaner ways to synchronize multiple devices, and the pitfalls of dynamically allocating memory during RT runtime. Other items, while not project specific, expand my LabVIEW knowledge (and are just plain interesting): utilizing Variant attributes to cleverly search information, better understanding of the LabVIEW compiler and tools to benchmark and identify inefficient code.
I’m also happy to report many of the “good practices” NI is championing are already being implemented by our LabVIEW team at DMC. Things like modular, flexible programming of state machines, TDMS as a preferred data storage format, thorough Failure Mode Analysis and using TCP/IP to interface with deployed RT code are all items brought to my attention within my first weeks at DMC.
So far this has been a great experience. I'm thrilled to be here at NIWeek and look forward to attending even more sessions today and tomorrow.