I first started my CAD career on AutoCAD ver.2.17B, I will not say how long ago that was. I worked solely with AutoCAD until SoftPlan version 5 (I think) came into my life, I overlapped the two programs for a couple of years until I moved to using only SoftPlan and have been very happy until the last few years.
A few years ago I took a month long AutoCAD certificate course and the year after that I took an equivalent REVIT course both at the local Technical Institute (N.A.I.T). In both cases within the first hour of the courses starting the Department head in one case and the Head Instructor in the other case both said that I would not be happy with the AutoDesk programs. They had both previously tried Softplan and emphasized that SoftPlan was a far superior program for residential and light lumber construction, I definitely agree.
Frankly I do not remember anything from those two courses.
Recently I have taken to learning a floor system and truss design program (Mitek) and boy am I struggling with it, not only because it is new to me, but it’s also not very intuitive (like AutoCAD) and a number of its features are AutoCAD based. This program has no manuals, and it has to be learned by trial and error. Compared to this program SoftPlan is a dream.
I especial like that you can contact SoftPlan tech support by email, submitting a support ticket or in the case of an urgent situation just phone them directly. Does AutoCAD have a direct help line?
As the O.P. I started this post because of how frustrated I am with the local residential drafting/building community and how they are unwilling to even try anything other than AutoCAD.
AutoCAD blows the doors off all competition because of how aggressively they market their programs NOT because they are better.
If SoftPlan offered special training schools for users that wanted to become certified SoftPlan Teachers (like AutoCAD does) I would be one of the first to enroll. I need their help competing against AutoCAD but unfortunately, they do not appear interested in growing their market share, at least not in my part of Canada.