I wrote this article first as a comment to my colleague Matt’s article: Solid Professor and CSWP: Preparing for Success! The problem was that I started by congratulating Matt and 5 minutes later I found out that I wrote a full article myself. So here it is:
Congratulations Matt, being a CSWP is a proof that you know what you are doing inside SolidWorks! You also proved that getting formal training in SolidWorks (Essentials and Assemblies at the minimum) channeled you on the quickest path to certification.
One thing I would like to point out. As Matt stated, SolidProfessor is a good tool to give you an idea about how the test looks like, but cannot replace real life experience you gain by modeling and modeling and, after that, modeling some more.
Once you finished your SolidWorks training at Javelin, go back to work and apply what you learnt. You will find out that the tools and the best practices we teach in those training courses give you access to an extensive arsenal of weapons to rely on when fighting real-world design problems. We give you a grenade, a machine gun, a sniper rifle and a side arm and show you how they work. You even get to do a lot of target practice in our state of the art firing range.
How you use them in the real life is up to you and to your enemy – the design challenges. You can wipe most of these out by throwing the best practices at them at the start of the project. You can mow down the survivors with your knowledge of the modeling flow techniques. When you can barely see the enemies in the distance you can pick them one by one through the scope of your design intent. And, of course, at close quarters you will draw your revolver loaded with checking tools.
If you want to be a real SolidWorks Professional do not rush in getting certified just to get a piece of paper. Graduate from the boot camp at Javelin, go and fight in the design trenches for your company and, after you survived a few hard fought design battles as a private, you can take the test to become a SolidWorks Officer, a CSWP.
What’s next? Tout soldat porte dans sa giberne le bâton de maréchal! There is nothing stopping you to learn some more (Weldments, Sheet Metal, Surfacing, Mold Design, Simulation, Advance Part Modeling), fight some more and get your marshal’s baton - the CSWE (Certified SolidWorks Expert) title.
And since we are talking about SolidWorks Marshals, allow me to finish the same way I started this article by offering a new set of congratulations to our newest Certified SolidWorks Expert at Javelin - my colleague and your Certified SolidWorks Instructor and Support Technician, Andrew Lindstone!
Marshal Andrew testing a machine gun at SolidWorks World 2011
Andrew completed an amazing feast of becoming a Certified Expert in less than 9 months from getting his Professional certification. For him the certification was just a validation of being a 10 year veteran in the design wars and the advanced skills he got as a SolidWorks Sharpshooter in the past 3 years.
You probably have already read his articles on best practices in modeling in general and SolidWorks in special. If not, please find them here: http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/author/andrewl/. They are a must read for any SolidWorks user. I know, that I am using them a lot as reference to my support cases. A lot of times, the answers to my customer’s problems can be found in Andrew’s posts.