The following is an interview with Jimmy, our top gun designer from Friday’s upgrade zone episode.
Engineering Data Specialist Man: You have a reputation around here as the go to SOLIDWORKS guy, yet we couldn’t help but notice you did not use any of the enhancements offered in the new upgrade what happened?
Jimmy: I always try to attend the 3DVision “What’s new” presentations, but this year I wasn’t allowed to go. Isn’t it interesting that companies offer tuition reimbursement but won’t let you take a half day to attend a What’s New presentation? They’d pay for me to take a pottery class (as long as I get a “C” or better) but they won’t help me keep my SOLIDWORKS skills current?
EDSM: [Sigh] Some companies don’t understand that there is a cost to maintaining talent. Do you remember if your job description mentions that one of your job responsibilities is to keep up with technology? I know that is a typical statement at most companies.
Jimmy: I think it does, I always figured that was just something they put in so they could fire me if they ever needed to.
EDSM: Ahh…they have you paranoid, looks like your boss is doing his job; however that little loop-hole statement is a good thing! It is your ticket to improving yourself on company time.
Jimmy: I suppose that is true, but if I miss the “What’s New” presentations how can I keep up?
EDSM: Yeah, it is difficult without being able to attend the “What’s New”s -I always think of them as the best continuing education opportunity around, but they aren’t the only tools at your disposal. SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, the SOLIDWORKS forum, SOLIDWORKS blogs, the “What’s New” document (found in the help section of SolidWorks), and even trade magazines are good tools at your disposal. Remember as fast as technology changes, if you don’t improve, you are falling behind. Try to set aside time each week to devote to “keeping up with technology”. At the very least ensure you go through the “What’s New” document, even if you don’t think a chapter directly will be used in your company. You might find a new approach to an age old issue in your company.
Jimmy: I’ve been thinking of attending one of the SOLIDWORKS user group meetings do they help?
EDSM: I’ve never attended one where I didn’t at least learn something. Besides, you cannot go wrong with free pizza!