Jeremy Goldman started playing around with AutoCAD in high school—designing football stadiums, dream houses, things like that. It was one of the few software products he really loved to use. He never dreamed that one day he’d be working on it, but three years ago he joined Autodesk as a senior learning experience designer. Here, Jeremy shares his role and what may surprise you about the AutoCAD team.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
This is tough to answer because my day-to-day activities vary so much. I work on many different products: AutoCAD, AutoCAD 360, Fusion 360, and more.
Sometimes I write the Help lessons for these products with the hope that they’ll give our customers the assistance they need to better learn and use our products. I also work on learning videos. Other times I collaborate with the experience designers to better improve the front-end experience of our products.
Right now, our biggest undertaking on the learning team is to try and make learning more interactive and intuitive. What if we can save customers the time it takes to find the content they need? What if the relevant reference material is available the instant you need it? Or even before you need it? And learning can be such a chore sometimes. What if we made it fun, so learning a new AutoCAD feature or brushing up on a series of commands was more exciting and gratifying? These are the day-to-day strategic conversations of our team.
What is your favorite part of your job?
For several AutoCAD releases, I’ve created the learning videos that are on the Start Tab! This has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve worked on…I like the idea that so many customers watch something that I’ve made…even though, like just about everyone, I hate hearing recordings of my own voice.
But truly, my favorite part of the job is getting to spend time with my co-workers and friends on the AutoCAD team. There are dozens and dozens of people I work with that I consider my close friends. Sometimes, I’ll stay at the office a couple hours after my work day is over just because I want to keep hanging out with everyone!
What is one of your favorite stories about interacting with AutoCAD users?
Last summer, I was on vacation in Europe and had a flight home from Frankfurt to San Francisco (about 11 hours). I had a seat with a man on my left and a woman on my right. The man recognized my Autodesk backpack. It turns out that he was a structural engineer who had been using AutoCAD since the 90s. The woman on my right was an architect who uses AutoCAD every day.
When they learned I worked on AutoCAD, they both proceeded to talk my ear off for the entire flight, telling me about all their experiences with AutoCAD, feature requests, etc. It was exhausting! But it was also the first time I got a sense of the impact my work has on AutoCAD customers.
Do you have a favorite building, product, or cool thing that was designed with AutoCAD?
About two years ago, my mom was doing a big landscaping project in her backyard, including adding a new drainage system, among other things. Cleverly, she printed out a bird’s eye view of her house on Google Maps, then sketched on top of it to get an idea of the available space and to show how far the drainage pipes needed to run.
She was doing a beautiful job, but it was messy. So I showed her AutoCAD 360. She imported the maps into the app and then proceeded to make all her drawings using AutoCAD 360. She loved using it! I thought it was pretty cool that someone with no CAD experience could learn a new product like that and apply it to a home project so easily.
What is one thing that you think most people do not know about the AutoCAD team?
When you send us feedback, lots of people read it. I think most people believe that when they write an email to us, or click one of those “Send us Feedback” links, they’re going to get some computer-automated response, or more likely no response at all. Or maybe there’s just one guy at a desk, probably named Dan or something, sending generic replies to every email that comes in. But it’s not like that at all.