CAD Manager's Newsletter (#237)

14 Apr, 2010 By: Robert Green

Programming for CAD Managers, Part 1

By creating your own customized solutions, you can improve your users' jobs and help safeguard your own.

During these past two years of recession, I've seen a lot of CAD managers lose their jobs. I've noticed, however, that those who can program their own customized solutions and really make their offices hum with productivity are more likely to dodge that bullet.

The conclusion is obvious: The more you know about programming, the more valuable you are as a CAD manager, and the more recession-proof your career will be. Therefore, I'm kicking off a multipart series of the CAD Manager's Newsletter to acquaint you with your programming options and point you toward resources that can help you become a better programmer, even if you're just getting started.

In this first installment, I'll describe some common programming technologies and help you evaluate your current experience level. Here goes.

Why Bother with Programming?

Beyond the career benefits I outlined above, programming offers the CAD manager several opportunities that would not be available otherwise, including:

Automating redundant tasks. If your users have to perform complex procedures over and over again, chances are that the processes could be automated to reduce clicks, picks, and errors. After all, why perform the same manual task repeatedly when a program can save so much time and effort? Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Your Weekly Report

Documenting your completed and upcoming tasks will help your boss understand the challenges you face.

I was giving a lecture on CAD management recently and was shocked at how few CAD managers report to their senior management teams on a regular basis. After all, if you don't tell your management what you're up to, how will they know how valuable you really are?

I discussed my approach for a weekly reporting method with the audience, and I'd like to share it with you as well.

Step 1: Keep a diary. As you complete tasks throughout the workweek, write down your accomplishments in a brief diary-style format. Examples of the entries might be "completed installation of new plotter" or "finished training materials preparation for BIM overview course." The point is simply to keep track of what you've done in short, descriptive phrases. Read more »


Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Resources

CIMdata Releases 3D Part Catalog Management Product Review
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, has released a product review entitled "3D Part Catalog Management: A PLM Strategy to Reduce Direct Material Costs." This free, downloadable paper makes the business case for an easily deployed and used part catalog solution that integrates with a company's native CAD environment, and presents PARTsolutions' product suite as such a solution.

:: Events

Webinar: Introduction to Bonzai3d
April 21, 2010
12–12:45 ET
During this webinar, Matthew Holewinski from AutoDesSys will explain how bonzai3d can accelerate the 3D design process with its interface, modeling tools, and visualization capabilities. Read more »

Trimble User Group Meeting
April 27, 2010
San Diego, California
This event is an opportunity to learn about developments in aerial mapping, imaging, and laser scanning systems and software. Read more »

Get Your Hands on BIM
May 13, 2010
Irvine, California
This session will address the basics of building information modeling (BIM), including green building applications, conceptual modeling, and construction documentation. Read more »


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

AMD Strengthens Foothold in Professional Graphics Market with New ATI FirePro V8800
New card with ATI Eyefinity multimonitor technology supports up to double the display real estate with 2.6 teraflops of compute performance in a single card. Read more »

HP Thinks Small with New Desktop and Mobile Workstations
Less can be better with hardware that consumes less space, less energy, and less of your budget. Read more »

AutoCAD 2011: A Look at What's New
There's a new version of AutoCAD in town, and it's sporting an updated UI, improved 2D and 3D functionality, and much more. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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