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Summary: How to get started as CAD Sys Admin?


Summary: How to get started as CAD Sys Admin?

Thank you all for your information!

Original question:

My company will be sending me soon to CAD Sys. Admin training. We have used outside consultants so far, and my company would like to now support me in my pursuit to become our dedicated onsite sys. admin.

Could you tell me how you got started as a CAD Sys Admin and what training you would recommend?

I've had some exposure the past few months in working with some CAD admin issues - but definately need training!

I know I need more computer training as well before jumping into the CAD admin training. Our I.S. managers recommended that I start by taking the A+ certification training - or something similar. What do you think about that? Or are there other training courses you would suggest?

I'd love to hear your input!

Kelly - I've been doing this since before PTC was a company.
(Administrating CAD, both hardware & software).
I started out as a drafter (on the board, vellum/mylar, etc) and gravitated
towards CAD. 20,000+ hours later (mostly Pro/E, PDM, user, trainer, admin)
My thoughts on certification:
The only benefit of A+ cerification would be if you didn't already
understand the hardware 101 stuff. Such as the difference between memory
and disk space, what swapping/thrashing/virtual RAM are, what disk I/O is,
and even there, I've worked side by side with "A+" certified individuals who
DIDN'T understand some of the key points I mentioned above. So, I disagree
with your IS mgrs. recommendation to a degree. . .But certifications can only
help your cause, so it's not all bad either. . .Just trying to point out the reality
that I've seen in the trenches.
It is a thankless job, so for that, you need to understand that initally, and remember
it each and every day, and never let it get you down.
How I got started was by default. No one else in the design group (s) was willing/able
to take it on, and I just did it, and trained myself via trial and error, and took to
it naturally. There is a saying: What heaven hasn't leant you cannot be taught. Very
A couple companies that I worked for just didn't get it (Why they needed an administrator).
I left on my own seeking companies that did. No regrets, always worked out better than the
previous position.
When things get really busy in my realm, many times I've been approached by management
"can we bring an intern in to help out?" Can so and so from IT help out" The answer I always
give is: sure if they can do this, that, and are versed in the administration of Catia LUM, and
I already know the answer. . .My point is that this is a field where experience and on the job
training is the best teacher, and it is a very specialized, niche job. Finding a replacement is
tough, and finding a new job is tough.

On the positive side, I find it very rewarding, and am fine with the thankless part of it.
Some things that will help/make it easier for you:
Having a good repor with the users & their mgmt
Stay ahead of the game (anticipate changes, be pro-active vs. re-active where possible)
Don't fix what isn't broken
Don't let a user determine the priority
Be a very good listener
Have a great deal of humility
Have a great connection with your IT dept
Know your boundaries and limitations
Always, always have a back door plan
know as much as you can about the roles in engineering, who does what, etc.
Good luck, and welcome to the world of administration! It's not as bad as some make it
out to be.