How did I get to be CADMama from my early times with AutoCAD and Autodesk?

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I had a teaching position at a local tech school in Knoxville where I had taught two CAD programs when I moved to Louisville, Kentucky. I saw an ad in the paper for a CAD instructor and went and applied. I had been on four CAD programs so when asked if I could teach AutoCAD I crossed my fingers behind my back and said sure. They gave me version 1.2 AutoCAD to get me started but in two weeks when the classes started version 1.4 had come out. Two 5 ¼ floppy discs called Executables and Overlays. We had no mouse and no hard drive, hard core if you ask me. After a year there the tech school in Knoxville had turned into a community college and I got a call to come back. It was a few years later that I was running an Autodesk Training center there. I also started an Autodesk user group, the Smoky Mountain Autodesk User Group or SMAUG. (Yes, I am a Hobbit fan!)



My first Autodesk University was in 1993 and I have not missed one in the US since. I was teaching at my first one in 1996.  In 1999 there were four, I taught at all four of them. The first one was planned by the North American AutoCAD User Group, NAAUG, which is now AUGI. This is where I found the place for me. I served as many AUG officer positions including President the year it changed from NAAUG to AUGI. I was president of AUGI for the 1997 Autodesk University in Los Angeles. This was also the year that R14 came out. Ahhh, now that was a good year.



Autodesk University was usually a fun trip but occasionally it could be REALLY fun!



I worked directly with NAAUG/AUGI for over 30 years before getting someone to take over my volunteer work about 2 years ago. As a volunteer I did the job of Membership Manager helping with log ins as well as being the complaint department. One thing that happened at AU one year was some guy came up and thanked me for helping get him back into our site by resetting his password. I could not see passwords, but I could change them. I asked his name and told him I thought I could remember the password I gave him. He told me his name and I pondered over it for a bit then asked him if I had given him the password of “allaugi” for him to log back in with. He was astounded that I could remember. Should I rip the blindfold off slowly? Nah, I had a preset email to send out to anyone that needed a password set and I gave hundreds of people the same password.


Through AUGI I became really involved in doing CAD Camps for several years, lots of planes, lots of fun. The Express Tools guys used to hang out in my AUGI Tips & Tricks class and there is where I did something that made it into the software. I showed off my favorite button that I had customized, and the Express Tool guys ask if they could use it and put it on the right click menu. Now every time you right click to go Mid between to points you can think of me.


I was an Autodesk Consultant for a while, but I have never worked for Autodesk. I got proficient at AutoCAD Architecture during this time of my career. I was doing log home design fully using that software. It was when I first got Revit that I thought, “Yeah, this is what it is supposed to be like.” I now live in my first Revit project. It as at this log home design firm where I got the nickname CADMama. We had two large rooms and if someone yelled for help from the other room I had to pass an architect’s desk on my way. He started singing “CADmama to the rescue, go CADMama, go CADMama.” One of the guys I worked with went to the AU in Boston, the year there were four, and he kept telling everyone that worked with CADMama. It stuck.




So that is a bit of a run through my software career, my favorite part that I have done has to be meeting people. How many of you can remember where you met me or saw my training work? Did I get you to become an AUGI member by signing you up at AU? Did you get your AUGI beer mug from me? Was it a CAD Camp? Was it an online thing through what I have done with the Autodesk Community group on Facebook? How about AUGI? Did you ever read an article of mine? See a forum post there? Did you watch my Revit Family Counseling sessions I did with the Community Conversations this last year? Even more fun, how many of these T-shirts do you have? I found these in a cabinet that I had not been in for a while and thought this would make a fun game.



Like the post and leave me a message below if you want. Send me a pic of your T-shirt. Also, I would love to hear where we met.