CAD Manager's Newsletter (#211)

10 Feb, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager Survey Update

The current state of the economy calls for a closer look at how it's affecting CAD managers' jobs.

Well, I don't have to tell you there has been a wealth of bad economic news since the CAD manager survey was published last fall. I've been getting a lot of emails from CAD managers who want to know how things are going in their own industries and how conditions are for CAD managers in general.

To answer these questions, I'm going to perform a CAD Manager Survey Update that focuses on industry segments and financial conditions. The survey will be brief, containing just a few questions, so it'll take only a few minutes to participate.

Take the survey at

Here are the questions I plan to focus on:

  • What industry are you in?
  • What size area do you work in (small town, medium town, big city, etc)?
  • How many CAD users at your company?
  • Has your company laid off CAD talent in the past six months?
  • Describe current project loads (none, some work, mostly busy, very busy)
  • Is your pay structure salary or hourly?
  • If hourly, how many hours per week are you working now?
  • If salaried, has your salary been frozen as a result of economics?
  • If salaried, has your salary been reduced?
  • Are you purchasing new computers?
  • Are you purchasing new software?
  • Has your training budget been cut; if so, by how much?

I'll compile the results of the survey and publish them in the next CAD Manager's Newsletter. Please take the survey now while you're thinking about it so your information can be included in the results.  Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Deal with Those Problem Employees

Don't let troublesome individuals keep your well-oiled CAD department from running smoothly.


I received a question from a reader who wants to know the best way to deal with employees who simply won't follow the rules. You know the type: no matter what you do, they won't follow standards, rules, etc. Although there's no perfect answer to this question, there is a general process I've used to deal with the problem, and I'll share it with you.

I'll state up front that dealing with problem employees can sometimes lead to disciplinary measures, and that it won't always be pleasant. But then again, you're not having any fun with the situation as it is now, right?

Discuss, Isolate, Fix
I deal with truly problem cases by using a three-step process that is designed to shine a light on the bad behavior so that your senior management will get involved. And we all know the ultimate resolution for the problem employee is going to be upper management.

Step 1: Discuss. Discuss the problem with the offending employee and tell him or her that you feel you must go to senior management with the problem since nothing else has worked. After this discussion, go to the senior managerial authority in charge of the problem person and relay your concerns. Read more »


:: Resources

Hot Tip Harry: Live on the Web
Hot Tip Harry’s latest AutoCAD customization tips are now posted online at Cadalyst’s CAD Tips site. Harry’s posting tips all the time now, and you can find the latest ones by checking the Recently Posted list, along with the latest tips from Tips & Tools Weekly. You can also find out about the latest tips from Harry himself (aka Cadalyst's Bill Kramer) by hanging out on Harry’s Tip Jar Discussion Forum. Look for the posts labeled "Hot Tips!" for regular updates. Among Harry's latest additions are the following Top Tip winners: Grab-Bar Detailer by Jay Thomas and Dynamic Grid Drawing by Ron Perez. Congratulations to both! Brand new, Cadalyst and Hot Tip Harry also introduce his new Programming Concepts Discussion Forum. Keep tabs and chime in to exchange AutoCAD programming expertise and advice.

:: Events

CPDA Workshop: Meeting the Challenges of the Downturn without Sacrificing the Future
March 31 and April 1, 2009
Troy, Michigan
This workshop will show participants how they can apply Toyota's competitive advantage to develop immediate cost reduction approaches that can be used for any product and in any industry. Read more »

VisMasters Design Modeling and Visualization Conference
April 28, 2009
San Francisco, California
Now in its fourth year, the DMVC has expanded the program offerings to include comprehensive coverage for architectural design professionals and architectural visualization artists as well as architectural firm principals. Read more »

GeoDATA 2009
Various Dates May-July
Various U.K. Cities
This one-day seminar series promises a unique chance to hear thought-provoking presentations on a wide range of issues facing users of geographic information. This year's program content focuses on the business applications and return on investment issues affecting spatial data users. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on