I want to announce the formation of the Solid Edge Social Community. Here is the link to it. http://www.soliddna.com/SEcommunity
This has been started by Luc Poulin of SolidDNA who is linked to here at the sidebar.
I think it bears a bit of commentary as to who Luc is and why you should go there if you have an interest in Solid Edge. I first met Luc at PLM World in Nashville 2009 where he was one of 37 Solid Edge attendees. Well before there was a re-establishment of the new SE community he had an interest and was there on his own dime. He has been an active part of the revival of the Solid Edge community not so much with his web sites as with his prolific technical support and how to’s which show up on a regular basis at the Siemens BBS forums and pretty much where ever SE users congregate. Behind the scenes he has been of material help to people like myself, Matt Lombard and many others on how to do things or solve problems.
While I am involved in the use of SE and helping to create a community for users I have never considered myself an expert user of Solid Edge. My business does not require me to be and my plate is full enough that I learn what I need. Luc on the other hand IS an expert and is well regarded by people who go as far back as Solid Edge V1.
He has toyed with the idea of creating a community forum for some time now that would be open to the public that would be geared towards anyone who was interested. I remember discussing stuff like this with him 3.5 years ago. I think highly enough of Luc to have recommended him to Siemens in the past to be a liaison for the French speaking community of SE users in Canada (eh!).
Luc has however remained independent for whatever reason and this is his forum created because he likes Solid Edge and thinks you should too. Luc also has a back ground in actual manufacturing software such as CAM so he knows how all of these tools of ours are supposed to inter-relate to allow us to be productive in our work. I think that outside of Eng-Tips and the official Siemens BBS this site of Luc’s deserves to become within the next year one of the top forums for SE. (As a side note here Eng-Tips while valuable has some odd notions of what is proper and you can’t post things about user groups or conferences or whatever else they don’t like at that time. Eng-Tips is a commercial site and is moderated with their own special interests in mind first and foremost.) I want to encourage everyone who will to go there and register and even more importantly to contribute in some way. Active volunteers and community participants at this time are far and few between with Solid Edge. Really this is true for any CAD software as when you think of the number of subscribers compared to the number of people who participate online very few are there and I think the vast majority who show up are lurkers.
But the establishment of a network of communication which Luc’s forum will help to do has far reaching potential consequences for those who will help.
Networking between users is hard to do when the VARS and software authoring companies keep the lists of subscribers in a vault you never have access to. They generally are not going to help you find other users in your area. Networking between individuals is how you find work, get work, get hired, improve your professional career and most importantly in some ways find a local source of talent you can go to with your laptop and file when you need to be bailed out. The side benefit of enjoying the company of your peers is also well worthwhile in my opinion.
So go there and help kick start this thing with Luc. Stay there and help make it happen. Now I am going to talk to the SE users who primarily participate only on the BBS about something I think is important. For some reason SE users are some of the most insular people I have met in the software world. Pretty independent minded and self reliant they have for the most part only communicated behind the closed doors of the BBS forums and rarely venture into the world at large. Now I am going to say that some of these guys were a big help to me when I started and still are but only on the BBS and rarely do you see these uber users in the public eye or forums. I think it is time for this to change and for these talented individuals to help get this community going. I think Luc’s site is a fine place to start and it is time to do more than show up at something once a year and hide in a closed forum for the rest of it. Did I just say that? Well, really, did I mis-state the truth? I know how many of you guys are excited about the revival of the yearly conferences but I am telling you this is only part of the puzzle to be put together. The university will last four days this year. The forums however last all year and should be an integral part of serious SE users who see value in the growth of SE and the community to their future.