With a strong background and degree in civil engineering, Dania El Hassan joined the AutoCAD team two years ago as a product manager. Here, she shares details about her role, history with AutoCAD, and the inspiration she finds each day.
Why did you join the AutoCAD team?
I wanted to be a part of the platform that is at the center of Autodesk’s history and has the most reach and impact on design worldwide. With the business model move to subscription, AutoCAD once again has the opportunity to reinvent itself. I wanted to join the team of incredibly talented folks here to help drive that change.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Along with a few other product managers, I meet with customers, external teams, and development and user experience teammates to determine the next generation of AutoCAD features.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love working with all the incredibly talented and collaborative teammates across the globe. We work very hard, but, at the end of the day, these are people I still want to have a beer with when the day is done.
What is one of your favorite stories about interacting with AutoCAD users?
I was speaking with a land surveyor about a pain point his engineers encounter frequently. I described a possible solution our team had come up with to solve his problem and he said “I would drop down on my knees and beg for that.” It’s always great to hear we are on the right track.
I also particularly like speaking with customers in person, on the train, on the way to work, in my travels, and with my friends. It’s great that most people use AutoCAD themselves or have an aunt or a friend that works with AutoCAD. It’s hard to escape the reaches of AutoCAD, so it’s a good thing I love talking about it.
Do you have a favorite building, product, or cool thing that was designed with AutoCAD?
I would say Fan Pier Building F in Boston, MA. It was the first construction project I worked on. I shared a common server with the architect to share DWGs and Revit models daily to coordinate the MEP systems of the building. We both had a love of the right pen for marking up drawings in the field. When I came across an issue that I needed his help on, I’d give him one of my fine tip green pens and he’d help me out. On the flip side, I’d give him red pens for issuing us new DWGs.
What gets you out of bed and into work every day?
I know that what I work on matters a lot to customers all around the world. I’ve always had the desire to create a positive global impact through my work. I love knowing that I help the world design and make the products, buildings, and infrastructure we use today—and help imagine how our future could be.