Letter from the President - January 2018

Does anyone else remember the old TV tagline, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you”? Back in the late ‘90s, that was NBC’s way of trying to get us to watch reruns of shows that had aired earlier in the year. (Yes, back when network shows had “seasons” and “reruns”.) It might be less appropriate today in the age of streaming, on-demand programming, and digital video recorders, but I found myself lately thinking about it in the context of learning and training.

Anything can be new if you’ve never heard it before. Take Tool Palettes. They were introduced in AutoCAD® 2004—over 14 years ago. They’re the definition of “not a new feature.” Yet Autodesk University 2017 in Las Vegas featured not one, not two, but four sessions on Tool Palettes! There was even a lab that had such high demand, it was run a second time that week. So clearly, there are plenty of people out there who believe that there’s something to be learned about Tool Palettes. It doesn’t matter that the feature is almost old enough to drive—it’s new to them.

I was also thinking about a former colleague of mine, whom I watched very carefully hold down the Shift key and select several object grips in his AutoCAD drawing so he could stretch them over. He was absolutely amazed when I told him about the Stretch command. I’m still not sure what his training path was like that he learned about multi-grip-select before he learned about Stretch, but it was fascinating to see the workarounds we come up with when no one has shown us a better way.

I’m bringing up that incident as a reminder that we don’t always know what our colleagues’ experiences have been. Something that is second nature to you might never have been shown to them.

You might think that everybody knows what you know. Spoiler alert: They don’t!

Because everybody’s experience is different, you never know what small (or large) tricks you’ve figured out that your colleagues haven’t seen yet. You never know, that is, until you share them. Sharing our knowledge is actually a way to increase it—either thanks to the fact that explaining something is a surefire way to understand it better, or because people might be inspired to respond to a helpful hint with one of their own: “Hey, that’s neat! And have you seen this?” The more you share, the more you know. (And now, how many of you are singing that other NBC tagline? “The more you know...”)

Before I close, I have an update for you regarding the Board of Directors. I promised myself that this year I would stay away from the New Year’s cliches of resolutions and change... but what can I say? January is a time for new beginnings.

Volunteers on the Board of Directors are elected to three-year terms. On December 31, Curt Moreno, Chris Lindner, and I all completed our terms that began in 2015. I would like to congratulate Chris on his re-election to the board, and welcome back for the new term. Curt and I did not run this year, but that doesn’t mean we’re going away! I will be continuing as President, and Curt will keep many of the hats he wears at AUGI (not the least of which is his fantastic top hat). Thank you, Curt, for your service to AUGI these last three years.

I also have the pleasure of welcoming two new members to the Board. In the recent election, Brian Andresen and Todd Rogers were elected along with Chris Lindner to new three-year terms. Both their names should be familiar to long-time readers of AUGIWorld, and I look forward to working with them, and with continuing Board members Kimberly Furhman and Robert Green, as we continue to promote AUGI’s mission of education, communication, and support.

If there’s anything the Board can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at

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