SWW8 Pre-Day (Jan 20, 2008)

Flying in on the afternoon of Saturday, I was greeted by beautiful San Diego weather.  It was the sort of picture perfect day that one tends to take for granted in San Diego.  Sunday was just a beautiful, but I didn’t know that from personal experience.  See, I was at the first day of SolidWorks World 2008, buried deep in the heart of the San Diego Convention Center.  In the morning, I attended two Focus Group sessions, the Design Checker Focus Group and the Surface Model Functionality Focus Group.

Now, I know what you are thinking, “Who cares about Design Checker, and in fact, who even uses it?”  Well, this is likely part of the reason SolidWorks held a focus group on the topic.  Participation was a little light.  When invited to the focus groups, participants were told that the group size would be limited to 12 people.  The group for Design Checker hit 9 people, and that was including the two SolidWorks employees there were putting it on.  Points discovered in the meeting basically revolved around the fact that Design Checker is not nearly as flexible as people need.  For example, there’s no way to create custom checks for type of items not included within the software.

The Surface Model Functionality Focus Group was brimming at the edges with over 15 attendees.  Most of the comments during his session revolved around increased functionality and ease of use for the various surfacing features.  SolidWorks staff was on hand to both take the suggestions and immediately respond when someone mentioned a bug-like issue.

After that, I attempted to take the CWSP test.  I got hung up on an apparent error in the test that turned out to be an acceptable part of the test.  I will need to leave some feedback about the issue since it has the distinct appearance of being unintentional.  If it is intentional, it’s an issue that should be evaluated at least, since it is distracting to say the least.  It is frustrating to see a flaw in the model only to find out I got the problem correct (after wasting half my time trying to resolve the issue).

After that, I attended the Attendees Reception in the main Exhibitors hall.  I found a few familiar faces among the vendors’ booths and fellow attendees.  I didn’t walk out of the Reception with nearly as much swag as I would’ve expected.  That is prolly for the best since I forgot my backpack.  Oh yeah, let me tell you about this backpack.  This is the best swag I’ve ever received.  It’s like a million pockets.  However, there is one area where SWW8 was woefully lacking.  They didn’t provide pens!  I can honestly say I have never been to a technical event where pens where not provided, either as swag or just as courtesy.  But despite this frustrating point, the overall experience was great.