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Tech Manager—I Get by… with a Little Help…

Autodesk products can be customized. Most of us have done some customization along the road. It may have been high end customization that no one else is doing, or it might be tinkering with the entry level tools to make your products do the dance that you want. Even defining a file structure or template is considered customizing. Programming, script writing, GUI enhancements, and so much more can be done. From easy to hard, it is all there to make things easier and working the way you may want. Not everyone is comfortable with all levels of customization, so from time to time you may need to reach out to others for help.

Now that the song is stuck in your head... let’s get some help...

From Myself

The song does not mention getting help from yourself, but that is the first place I will turn.  You may enjoy customizing (I certainly do). I have tweaked everything I could get my hands on. If it did not work like I wanted, I changed it. I added on, replaced, expanded, and enhanced the tech tools I have used from day one. If you enjoy this and have a knack, then turn to yourself, first. Learn more, apply more, extend more. It is not hard to get started, just dive in, and try it. Start with the easiest way to customize, which is using the tools in the product. Only move to advanced tools when the lower end tools do not do what is needed.

But... No one can do it all. You may not have the time to learn a new trick or method or programming language. Or, you may not have the time to use the skills that you already have. We are all swamped. We are all trying to do more with less. There is nothing wrong with expanding your resources beyond your own brain and hands.

From My Friends

The song does mention this, and I will also. Having connections is the best, first place to look for help. Be it customizing or anything else. The folks around you can get you started. Generally, there will be someone you can tap into for help. It might be someone at your firm or at another. CAD/BIM users usually love to share knowledge. Just ask around. You can get some great ideas from those who have been down this road before. Be willing to share your knowledge also. It should be a two-way street.

I generally ask how others do something or what tools they use to get something done. That starts a conversation that might end up with some custom setups or scripts. It is okay to use something that another person gives you after you test it in your environment. It is polite to ask if you can use it. I seldom have someone tell me no. When interacting with others, the creative juices flow. Ideas will generate more ideas. You may just need a hint at the answer or a suggestion of where to look. You may need troubleshooting help. When I am programming, a new set of eyes looking at my code sometimes uncovers something that I am missing (or a typo). Make sure you give credit to those that help and thank them for their assistance.

From AUGI

Sometimes you need professional help. If you are taking on a large project of customization, it might serve you well to bring in an outsider to help. AUGI has a place where you can find help.  Just a few clicks away may be the advanced help you need. It is online and is a repository of those that can help.

Resource Directory - https://www.augi.com/resource-directory

From the site: The AUGI Resources System is a one-stop shop for you, the user, to find products and services to aid in your usage of Autodesk applications. Developers, consultants, and resellers are welcome to contribute their “store front” to the ARS. Once added they can then be searched and contacted by users worldwide.

Each listing includes name, location, contact info, website link, products covered, and services offered. You just search for what you may need, find the providers, and contact them directly.

The search function helps...

From Autodesk

Autodesk has a deep listing of resources that they have provided. It is online and covers a wide swath of tools.

Services Marketplace - https://servicesmarketplace.autodesk.com/

From the website: Hire trusted consultants

From online training classes to software customization, find Autodesk consultants.

Autodesk Services Marketplace is an integrated website where customers can easily connect with and hire vetted providers for the services they need to be successful with our software.

As a customer, you can compare industry professionals who provide critical services such as customized training, software customization, workflow optimization, pipeline development, and more.  You then can connect directly with and hire the service provider who meets your criteria.

Providers listed on the Autodesk Services Marketplace must meet specific qualifications established by Autodesk. Ongoing analysis of response time, provider reporting, customer ratings, feedback, and other factors help ensure the continued quality of participating providers.

Service providers are a mix of Autodesk Expert Elites, Autodesk partners, and other qualified third parties with a proven, successful track record providing services in our industries.

Autodesk does not collect any proceeds from Autodesk Services Marketplace transactions at this time.  We do not charge customers to use the site, and we do not charge providers a listing fee.  Customers sometimes need assistance to unlock the power of our products, therefore, it’s in our interest to provide easy access to services that can provide short- and long-term help that can’t be achieved alone.

There are lots of providers on the site. 192 for AutoCAD and 188 for Revit, just to name a couple. You can search by Industry, Product, Service Type, Specialties, Location and more. Like AUGI, each individual listing includes name, location, contact info, website link, products covered, and services offered. They also include reviews by past clients.

No matter where you get help, get help. When you start customizing your design tools, you will need it. But watch out… once you start… you may not be able to stop. It is addictive.

Mark Kiker has more than 25 years of hands-on experience with technology. He is fully versed in every area of management from deployment planning, installation, and configuration to training and strategic planning. As an internationally known speaker and writer, he is a returning speaker at Autodesk University since 1996. Mark is currently serving as Director of IT for SIATech, a non-profit public charter high school focused on dropout recovery. He maintains two blog sites, www.caddmanager.com and www.bimmanager.com.

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