If you were to close your eyes and imagine what the stereotypical New Englander sounds like, there’s a good chance you’d hear a voice similar to Joy Garon’s. Every time I get the opportunity to talk with her, I’m immediately whisked home to Andover, where I grew up. She has enough “Boston-ness” to offset the fact that she, a die-hard Red Sox fan, married a Yankee fan. Well, mostly anyway. So, in honor Joy, and her awesome New England accent, I’m going to write this interview with a New England accent.

Joy stahted her design careeah at the tendah age of seventeen as a draftah/designah. At eighteen, she joined GE Aircraft Engine group as a tool designah, while continuing her education at night. (Side note: you’ll just have to affect the accent yourself now. It’s too difficult type) It was here that she was first exposed to CAD/CAM. They used ComputerVision and Joy was quick to realize the value of 3D design. It was her love of 3D, coupled with her love of computers that propelled her to jet a job at ComputerVision. While working there, she spent time dealing with large automotive companies domestically and internationally. Becoming involved with data management was a necessity at this point of her career. She also met some of the founders of SolidWorks while at ComputerVision.

Joy left ComputerVision and went to work at SmarTeam, becoming more involved with data management. She started realizing the the challenges of implementing data management and PLM at smaller companies. In 2001, she left SmarTeam to join SolidWorks as a Product Manager for data management.

When she first joined SolidWorks, she was more of a technical product manager, which is where her passion lies. As the position evolved into more of a business management position, she decided to join the training team so she could continue to remain a techie and prepare herself for a teaching career when she retires.

The training department as SolidWorks is responsible for writing all of those wonderful books that the VARs use to teach all those lucky enough to go to training. Much of Joy’s time is spent working with pre-release software, creating all those cool exercises in the books. Then, of course, all those books need to be translated into umpteen languages.

What Joy failed to mention was the fact that she travels all over the world to provide training from one of the best. Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe. Joy is all over the map. (Strangely, I can’t seem to get her out here for a SASPUG meeting…) Joy is also a fixture at SolidWorks World and her PDM sessions are always well attended. Should she ever make it to your neck of the woods, you’d be doing yourself a favor to let her learn ya.


Picture stolen from SolidWorks.com

Back in January, I put up a post about SolidWorks certification being free and how I thought it cheapened the whole exam. At SolidWorks World, I interviewed Jeremy Luchini and we discussed my thoughts. He explained why they’d made the changes and it seemed reasonable, though I wasn’t fully convinced. About a month ago I took the Sheet metal exam, which I figured I’d pass with no problem. I’m ashamed to say that wasn’t the case. Though I made the mistake of taking it at work, complete with interruptions, the test was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. I hate humble pie, but I’m chewing on it right now.

Jeremy, and his team, have really done some great things with the certification program. They now offer five different certifications:

  • CSWP – Core Modeling Specialist (8,329 world-wide)
  • CSWP – Advanced Sheet Metal (457 world-wide)
  • CSWP – Advanced Surfacing (61 world-wide)
  • CSWP – FEA: (35 world-wide)
  • CSWA (8,086 world-wide)

You can get complete info on each of the exams here.

They’ve revamped the certification site, making it possible for you to see which exams you’ve taken and how you did. If you’re a manager, you can set up a test event for your team and track their progress. You can also export the info to Excel and see what areas to focus on for training.

I know what you’re thinking, “quit rambling and tell me how to win!”. Ok, here’s the deal; the first ten people to email me and a signed, and notarized, document stating that they will forever be a diehard Red Sox and/or Patriots fan will win.

Too much for you to swallow? Ok, I’ll make it more simple. The first ten people to email me the correct answer to the following question win: In what year was the CSWP program launched?

Each winner will get a free certificate for their choice of exam. Simply email me your answer and which exam you’d like to take. Once I have the ten winners, I’ll send them their codes.

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