Scared of Programming? Well, Jump Right in! (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

24 Feb, 2009

There's no time like the present, so start by learning to customize your user interface.

A reader writes, "I've always been kind of scared of programming and have put off learning about it. What can I do to get started learning more about programming and customizing my CAD tools?"

My answer: Get Started!
First you need to dig in and get started.

I suggest starting by learning to customize the user interface of your program (for AutoCAD users that will be the CUI function). To get started with this task you can visit my web site and focus on the CUI examples contained therein.

Next you'll want to start learning some basic programming concepts. For AutoCAD users I recommend starting with AutoLISP language. For other CAD tools you'll almost certainly use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) or Microsoft .NET (pronounced DOT NET) code.

You can start learning about AutoLISP at my site at the same link given above, but this time focus on the AutoLISP and VisuaLISP examples.

To learn more about Visual Basic and .NET applications, go to the Hot Tip Harry section of the Cadalyst web site and peruse the huge volume of code and instructional articles compiled by Bill Kramer.

It will take you a while to wade through all the topics, but you're sure to find a good bit of material from beginning concepts through exceedingly advanced topics.

The key to learning these techniques is to start simple, ramp up the complexity, and never quit. I didn't learn programming in a day and neither will you but if you stick with it you'll learn. And believe me, knowing a little about programming and customization is far better than knowing nothing!