At Allegheny College, my alma mater, all seniors are required to write a thesis that is relevant to their major. This essay can be anywhere from 40 to over 100 pages long depending on departmental requirements. It is supposed to be the biggest and best project an Allegheny student produces during their four years of undergrad. Students devote the whole semester and in some cases, the entire year to finish this project.

As a Communication Arts Major and a Gender Studies minor, I wrote my thesis about masculine representations in social media surrounding Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State” football show. It involved a lot of research, writing (obviously), late nights, and coffee.

If you fail your thesis, you cannot graduate and have the opportunity to redo it the following semester. Let’s just say the pressure was on. My professors suggested I work in Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word for two reasons:

  1. They can make edits/suggestions without us having to send versions back and forth
  2. All my work is saved automatically and can be accessed on any device

Before I started my thesis, I heard a few horror stories about computers crashing and essays being deleted before they were turned in. Laptops unfortunately only have a shelf life of about four years, so if someone bought a new laptop going into their freshman year, they may start experiencing those technical difficulties by the end of their senior year. Although my laptop was fairly new and in good shape, I took the advice because anything can happen. I could spill water on it, it could have been stolen – the possibilities are endless.

My professors were right. Using Google Docs, our communication was quick and seamless. There was no emailing updated versions of my essay back and forth and naming them “Alex-1,” “Alex-2,” “Alex-2a-revised,” etc. In fact, we could watch each other make suggested changes and accept or reject them in real time.

In many ways, my experience switching from file-based Microsoft Word to cloud-based Google Docs reminds me of the differences between working in file-based CAD versus full-cloud Onshape. I’ve heard others call Onshape “the Google Docs of CAD,” and the analogy makes a lot of sense.

Check out this horror story from a traditional CAD user on Twitter:

With full-cloud CAD, engineers and designers can say goodbye to system crashes and lost data. Onshape enables multiple people to simultaneously work together without having to email versions of files back and forth. Because your data is stored in one central database in the cloud, you’ll always know you’re working on the latest version.

Because Onshape, like Google Docs, runs in a web browser, you can just log into another computer (or any mobile device) should anything happen to yours. No need to worry about licenses or codes. It’s a new way of designing that’s built for the way today’s CAD user truly works.

Once you make the switch, you’ll never want to go back!