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Thread: New CAD Manager Training

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    Default New CAD Manager Training

    Hey guys,

    Here's my situation: I completed an undergraduate computer engineering degree in December 2005, and just graduated this past December with a Masters in MIS. I've been working at a local engineering firm for the past year. I started as a student intern and moved into a full time IT analyst role this past January.

    The company is small (about 50 employees including admin staff). When I was hired for this position, I was told that my role would start out in IT, but I would eventually be trained to take up a CAD manager role, to manage everything related to our AutoDesk suite of applications - hardware considerations, network issues, compatibility issues, CAD standards, etc. I made it clear to the company that I had (and still don't have) zero experience in AutoCAD. They said that's exactly what they needed, because they didn't want the CAD manager to be dragged into production.

    Right now, it seems like the main holdup is that the company is unable to find the right kind of training for me. So, I come to you guys for help. I can honestly say I have no idea what my next moves should be. Thus far, I've been able to make my stay with the company useful by keeping myself busy with all the IT issues that constantly come up. However, I'd really like to take the steps necessary to be trained for the CAD manager position. How do you guys think I should proceed?

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    The first step should be to learn the programs that your company uses. If you can't use them to do the simplest of tasks, you can't manage the people who can. If they can't come to you with their CAD problems, you'll be no use to them as a CAD manager (not to mention the lack of respect; just imagine working under an IT manager that didn't know how to disable an anti-virus, let alone how to manage a $20K server system).

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    The main CAD programs that my company uses are Civil 3D, Revit, and AutoCAD, all versions 2008. Is a basic tutorial in each of these enough to get me on the CAD management route, or would I need to get more in depth? Are the loads of free CAD tutorials available on the Internet enough to enable me to accomplish this, or would I need to hire a certified trainer?

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    See what your company is doing, and go after some kind of training based off of what you need. Civil 3D and Revit, I believe you'll need a trainer for those (definitely Civil 3D, I'm not sure about Revit as I've never used it).
    You can see if you can bring in a trainer, to help not only yourself, but others in the company that may be struggling with the programs.
    If you're not sure about bringing in a trainer, I would suggest something like vBooks to help with your training. It's not AS great as having someone there teaching you so you can bounce your questions off of them, but when used with the discussion groups, you'll be able to get along very well.
    Even after training though, one thing you should remember is that as a CAD manager, if anything goes wrong, you'll find that you need two skills: being able to work with the program and being able to research very efficiently.

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    I was reluctant to reply in the thread as I'm just learning myself. But because I've had to consider some of this just recently, I thought I could add to the discussion.

    Although my degree and schooling have been in learning the CAD software, learning how to manage it is different. I would suggest the following:

    Learn the software as discussed above. Its the only way you'll understand how to effectively do anything CAD related for the company. It's unfortunate they want to grab someone with no experience because I feel that hurts them more than helps them. Just my opinion. The basic tutorial will get you started, but you will need to be more familiar with the programs than what they show you. In this case, knowledge is power. You might not need to be as skilled as the most skilled draftsman/egineer, but you need to be able to understand them when they come to you for questions.

    Talk with your upper managment on what they hope to accomplish as a compnay by putting you in the CAD manager role. Get specific as you can with questions, because the better you understand the perspective on the role, the better idea you'll have on which direction to take first. For those who just allow CAD Managers to have free reign, I think hurts a little beause there is just so much to cover that it can become overwhelming. Besides, you need a clear definition of how much control you have and the responsibilities of the job.

    Get organzied.It's one of the best things you can do for yourself. Its where everything begins. For myself I've created a few things. I have a specific folder for only me to access which then I keep all the tools, updates, backups, etc all in there as my CAD Management resource center. I then had a Developement folder on the network which is where I store work in progress. I keep a cad log of my work done throughout the week, and have a repair and upgrade document for me to keep a list of things to work on.

    Once you learn the software, talk you with your upper management, and get organized, then deciding on what to do should become a bit easier.

    Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    Another suggestion for training, before you begin classes become as familiar with the program as you can. Pay special attention to where the icons, etc are located. More training time is wasted searching around for the commands than one would imagine! Also, unless you are in a one-on-one training situation you can easily miss directions while searching and fall way behind. Even if you don't know how to use the commands, just knowing where they are is a big advantage during training!

    FWIW

    Tom

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    Thanks a lot for the replies; all great food for thought. Time to jump right into learning CAD!

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    Quote Originally Posted by sandeepg View Post
    Hey guys,

    Here's my situation: I completed an undergraduate computer engineering degree in December 2005, and just graduated this past December with a Masters in MIS. I've been working at a local engineering firm for the past year. I started as a student intern and moved into a full time IT analyst role this past January.

    The company is small (about 50 employees including admin staff). When I was hired for this position, I was told that my role would start out in IT, but I would eventually be trained to take up a CAD manager role, to manage everything related to our AutoDesk suite of applications - hardware considerations, network issues, compatibility issues, CAD standards, etc. I made it clear to the company that I had (and still don't have) zero experience in AutoCAD. They said that's exactly what they needed, because they didn't want the CAD manager to be dragged into production.

    Right now, it seems like the main holdup is that the company is unable to find the right kind of training for me. So, I come to you guys for help. I can honestly say I have no idea what my next moves should be. Thus far, I've been able to make my stay with the company useful by keeping myself busy with all the IT issues that constantly come up. However, I'd really like to take the steps necessary to be trained for the CAD manager position. How do you guys think I should proceed?
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but most CAD Managers at one time, started out working on projects using the CAD software deep in the trenches. To me, its the only way to learn all the intricacies, ins and outs of a software that are required to properly manage it.

    Myself, I worked as a drafter / job captain / designer / cad manager for 8 years before becoming a full time CAD manager (0% billable).

    You just wont be able to answer all the given questions thrown your way, unless you've used the software on a real project. For example: Whats the system variable that controls my layer visability? Sure you can check the HELP file, or maybe even these forums. But shouldnt you be able to give the person the answer right away most of the time? Do i consult these forums from time to time? of course.....but only for the most rare of questions, or for bugs...

    I think your firm needs to reconsider what a CAD manager needs to be. And maybe they have different definition then what I layed out here. But i just dont see how someone with NO AutoCAD experience can be a CAD Manager.

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    Quote Originally Posted by dxarhoulakos View Post
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but most CAD Managers at one time, started out working on projects using the CAD software deep in the trenches. To me, its the only way to learn all the intricacies, ins and outs of a software that are required to properly manage it.

    Myself, I worked as a drafter / job captain / designer / cad manager for 8 years before becoming a full time CAD manager (0% billable).

    You just wont be able to answer all the given questions thrown your way, unless you've used the software on a real project. For example: Whats the system variable that controls my layer visability? Sure you can check the HELP file, or maybe even these forums. But shouldnt you be able to give the person the answer right away most of the time? Do i consult these forums from time to time? of course.....but only for the most rare of questions, or for bugs...

    I think your firm needs to reconsider what a CAD manager needs to be. And maybe they have different definition then what I layed out here. But i just dont see how someone with NO AutoCAD experience can be a CAD Manager.
    I'm inclined to agree.
    There are so many variables in both CAD and Windows that there often isn't a single, simple answer to any question of "why does ....?" You only learn those answers when you experience those problems.

    It sounds like the company wants an IT manager who will also control CAD. This is often a recipe for, not a disaster, exactly, but a large degree of unhappiness among the CAD users.

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    Default Re: New CAD Manager Training

    Sounds more like a CAD Systems administrator is what management is after here, not a manager of CAD drafting/production per se. That can be a useful role, albeit one that's inherently pretty limited in scope. but it ought to give you access to budget planning...

    As far as learning Acad and related products, it's probably well worth doing as long as you realize that just leaning the tutorials really isn't a patch on actually using the applications on a daily basis to produce usable product. Producing a workable set of drawings for a project is a lot more involved than just drawing lines, and will take a lifetime to master. Rather like Go (with a lot more arbitrary rules

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