I’ve been asked a number of times how I wound up with, so here’s the Reader’s Digest version. At one of the earliest gunslingers for the product, a name hadn’t even been chosen yet. As part of the weeks activities, they ran a number of names by us, as they had been with focus groups and other members of industry. The product was simply called Vine at this point, and this was the 2004 release cycle.

On the last day of Gunslinger meetings, there is typically about two hours of open dialog, “What did you like? What didn’t you like? What’s still missing? What’s your favorite new tool?” type stuff. There have been some spectacular rants during these meetings, and some good smackdowns. It has never gotten ugly, but I think tense would be a fair assessment.

During this particular wrap-up session, someone comes in to announce they’ve chosen a name. Civil3d. I’m sitting at a computer, so my immediate reaction is And what appears? A blank holding page? An Autodesk logo? Nope. This. Mining software. (Thanks Internet Archive!) Are you kidding me? Don’t you people Google? I was dumbfounded, but that’s the way it was.

Fast-forward to January of 2006. I’m telling this story to a Jason Hickey, laughing as I type, expecting the same thing. Instead, up comes a “This Domain for Sale” page. Done. Bought, and now blogged. And no, Autodesk has never asked for it back, or offered to buy it. Bentley on the other hand….

So, now that you know how we wound up here, a bit about the people behind

James Wedding, P.E. Hall Monitor.

Jason Hickey, Agent Provocatuer

Jason is our expert reviewer and excels at drawing people offsides with their comments. A reseller AE with a ball of passion about the product and a surveyor’s inane paranoia about engineers, he brings an entirely different point of view to the proceedings. His reviews of alternate solutions are getting read far and wide and leading to some real interest from the cetners of development, in NH and other villes across the globe.

Dana Probert, E.I.T., Diva

Dana received her BSCE from Georgia Tech in 1998.   Since then she has worked for consulting engineers in the US and Canada doing a variety of civil projects from large planned residential communities, small subdivisions, commercial site design, stormwater management, road design, sanitary sewer networks, stream restoration projects, and municipal GIS.   For most of this work, she has used AutoCAD based products, including Land Desktop, Civil Design, Raster Design, Autodesk Map, and Civil 3D.

Dana began instructing users Civil 3D in October 2004, and since then has used Civil 3D herself for design of subdivision layout, road design, grading, stormwater management and utility projects.   In addition to her own design work, Dana has been working closely as a team member with several firms on their Civil 3D pilot projects and implementation plans, and taught many Civil 3D training classes. Oh, and she also built the best 52 baseline corridor known to man.

Nick Zeeben, Young Turk & ET from the Mothership

Nick graduated with a 2 year diploma in Engineering with a focus on cad customization and management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Nick has since worked as both a production drafter and outsourced IS/IT. The past 4 years Nick has focused on helping clients on a local and national level realize gains in productivity and overall use on both a local and national level. Since the arrival of Civil 3D Nick has been out introducing clients to this exciting new technology and helping guide them from pilot to implementation.

Nick is essentialy the technical editor of When we want a new feature or change, he’s the man. His ability to quickly absorb techical information from disparate sources and apply it to the challenge at hand makes him an invaluable addition to any team.

And while he now works for Autodesk, we still like him, so we leave him as part of the site. He’s still my go-to guy when I want to try something new on the site or need to adjust a feature.



  1. Took Dana’s advice and installed Bloglines. Pretty easy, even for an old guy, to subscribe to a number of blogs.

  2. you know, i went to that internet archive site and i found my old college webpage. it was a blast from 1996 that i am not sure i was prepared for. i am not sure i should thank you or send you my bills from the shrink.