CAD Manager's Newsletter (#212)

24 Feb, 2009 By: Robert Green

Survey Update Reveals Downturn

The good, the bad, and the ugly economic news and how to deal with it.

In the last issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter I mentioned that I would conduct an update to the CAD Manager's Survey I'd published last fall. The reason I wanted to do this updated survey was that I've received a lot of email from readers asking about job security and economic conditions.

In this issue, I'll reveal the data and draw some conclusions from it. I'll also pass along some recommendations based on my experience in dealing with recessions.

The Responses
The survey was conducted from February 12 to February 21, 2009, via the Internet with a small selection of questions. Here are the issues I'll focus on in this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter:

  • How busy is your company?
  • Has your company had layoffs?
  • Are you salaried or hourly?
  • Has your pay been frozen or cut?
  • Are you still purchasing new hardware?
  • Are you still purchasing new software?
  • Has your training budget been cut?

When I downloaded the data and started sifting through the results, I was amazed by the volume of responses (320) and the geographic spread of the sampling. The survey reached all over North America (U.S. at 79%, Canada at 5%, and a few from Mexico), Europe and the United Kingdom (3% and 8%, respectively), Australia (4%), and 1% from India and Asian rim countries.  Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Scared of Programming? Well, Jump Right In!

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. Read more »


:: Resources

Looking for a Job?
The Cadalyst Web site offers a job search section with extensive listings of CAD-related jobs in the United States. You can do a custom search with your own key words or search the listings by state.

:: Events

Webinar: Learn Carlson PointCloud
February 26, 2009
12 noon EST
Learn how to go from field scan to finished plat as you tour the features of Carlson PointCloud. Attendees will see how to create TIN surfaces, 3D views, and Profiles, and calculate volumes. Read more »

6th Annual RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition
April 15-16, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts
The emphasis of RoboBusiness is on what technologies and applications are emerging with the greatest opportunity to be commercially successful. Highlighting the event are numerous opportunities to meet, network with industry thought-leaders and make contacts that will facilitate new business ventures. Read more »

Plumbing System Design Course
March 30 - April 3, 2009
Madison, Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin, Department of Engineering Professional Development, will offer this practical, fundamental course, which covers basic theory of wastes and vents, storm water, water piping systems; selection of water heaters, pumps, interceptors, piping, and much more. Read more »

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