Once again this year, SolidWorks held their Internet Correspondent contest and the winner was Chris Scott from Jacksonville, Florida. That, for this post, is neither here nor there. Chris fulfilled a need I had; to interview someone who had never been to SolidWorks World before. While I remember my first time (who doesn’t?), I wanted a fresh perspective on it, so I asked Chris if he’d be up for it. Thankfully, the fool agreed.
This kid is fresh out of college and was an easy mark. Even if he wanted to back out now, I have his picture and answers, so it’s too late. He’s quite the go-getter, this one. He works as an Aerospace Engineer, but also started his own company, Forza Engineering, where he designs and manufactures carbon fiber parts. I only had a few minutes to talk to Chris, but he seemed to be a pretty decent guy and I didn’t hear any rumors about him getting all crazy (which we’ll have to fix in San Diego), so I’m guessing he’s ok. Without further ramblings by me, here’s my interview with Chris Scott, SolidWorks World (ex-)Virgin.
What prompted you to enter the SolidWorks internet correspondent contest?
It popped up in my Facebook feed (I have SolidWorks ‘liked’) about it. I looked at previous events and researched it a little more to see what the event entails and was really impressed by the mixture of activities going on and it looked like a great time and place to be. I really saw this as an opportunity to meet new people and learn more about SolidWorks.
How’d you feel when you won?
I was stunned, I really didn’t think that I was going to win it. Definitely didn’t feel real, like as if I missed some sort of a ‘catch’ or that it was a mistake.
Now, for the main reason I’m doing this. What were your thoughts as you entered the general assembly Monday morning?
I really didn’t know what to expect. You really have no idea how many people are there until you see several thousand people trying to fit in the hallways. The doors opened and you walk into this massive room with lights, projectors, music, etc and people flooding in like a scene from Braveheart.
As the day stretched on, what were your thoughts?
The first day was extremely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. It was great being a part of the presentation and being able to witness firsthand all the new exciting platforms and features that SolidWorks is adding. I was blown away with the special guests from the Red Bull Team. Afterwards I had the delight to meet and talk with them, I’ve been following that project for several years now and was even familiar with the Joseph even before then, so I was pretty stoked. As the day went on I attended several technical sessions which allowed me to learn new tips and tricks. Lunches and breaks provided an opportunity to meet plenty of new people and run around the Partner Pavilion and check out the cool gadgets.
What stood out in your mind most?
More like what blew my mind the most, z space. That holographic reality display was absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t have enough of it. Also I really enjoyed the ending of Wednesday’s general session and how they closed it out… where can I get my SolidGrill 3000???
What was your favorite part(s)?
The community, definitely. Everyday, every minute it seemed I was meeting new people and making new friends. People from all over the world and all different backgrounds of industry. I checked into the hotel on Sunday knowing nobody there and when it came time to leave on Wednesday, it seemed I was saying goodbye to everyone in the hallways.
How would you sum up your experience?
It was phenomenal. I really had no idea what was in store for me. There was something to do every single minute of the day. Between wide array of guest speakers that have accomplished so much, the endless list of technical sessions to attend, the great new friends I’ve made, and to witness this all first hand was a real treat. I’m still really impressed they managed to fit almost 5000 of us into buses to head for Universal Studios!
You planning on going to San Diego?
My bags are already packed! I would love to see what SolidWorks has in store for next year.
There you have it, folks. A first-hand account from a SolidWorks World newbie.