Recently, it came to my attention that my company was offering a CAD course bundle. We work with a decent amount of CAD data, not always on a daily basis, but to the point where I have become comfortable with integrating CAD data (.dwg/.dgn) into our GIS. I think as I have become more comfortable with CAD data I have grown a strong interest for learning more about the data and its software. Therefore, I think the CAD course being offered is a great opportunity for not only myself, but my GIS group as a whole.
Yet, I have some reservations when it comes to taking this course and it mainly has to deal with the fact that my group rarely works with our engineers and drafters/designers. I often work with our biologists and archaeologists on the environmental side and although we are required to know how to work with and manipulate CAD data, we rarely ever have to design a CAD file in AutoCAD or MicroStation. In addition, I decided to ask the veterans of my GIS group what they thought of the CAD course and I got a lot of mixed responses. One co-worker thought it was a great opportunity, but left it at that and others claimed it would be a waste of their time. As their consensus was that they believed their minds could only store so much information and to try and learn another software would cause them to forget more GIS centered tasks. This was coming from people with at least an average of eight years of GIS experience.
Although their thoughts may be true in some regard, I still believe this is a great opportunity to expand my technical skills and delve into different projects at work. Especially, when downtime occurs on environmental projects and this may allow us to branch out and work more with our engineering/CAD department and build a stronger relationship. As we could in turn show them how useful GIS can be with their project work.
So, I am asking for any comments/advice on learning new software. Obviously, CAD and GIS are related technologies, but it is going to be challenging to learn new software and concepts and I would greatly appreciate any feedback, as I feel that a lot can be learned when others come together and share their thoughts.
(FYI: I have no CAD software experience; I have spoken to my GIS manager about this and he appears to be on board, but is a little hesitant since it is not a GIS course; The programs offered are mainly Autodesk software: AutoCAD, Map 3D, Civil 3d, Raster Design, Architecture, Revit Structure, and Bentley MicroStation is included as well)
I want to thank all who took the time to read this and apologize for somewhat rambling on.
Edited by GIS SFL, 09 June 2012 - 01:00 AM.