Brian Benton is an AutoCAD training specialist. He describes himself as a man who wears many hats, and when you read his answers below, you’ll know why. He has created over 15 Infinite Skills training courses, which cater to beginning AutoCAD users all the way to advanced users. He has many achievements under his belt, including a degree in Design Drafting and being a member of the Autodesk Expert Elite Program. Check out his personal blog for CAD tips, drafting techniques, and tech news! Now, let’s get to know Brian Benton.
Infinite Skills: How and why did you get started in your particular field of teaching?
Brian Benton: I got into teaching because I needed to learn more about AutoCAD.
Finding quality teaching at a reasonable price was impossible. Finding training that was convenient was, well, it just didn’t exist.
I started training myself with whatever online resource I could find. Once I had the knowledge I had to do something with it I started a blog. Then I started writing for AUGI and Cadalyst Magazine. I was training CAD users by sharing what I had learned – it was great. Then I got noticed and people started to come to me for help, and it snowballed from there. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!
Infinite Skills: What’s been your favourite course to teach for Infinite Skills thus far?
Brian Benton: My favourite course was the first time I created the AutoCAD beginners and advanced courses. It was overwhelming at first. I had to come up with a way to teach a person that had never used AutoCAD before. It wasn’t easy, nor was it straightforward. AutoCAD has hundreds of commands, and each command has at least three ways to start it. The biggest challenge was where to start, and another challenge was knowing what NOT to teach. Making an extensive training title from scratch was a lot of fun.
Infinite Skills: What you think about the advancement of technology, as it applies to your area of expertise?
Brian Benton: Technology in the CAD field, or the design field rather, is constantly changing. The developers of these tools keep making new ways to get things done – it’s overwhelming. The PC hardware we use is starting to plateau, but the software changes each year. Developers also keep creating new tools. I think Autodesk has released a new product every month this year and it’s daunting. I have made it my job/goal to keep up with it because I am a tech junkie, but “regular” CAD users have trouble keeping up with the CAD software they use everyday. The Internet has changed the industry quite a bit as well. It has given users access to many data sets and new tools. Companies like Autodesk have embraced the Internet and its potential for cloud-based solutions and tools. Anyone in my industry needs to have the mindset of changing technology and vow to never become stagnant in terms of technology. If they fail to do this then they will be passed up by those who embrace new technology.
Infinite Skills: What do you do when you’re not teaching an Infinite Skills course?
Brian Benton: For my “day job” I am the Chief Engineering Technician and IT/Communications Manager for a small Civil Engineering/Survey/Land Planning/Landscape Architecture firm. I wear a lot of hats there and perform many duties. I also write a weekly column for Cadalyst Magazine call Tips and Tricks Weekly. Readers send in their CAD tips and I review, test, and comment on them. They are then published in a weekly newsletter. I also write for Autodesk’s small business blog, “Line/Shape/Space”, where I discuss small business IT needs. I also update and edit the Sybex Publishing book, Mastering AutoCAD, which is the Autodesk certified training manual for AutoCAD. Those are my “jobs”. I also write for AUGI from time to time. I am married and have three children – they are my number one interest. When I have the time I like to get out on my kayak. My biggest hobby though is tech news.
I follow tech news and gadgets like rich people follow the stock market, or sports fans follow their favourite team.
Check out all of Brian Benton’s Infinite Skills AutoCAD training courses, including Advanced AutoCAD 2014, Learning Autodesk AutoCAD 2014, and Learning AutoCAD LT 2012. You can also visit his personal blog for further CAD tips and techniques.