The SolidWorks World 2009 Proceedings site is now up and running. You can see pics of SWW, videos of SWW, download podcasts and (drum roll, please) you can even download videos of the breakout sessions! Kind of like being there without all the walking.
The site is easy to navigate and chock full of great information. While it doesn’t fully replace actually attending (I mean nothing compares to getting your geek on with 4000+ other geeks), it will at least let you see what you missed. Plus, for those of you that did attend, you can now check out those sessions that you missed. Just click here and get your geek on!
At SolidWorks World 2009, Jeff Ray talked about an Engineering Stimulus Plan. Naturally, with the economy tanking, there were quite a few people interested in what it was about. Through bribes, torture and blackmail, I was able to find out some of the pertinent points.
The idea is to help displaced engineers and designers sharpen their skills in order to make them more employable. How is this going to be done? The plan is three phased.
First, free downloads of SolidWorks 2009 standard. (Yes, it’s the Student Design Kit.) For the time being, it will only the English version and only available in the U.S. and Canada. Details are still being worked out on overseas plans. The downloads are expected to start in April 2009 and will have a 90-day life.
Two, currently it will be mostly self training via the tutorials and more video content. SolidWorks is asking their VARs to step up and help in this area (think Fisher/Unitech’s ‘No Engineer Left Behind’). While 1/2 day hands-on test drives are more than likely, SolidWorks would like to see their VARs offer unemployed engineers empty seats in essentials classes. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually step up and do it. Most state governments, as well as the Feds, offer re-training grants, so hopefully that will help to motivate the VARs.
The third phase involves offering discounted CSWA exams, and by discounted I hope they mean free, as well as a job portal.
As I understand it, this will all be triggered by a survey due out in mid-March. As soon as I know, I’ll pass on the information.
Most of this information will be available at SolidWorks’ website in a short amount of time. There are lingering questions, though. How will they determine if someone is actually unemployed is the first thing that comes to mind. When will our overseas brethren see the program? How many VARs will actually step up to the plate? What can we, as a community, do to help this succeed?
While I think that this is a great idea, its success will lie in the motivation of the individual to learn and the willingness of VARs to help out. Now would be a good time for them to truly put meaning behind Value Added Reseller.
Yes, I know I just posted about SolidWorks World ’09 but there’s some other posts out there that I wanted to bring to your attention ’cause they’re important.
First, Richard Doyle is looking for your 1st time story. If it’s good enough, you could end up on stage with Jeff Ray. Check out Richard’s blog and leave your story in the comments. There is also a thread in the SolidWorks forums too.
Next we have Matt West. If you’re quick, you still might be able to suggest a couple of questions for him to ask Jeff Ray and Jon Hirschtick. Matt is interviewing them for a SWW podcast. Jump over to the Solidworks blog and leave your suggestions in the comments.