Monday, April 13, 2009

Reading your Manager's mind

What CAD managers, or supervisors, would like to see out of a novice CAD user is likely not what you would always expect. A while back I posted a thread in the AUGI CAD managers forum to see what they thought I should focus on for a class I was writing. I was surprised to see how many of them were saying the same things I was already planning on saying. Here is a list of good general drafting practices that I've compiled after discussions with other CAD managers.

  • None of the CAD Managers said I want someone who’s fast. It’s easy to want more speed so you can prove yourself at the new job. Experienced drafters and CAD Managers often see someone who is clicking their mouse like they’re playing a video game as someone who has potential to make mistakes. You don’t want them to have that impression of you.
  • Always remember doing it fast twice is still slower that doing it carefully once. Don’t just work fast, work smart and find the right tool (command) for the job.
  • If you find yourself saying “there must be a better way to do this” then you’re probably right. There is almost always more than one way to do something in AutoCAD. There may be a faster way that is worth investing a minute or two to discover.
  • If you’re not sure about something, don't be afraid to ask a question. But only ask it once. Write down the answer so you can look it up later. There is such a thing as a stupid question; it’s the one you don’t ask, or the one you ask several times.
  • Always check your plots before turning it in to the Engineer or Architect who gave it to you. Sometimes a mistake is obvious on paper that isn’t obvious on the screen.
  • Always spell check a drawing before plotting it. Even someone with exceptional spelling skills can transpose letters when typing.

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