As a CAD manager who does some customization work around the office, should I learn Visual Basic?8 Feb, 2006 By: Robert Green
Robert Green responds: In general, I’d answer this question with a “yes,” but let me qualify that answer a bit.
There’s no question that most CAD systems now have some sort of Visual Basic customization interface. And although AutoCAD has AutoLISP programming functionality, other programs -- Inventor, Revit, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, MicroStation and so forth -- do not support AutoLISP.
What this all means is that Autodesk is moving its customers toward programs that use Visual Basic while other software manufacturers support only Visual Basic. Taken together, this indicates that CAD managers who wish to customize their installations should start ramping up on Visual Basic as soon as possible.
I don’t see Visual Basic knowledge as a requirement yet, but that day will clearly be upon us in a few short years. So consider taking a Visual Basic course at a community college or buying a self-study book to kick-start your learning now rather than waiting for the situation to become critical.
Last comment: I’ve never met a CAD manager who knows Visual Basic who isn’t using it to make productivity strides in his CAD installation!