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Advice for new users

In one of my favorite movies (Oh Brother , where art thou?) Delmar O’Donnell says “Come on in boys, the water is fine.”

Autodesk products can seem daunting, complicated and intimidating. I become concerned at times in this blog about the not so rapid pace of tool adoption and it is troubling at times.

BUT, if you are just beginning with the software, Autodesk programs have produced a large following of users that are dedicated to sharing their skills. User groups are unique to the software world.
I did a search on Google for “user group” and found 8,690,000 results. Yahoo has 5,230,000 results. I started looking at them and found that the term is virtually limited to technology groups alone. Software, hardware, OS, programming languages, and more. There was no Tiddlywinks User Group. No NASCAR Racer User Group. Not even a Barbecue Users Group. Technology Only. Hmmmm.

If you are a newcomer to the tools, don’t give up.

Here is some advice for those just starting out…

  1. Focus on the main tools that you need.
  2. Don’t let what you don’t know stop you from using what you do know.
  3. Ask dumb questions – cause there is no such thing as a dumb question.
  4. Take notes
  5. Refer to your notes – often
  6. Read the Help files – they actually help
  7. Join a use group in your area
  8. Join AUGI [1] – It’s free and it is full of high tech folks to answer your questions
  9. Get close to your reseller – they sold you the software and they are a great resource.
  10. Don’t give up
  11. Ask folks to clarify jargon, if you don’t understand
  12. Don’t expect to know it all in a few weeks
  13. Don’t expect to know it all – ever
  14. Don’t stop learning
  15. Seek out others who have used the tools longer than you
  16. Don’t be afraid to admit you do not know
  17. Don’t be discouraged if you are confused – the light will eventually come on
  18. Borrow from others – use their files as examples (hopefully they will be good)
  19. Experiment – it won’t break (but do it on files that are not project critical)
  20. Have Fun and don’t sweat it – we all started out on the same level – we all knew nothing at one time.

So – the AutoCAD water truly is fine (notice I did not say “perfect”) – come on in, join the club, we will help!

Soon you will be saying like Delmar,”ok…I’m with you fellers!”

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2 Comments (Open | Close)

2 Comments To "Advice for new users"

#1 Comment By Anonymous On 2005/06/15 @ 10:30 PM

Thanks for the encouragement just when I needed it.

#2 Comment By Anonymous On 2005/06/17 @ 2:17 PM

“#6 – Read the Help files – they actually help”

#6a – First, you must learn HOW to use the HELP feature .. it will become an invaluable resource if you can first figure out how to navigate through to actually FIND the answers you’re looking for. The answers ARE there, but can be difficult to weed out amidst the clutter. Knowing what you’re actually trying to find is part of the trick.