Saturday, April 15, 2017

Opinion: My Take on the designtech DynAwards for Dynamo Packages

By Tim Grimm

I think the recently announced designtech DynAwards are an outstanding idea. I think that Mark Thorley and the other folks at put a lot of thought into it, and appreciate the breakdown of 41 nominees in 8 categories ranging from "big hitters" to "unsung heroes". Even though I try to keep up on these things, most of the nominees were unknown to me.

I also liked that, in the announcement, they included Twitter handles for most of the nominees, making it easy to follow many of the movers and shakers in the Dynamo community.

I was disappointed to read today in a post by John Pierson, who's a nominee, that there were "mixed feelings" about the awards by some in the community. John referenced a Tweet from someone else that called the awards "biased", and seemed to advocate for a for-pay model for Dynamo packages. I'm going to be somewhat less delicate than John was in reacting to this by relating something a co-worker of mine once said: "Mean people say mean shit, and stupid people say stupid shit."

Short, insightful, spot on.

(I thought about altering the expletives, but my background includes a tour as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, and I think an occasional well-placed expletive is effective.)

Of course, another way of putting it is the well-known phrase "haters gonna hate."

Because Dynamo is crowd-sourced, it's also free. That's not a trend that was started with the introduction of Dynamo in 2014 either. Bentley Systems' GenerativeComponents, which is not crowd sourced and was introduced over a decade earlier in 2003, is free, as is the most popular computational design software, Grasshopper for Rhinoceros, first released in 2007.

When the platform bears no cost, and I'm not including the standalone and subscription-based Dynamo Studio here, it would be very hard to justify a cost for what are effectively add-on packages.

That being said, I like designtech's idea of crowdfunding financial rewards for the winners, and seeking matching funds from Autodesk, who would probably be happy to contribute.

If some of the Dynamo packages make your working life easier, please consider donating.

When I started this blog in 2011, I had no intention of making money from it. The thought never even crossed my mind. But, considering the market sector it covers, once the site reached a certain critical mass in 2012, it made sense to start offering advertising solutions, and I've been blessed with some wonderful advertisers.

This site is rewarding in a lot of different ways, and I'd still do what I do even if it didn't generate revenue. But receiving payments from advertisers is pretty great. I'm sure most Dynamo package developers feel the same way, that their volunteer contributions yield many rewards, and that a financial one would be the icing on the cake.

As far as bias goes, in any awards there are going to be disappointing omissions, especially in a field of over 1,000 potential nominees. However, I like designtech's idea of the winners from one year forming a nomination committee for the following year's awards. That kind of rotation should help to shine the spotlight on even more underappreciated gems.

Great job Really great. And some of these Dynamo developers are doing incredible work, for no charge. They should be recognized, and it's great to now have a platform for that.


Peace. Out.

(And it's probably an appropriate time to reference recently-deceased insult comic Don Rickles, may he rest in peace.)

Tim Grimm
Seattle, WA, USA
Not bad for a reformed Bentley guy

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