Autodesk University - Everything Autodesk In One Place

To many people, Autodesk University (AU) is just another conference you can attend to improve your skills for your chosen software application. The truth is that I, having attended AU for the last 14 years (many at my own expense), have learned more about the potential of Autodesk software across many industries and design fields unrelated to my chosen career.


I began working in AutoCAD with version 1.4 many years ago. AutoCAD has been evolving and improving since the early releases, keeping up with industries while improving user interaction. About 15 years ago, I started using AutoCAD Electrical (ACADE). As I worked with ACADE throughout the years, I found that I would come up against a challenge or have a task that did not execute as well as I had hoped. Many challenges and issues I encountered did not have practical solutions or workarounds in the ACADE forums or blogs.


As a new company employee, the chance for them to send me to AU was slim to none. I decided to spend my own money to see what AU had to offer that might help meet my daily challenges. Being questioned as to the practicality of the expenditure of my funds to learn something for my workplace was common when people found out that is what I was doing.


I was seeking solutions not only for myself but my coworkers. I found an excellent resource in the variety of classes and the vast experience of the speakers at AU. Many of the things that gave me issues were common to other disciplines I found.


Many classes I found which were not specific to my chosen software would help me work more efficiently and give me a different perspective on how to take on a task. By attending courses outside my profession, I saw new ways to manage challenges and found many ways to improve my efficiency. I ended up, by default, being a CAD manager in addition to a controls designer very quickly. The experienced CAD managers and round table discussions I attended were invaluable in allowing me to work towards setting up company standards and training guidelines.


As I attended Au's through the years, I got to know the presenters and built a rapport with them. Connecting with these professionals would not have been possible without attending AU. I still keep in contact with many people I have met over the years and rely on their knowledge.


The ability to meet many (the numbers I heard from earlier events was 10k attendees) other like-minded Aurodeskers is the most significant benefit, in my opinion. You would have to be on the road all year and attend countless events to connect with this many people. 


If you are on the fence, or your manager is, look into the variety of offerings for this year. Many courses will enhance your skills regardless of the software they are targeted to teach. I hope to see you at AU - if you see me around, stop and say hello! That is why we are there!