Monday, January 28, 2013

netvibes... CAD web as you want it, and everything else too!

Keeping aware of business trends and managing time effectively are two very important aspects to any CAD entrepreneur, and netvibes addresses both.  Founded in 2005 and acquired by Dassault Systemes in early 2012, netvibes provides a personalized web dashboard that can be tailored to any variety of digital interests and subjects.

Herein lies the tremendous value of netvibes for people and business.  Rather than taking time to routinely peruse the variety of websites and blogs you typically might navigate to stay informed, simply use netvibes as a single, convenient means to view all the latest digital information that is relevant to you.  For example, say you want to keep up to date on topics and blog commentary specific to Solidworks.  Then create a Solidworks dashboard and add RSS feeds from the published web sources of your choice.  It's that simple, and netvibes will do the work for you.

Beyond having a single dashboard, you can also create additional dashboards for other interests too.  Whether for personal or for your CAD business, the apps and widget selections allow you to keep informed of news and even email, all under one netvibe account.

Of the three tiers available, the basic is free and has enough customization to certainly be of value.  Although it was reported that netvibes had its own pains inherit to any growing business, it appears that at least for the present it is here to stay.  Gigaom reported last year that Dassault Systemes purchased netvibes for roughly $26M (US).  Highlighting their commitment to make this a reputable part of the 3DExperience, Bernard Charles (President and CEO of Dassault Systemes) and Freddy Mini (CEO of netvibes) have provided encouragement to look into netvibes, as seen on the Dassault Systemes / netvibes product page and video.  As it is being touted, the dashboard intelligence of netvibes should be a tremendous asset to any CAD entrepreneur looking to be most efficient with their time and efforts at keeping informed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Certified in Solidworks... to be or not to be?

From its inception, the Certification program for Solidworks has served as "a benchmark to measure your knowledge and competency with Solidworks software".  There have been significant refinements to the program over the years and at present there are a variety of levels and areas of interest as outlined on the Solidworks Certification site.  Each year at Solidworks World, candidates are allowed to take either Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA), Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWPCORE) or any of the Certified SolidWorks Professional Advanced Specialist exams.  The current program then certainly encourages consideration for anyone looking to assess or promote their skill with Solidworks.  Along with the sample exams provided by Solidworks and information found in The Solidworks Blog, searching online can also reveal a number of articles that address general exam content and collectively this information may serve well in preparing for a successful exam.

(c) DS Solidworks
One benefit of Certification in Solidworks is that it demonstrates proficiency due in part to the time constraint imposed by an exam.  While there is certainly nothing new to be found in an exam, a users competency in the software is revealed in the ability to model and navigate through the test criteria decisively.  In this regard, most users could certainly attain the desired results with a good working knowledge of the exam set and given enough time.  A Certification then clearly validates a users ability to attain the desired results effectively and accurately.

Solidworks has a very respectable arrangement to the Certification program, being both accessible and a fair representation of the software.  Whether Certification affords a secular advantage is mixed, as it may for some and may not for others.  Regardless of this, simply by recalling or contemplating your first impression of Solidworks and how it may have affected your secular goals, perhaps the most notable benefit to gaining Certification in Solidworks is the milestone and significance of genuine personal achievement. 

Here are a few recommendations for taking a Solidworks Certification exam:
  • ensure you have a stable internet connection
  • if available, use a dual monitor arrangement to view both the Solidworks program and the VirtualTester Client simultaneously
  • have a folder location already prepared and easily accessible in which to save the models you create, and those you may need to download for an exam
  • ensure you have an adequate window of time and an environment free of distraction
  • endeavor to read questions and view images carefully and thoughtfully