CAD Manager's Newsletter (#213)

10 Mar, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager Survey Update, Part 2
Even when business is bad, be proactive to make sure you're using your staffing and resources to their maximum potential.

In the last issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I presented my initial findings for the CAD Manager Survey Update. If you haven't had a chance to read the last issue, you may want to do so now to have proper context for this issue. Here I'll offer some additional recommendations for CAD managers based on some expanded survey analysis. Here goes.

Low Project Loads Change Business
Several of the survey results pointed to roughly a 60:40 percent ratio between companies having problems and not having problems, respectively. Because the ratio was similar for those having layoffs, those no longer purchasing new hardware, and those no longer purchasing new software, I tend to believe that more companies are having troubles than not.

For those of us in the 60% of companies that are having problems, I'd like to point out that working in a company doing poorly is a completely different experience from the heady experience of working in a growing startup -- I know; I've worked in both environments. My point is that when your company is struggling, the work culture changes noticeably and you must adapt to that change to remain effective. No, you're not imagining it: How you work really does change as business gets tougher.  Read more »

:: Follow Up: Programming (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

Whether you learn programming with AutoLISP or other languages depends on your ultimate goal.


I received a great reader response to the last issue of the CAD Manager's Toolbox regarding my advice to AutoCAD users to learn AutoLISP.  I'd like to share the response with you and use it as a springboard to offer some more advice on programming for CAD managers.

Michael from Denmark wrote:

"I've been programming for CAD the last 12 years, and I would never, ever recommend anyone to start with AutoLISP.  Why?  I think it's obvious that learning a language that is that software [dependent] is a mistake.  Learn Visual Basic instead, and for that learning time you also get the ability to write a lot of other applications."  Read more »

:: Resources

Bentley Launches "Be Employable"

Bentley Systems launched its Be Employable initiative, an addition to the company’s Be Careers Network. The program is designed to help outplaced architectural, engineering, construction, and geospatial professionals update and upgrade their technology skill sets. It provides free access to Bentley's software portfolio and training as well as the opportunity to earn learning units from the Bentley Institute.


:: Events

WESTEC 2009 Exposition

March 30 - April 2, 2009
Los Angeles, California
The exposition puts attendees center stage with more than 600 exhibitors showcasing manufacturing's latest equipment, ideas, and trends. Read more »

Residential Design and Construction 2009

April 1-2, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts
This year's event features more than 220 exhibitors and design exhibits dedicated to providing the most up-to-date industry trends. Read more »

PTC/USER World Event 2009

June 7-10, 2009
Orlando, Florida
This conference for the global PTC/USER community offers three days of in-depth training, education, and networking. Read more »

2009 FME International User Conference

June 11-12, 2009
Whistler, BC, Canada
This annual event offers an opportunity to build your spatial ETL expertise and learn how to solve complex spatial data challenges. Gain new insights from keynote James Fee, plus attend informative workshops, breakout sessions and more. Read more »

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


:: What's New at

User Profile: Wisdom from the Trenches
Charles Prettyman, CAD manager at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, shares advice for software upgrades. Read more »

First Look Review: Graphtec CSX300-09HDplus Wide-Format Scanner
Engineers, architects, and CAD and GIS users can benefit from the scanner's CSX300-09HDplus capabilities. Read more »

Integrated CAD/GIS Platform Streamlines Infrastructure Engineering
Port of Long Beach expects to save more than $3 million from CAD file management efficiencies alone. Read more »

Looking for Hot Tip Harry?
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.

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.

Software and Hardware Suppliers Database
Cadalyst has made available its online Supplier Showcase, a comprehensive database of companies that provide CAD-related software, hardware, and training products. Information, which is provided by the respective companies, can be viewed either alphabetically or by product category.