Originally Posted by McCormack
I began CAD back in 2000 at school. My first job in this field was January 2001 using Autodesk Land Desktop.
I now manage the CAD department of a design/build firm specializing in tall structures. We use plain old vanilla CAD.
About 95% of our work is just simple drafting. Increasingly, we use 3D modeling to identify conflicts. Given that, the only item AutoCAD is lacking for us is the ability to produce production drawings of a 3D modelled plate assembly (picture a steel plate assembly with curvature and having to flatten that out for manufacturing drawings).
Otherwise, vanilla CAD works great.
I have one seat open and am trying to fill, but there just does not seem to be candidates in this area looking for CAD work. I really don't get it.
As to specializing, I kinda agree. However, I'd take someone who can efficiently produce readable plans over someone who knows the software in and out any day. I started by taking classes in architectural design and had it hammered into me that even the best and most accurate plan is worthless if the person building off it can't understand what is being presented.
I find that astonishing that you're still in plain Autocad. By tall structures do you mean thing like tanks and platforms or actual architectural buildings? I could see the former but def not the latter. I hear you about finding good talent. Forget good. I'd settle for bright eager and interested. I've been put in situations many times where I've been forced to train some managers or important clients disinterested and idiotic relative who thought it was all just entering stuff into a machine all day. How hard is that? Thankfully I've got last word on talent these days.