Monday, June 11, 2007

THIRD POST!!!

How long am I expected to count my number of blogs? I guess that's why the are numbered and dated.

Somewhere I promised to post tips about AutoCAD. This shall be the first. Maybe this will be more of a discussion on CAD, lets see what happens.

It has been my experience that many CAD Users today lack basic drafting skills. Do you think that a CAD user is a better drafter if they have made board drawings? Maybe you think there is no difference. How much training have you had drawing on the board? What is the difference between a CAD Technician and a CAD Drafter? Is there a difference?

When I had to go through applications and resumes to fill a vacancy a while back, i had to ask these questions. I found it difficult to find a "Board Drafter". There are plenty of "CAD Users", but where they "CAD Drafters?"

I gave them a very basic test to see where they were in their drafting and CAD skills. I would have to say that I learned more of what I needed to know from that test than from the interview. I wouldn't do one without the other whenever I hire again.

Have you ever had to take a test for a drafting job? What was it like?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Second post!

I don't really need to count these posts because they will count themselves. When things are new we have a tendency to count them.

What do you know? I know CAD. Specifically AutoCAD. I don't know much else. I've been working with CAD for over 14 years so I should have learned something about it by now.

One thing I have learned about CAD is that there is so much to it that I don't know yet. I continually learn about it every week. I have to, it's my job to know CAD. I think that three of the most useful and yet unknown "tricks" in AutoCAD are:

1). "control + tab": This command sequence is actually a Windows feature. you will find many Windows features that can be used in CAD. This feature will toggle a user between open CAD files.

2.) "up" arrow: (and the "down" arrow) Pressing the up and down arrows will bring to the command line the last commands that were entered. Very useful when repeating frequent commands.

3.) "shift": Press the "shift" key when selecting objects in CAD to add them to your selection group. If you selected an object that you don't want in your group, press the "shift" key and select that item. It will be removed from your group.

As you can see, these "basic" items can increase your efficiency. They are simple, but effective. I am often amazed when users are unaware of them.

See you next time.

Monday, June 4, 2007

My First Post

So I did it. I have started a blog. Why? Why not. I am trying to start something new for me here. I don't know much but I know CAD. I am good with computers (good enough anyway to be dangerous.) I am trying to establish myself as a technical writer. I have found many resources on the internet that I hope will help me.
I have no idea how often I will post something here. If I am lucky, every day! I think that's a little ambitious. In reality if I can post once to twice a week i will be very happy. If I can get some decent traffic through here that will be even better.
If you read my brief bio on the side bar there, then you know I have been using AutoCAD for a while now. When I first started everyone in the engineering department called me "kid." I was 19 years old at the time. Now I am 33 (I had to think about that for a second) and the "old timer." In my office here I have the most cad experience. Everywhere else I worked the users had similar experience. I enjoy this position. I give advise and instruction daily. That's why I am the Senior Engineering CAD Tech where I work. Basically I am the CAD Manager here without the title. I manage people, the software, standards, etc. I had the distinct pleasure of leading the team that created the company's first CAD Standards Manual. That was fun, let me tell you. No really, it was. I enjoyed it. I think I enjoy being able to say that I lead the team. It does wonders for my ego.

I could go on forever (you will see) so I'll stop now before I make one monstrous blog and have nothing else to say.
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