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1. My heart goes out to you.
2. Can you help me please?
(btw - if you have clicked on this out of curiosity and you're not a civil engineer then what follows is going to make no sense whatsoever - you'd really be better off reversing out of this one and finding a more entertaining thread about crisps or something)
We are looking into getting it in our office but I'm told that the company that our Council deals with has been really reluctant to come and give us a demo. We are finally getting a demo soon though.
I'm kind of assuming from your OP that it isn't all that great but we're currently working a rather clumsy interface between CAD and MX and although it works it's not brilliant (and Bentley can fucking do one if they think we are going to use Microstation).
Would be interested to hear your horror stories as then I can ask the sales rep some questions that he might not want asked.
Esc Esc Esc Esc
30 months ago I was six years into an architectural technician job. It followed The practice used (and probably still are using) AutoCAD R14. I was left due to redundancy. Absolutely no idea why they couldn't get enough work to sustain my position. :-D
Had used 3D modelling stuff at uni. Did a course to get back up to speed. Got a new job. Haven't used CAD since (other than to draft some plans and elevations for my dad's planning application).
There's not really any money in being a long term CAD monkey, is there? Either way, I kinda miss it and kinda don't.
More CAD chat, pls.
(under the circumstances, as a civils bod, i think i did well to blag it for six yrs, tbf, tbh)
If you're good (i.e. you're quick, up to speed with all the Revit and BIM stuff, and can quickly adopt to different company's standards), you can certainly make a decent wage from it. A CAD manager even more.
Freelance CAD guys can earn £40/hr+ in London. It's tedious and can be like working in a permanent 'crunch', but you can make a decent wage from it.
I suppose I don't envisage freelance CAD as being a long term thing. Even though it must be for some. Don't know whether I count being a CAD manager as yer actual CAD. The being a manager bit somewhat undermines the monkey bit. And the top of a CAD career path seems to be 'CAD manager' and not much else. Not that my CV is in danger of outstripping that level in any kind of hurry. Heh.
Yup, it's true that there's clearly an amount of people that do make a go of CAD. But the 'shrinking typing pool' thing just seems to fit. Although, for sure, if you know the right packages etc then there's work to be had. I'm presuming, though, that most people who are hot on the package of the moment tend to do so via their (deserved or savvily chosen) job, rather than bagging their job on the basis of having learnt the package independently.
I guess by stepping away from civils to go into (what seemed like the infinitely more interesting world of) architecture I made a kinda questionable career choice: having scraped into the bargain basement level of it, with next to no career development. Got a top-ranking DiS post count during it all, though. :-D I'll maybe start some worthwhile and sustained CPD one day. Not tomorrow. But maybe one day. Fuck knows what in, though. Technician of all trades, professional in none, is more likely.
^musing, not whinging, btw. Was earning a decent dollar in the temp job between the arch tech one and the one now by blagging it in MS Project. Quite enjoyed that. Now... Project Management. From where I'm standing, it looks very much like that's where the coin is. Seemingly multiple pathways into multiple variations on a theme. Seemingly all paying nicely. And seemingly mostly with potential to be a complete bastard/cog in the machine and reach for all the moneys.
I've yet to see one who actually does anything other than just tell other people to do things though.
● Control of the money. √
● Minimal amounts of actual work. √
They need to know construction and details and how to put together a drawing package to be able to run an efficient system. Things like Revit and the latest AutoCad versions need a huge library of blocks, wall types, door types, audits etc to be able to be used efficiently, and these usually have to be created in a bespoke manner.
But yeah, I think CAD monkeys on their own are becoming more rare - these days the people doing CAD work (in the UK, at least) are also the ones doing the detailing - architects and engineers, and their technicians. Overseas, where some of the big practices outsource their technical drawings, you do get CAD draftsmen, and the drawings I've seen coming back from there suggest that they don't have much technical construction knowledge.
The only area in the UK where I've seen a big pool of CAD staff with little to no construction knowledge is in the transport sector. These are huge infrastructure projects that exist by shipping in and then shipping out freelance staff - you get the CAD guys moving from project to project and firm to firm like on-site construction staff do. Part of it is due to the scale of the jobs (an individual crossrail station, for example could provide enough work for a decent sized practice alone), but it's also because of the highly technical knowledge needed to bring the projects together - it's a waste of the architect's and engineer's time to be actually producing the thousands of drawings needed, rather than co-ordinating it all.
Had a taste of that pool CAD life on a big rail job. Took about three days to rise to the top and become the trusted go-to guy for planning work and arranging delivery timescales etc. (rather than the nominal, but limp, CAD manager). Engaging enough, for a while. But, as you say, blatantly like the office version of site work in terms of the pillar-to-post human meat-as-resource vibe.