Knowing What You Don’t Know
How does one stay informed on the latest and greatest developments in the CAD world? The internet is a great place to start but there are so many great sites and so much data out there, it can be hard to sift thought it all to actually find relevant information. Here are some suggestions.
- Take a half hour every work day just to research. It is so easy to be in fire fighting mode all the time. There never seems to be a shortage of things going wrong. If it means coming in early or staying a little late, turn off your phone and email, set a timer and explore the internet for something new.
- Join AUGI and follow the AutoCAD Forums. Ask questions or just mine the valuable information, tips and tricks, and the official AutoCAD Wish list found there.
- Whenever you find a blog or website that has good information, follow it. Some will send email alerts when there are new posts, most have RSS feeds.
- Use a RSS reader to bring your data together. I use Google Reader, but there are others. A good reader will allow you one stop shopping for the blogs and websites you visit most.
- Follow the authors and rock stars of the AutoCAD world. Do they tweet? If they do, I bet the information is timely.
- Use Google Alerts to receive an email when ever there is something of interest posted on the internet. Create alerts for things like; #D AutoCAD, AutoCAD Add-in, Lynn Allen, anything or one at all that interests you. These alerts can be sent to your email or straight to Google Reader.
- Add the Autodesk Press Room to your RSS reader or receive emails. Go to http://pressreleases.autodesk.com/ to find out what Autodesk is up to the second they release it.
- Autodesk Labs is constantly thinking of the unbelievable. Check out there web page at http://labs.autodesk.com.
- Talk to other people. Other people think differently than you, which means they solve problems in a way you may not have thought of. It also means they may know something that you do not. These people are in your office, and they are outside of your office. Go to the user group meetings (start one if you have to). These people are facing the same issues as you, looking for the same types of information as you, and they have these meeting just to share the solutions you need. The point is go out there and meet people.
- Get training. Your reseller likely offers great training and is in touch with the latest trends. CAD Camp is rolling out this month. Autodesk University has the greatest collection of AutoCAD geeks in the world.
- You Tube. Can’t beat it for just in time training. Autodesk has its own channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Autodesk, and users all over the globe are posting incredibly helpful videos of just about everything.