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Re: Engineering Education

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> I loath the term "CAD Training" because I associate it with those
> days of yesteryear, when the focus suddenly shifted from the work actually
> being produced, to how to use the tool (CAD).
> The rising generation grew up with computers. There is no need for "CAD
> Training" any longer, because the software is both cheap and easy to use.

I partially agree, partially disagree.  I can point to my current firm for
examples.  We have one "technician", fresh out of school high school.  He
was hired as a friend of the bosses family.  He grew up around computers,
and very quickly figured out how to draw lines and circles in CAD.  The
problem is, he knows nothing about structures.  My absolute favorite
anecdote about this guy is the time I marked up a detail with a note that
said "move angle right 2 inches", and he added a note "move angle right 2
inches" with a leader to the angle.  He falls EXACTLY in line with your
argument about knowing how to use the tools while not knowing what you're

Conversely, we also have a technician who learned drafting in a trade school
and on the job on the "boards" before transitioning to CAD about a decade or
so ago.  He (mostly) understands structures.  He's drawn more types of steel
details and structures than I will ever design.  Unfortunately, he's slow.
He's proficient with drawing, but he doesn't use the capabilities inherent
in CAD to be more efficient.  I personally believe a pure CAD training
course would greatly benefit this guy's worth to the company.

Jason W. Kilgore
Project Engineer
Leigh & O'Kane, L.L.C.
Kansas City, Missouri

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