Stranger in a Strange Land – Epilogue

Posted on June 25th, 2013. Posted In Software Review


Where this was my first user convention that had nothing to do with SolidWorks, I was unsure of what to expect. Would it be as big as SWW? Would it be as fun? Would I end up with foot-in-mouth disease? The answers came slowly.

SolidEdge University is a small affair, with about 250 attendees mostly from the US. There were some international travelers, the farthest coming from Australia. They seemed upbeat and happy to be here, but there didn’t seem to be the same level of excitement that one gets at SWW.

There is a general session on the first day where the typical company rhetoric is espoused, followed by keynote speakers and then the “what’s new” segment. I have to apologize here. I had to leave after the first hour. Having been attacked by insomnia the night before, I was in danger of sliding off my seat so I left to go sleep. Definitely not one of the highlights of my burgeoning journalism career. A side note – I don’t know how some of the journalists here do it; up all night drinking and then back in the trenches the next morning. Guess I need to find my inner frat boy and get with the program.

Attendees have 70 different sessions to choose from, covering all aspects of SolidEdge and presented by users and employees, spread out over a day and a half.
The only presentation I went to was the one given by Matt Lombard, SolidEdge’s newest employee. His presentation was about combining history based modeling with synchronous. While there were a couple of good points, much of it was just stating the obvious to me. However, I can’t speak for everyone in attendance.
Having never really looked at SolidEdge, I did swing by their area to get a demo. I have to admit, I found it intriguing. Enough so that I’ll be doing a review of it in the not too distant future. More of a comparison, actually. I know you’ll all be waiting with bated breath.

I did meet some great people, chatted with some I’d only known through Twitter and reconnected with some old friends. Matt is now SolidEdge’s community manager and Christine Longwell works for them as well.

The answers to the questions? No, no and, thankfully, no.


  • Michael Lord

    There’s always a token Australian at these events 🙂

    First Longwell, then Lombard looks like they’re grooming for a Mirisola as well! That’s one way to reduce the number of SolidWorks Users! 🙂

    • JeffMirisola

      That, my friend, is not the case. I was there as a member of the press.

  • Jeff, I thought it was great having you at Solid Edge University. I certainly didn’t think you would have some huge epiphany and start shouting about the merits of synchronous. Sometimes an honest assessment is what is needed. I do appreciate you being open to coming and also credit our folks for inviting you.

    Solid Edge University is smaller than other CAD conferences. While Solid Edge has been around a long time, I think about it more like the early days of other CAD companies and their events. We actually had well over 500 people with strong growth for our third year. It is obviously easy to grow a lot when you are small but not all conferences are growing right now.

    Solid Edge University’s main focus is on training and productivity. On the one hand, this is good as companies get really good value when they send their employees (have you compared the costs of other conferences?) Also, people don’t want to be marketed at all day.

    On the flip side, its hard to get excited about training. While I had fun playing with the new technology, I’m all for doing things that generate more fun and excitement next year. Maybe you have some ideas?

    • Jeff Mirisola

      I’m glad that I was able to attend. All-in-all, I had an enjoyable time. Next year, should I be invited again, at least I’ll be better prepared; both for the conference and what SolidEdge is all about. Then, hearing about “what’s new” will have some meaning for me.
      As for getting excited about training, I like to learn about new tools that’ll help make me better. Especially if they’ll give me a boost in pay!