The COExperience sees numerous new faces each year. In 2018, one of these new faces was Jason Dallaire of Apex Industries. As a 20-year veteran of the manufacturing industry, Jason is still fairly new to the Dassault Systèmes and world, but found the conference inspiring and educational, as he brought back tips that he was able to implement right away. Hear more from Jason about his experience at the 2018 annual conference and meet other first-time attendees like him at the 2019 COExperience February 24-27 in New Orleans.
COE: As a first-time attendee, what did you get out of the experience?
Jason: I gained such an appreciation for the capabilities the Dassault Systèmes (DS) product lines offer. In my role I am limited to the CATIA V5 Basic Part Design, Assembly for machine setup/fixturing, and NC Programming. It was very impressive to see the capabilities that the product suite has to offer far beyond my understanding at the time.
For me, I felt the most value in the smaller sessions including the COE University where the talks focused on CATIA V5 NC programming. These gave a great opportunity to get some real world ideas and ask questions that I could put to use immediately. I found the sessions I attended presented by David Borck, Dave Frank and Samarinder Singh to be especially beneficial.
I was not exactly sure what to expect but I can say the experience surpassed any expectations I did have. I was quite impressed with the overall experience and the level of professionalism in the quality of the presentations and organization in general. The mobile app that was put out to use for scheduling and feedback was a great feature, which I believe was new this year. It also made it very easy to download most of the presentation material used which was helpful when I returned to work.
COE: Was there a favorite session that you can recall?
Jason: I found value in most of the sessions I attended, but given that I am a fairly novice user of CATIA the first session I attended in the COE University, presented by David Borck “Introduction to Prismatic Machining,” resonated with me the most. It provided a lot of basic information that I found could be immediately implemented as a new user. It also set the groundwork for me to start learning about VB scripting and the possibilities of what could be done with it. Later sessions I attended reaffirmed this information and gave examples of the extensive types of automation a skilled user can accomplish.
COE: As a newer user of CATIA, did attending the conference help you connect to other new users?
Jason: Absolutely, I met another first-time attendee and new CATIA user because of the grouping of user types at lunch. This was a great way to get people connected. This set up for multiple opportunities to share experiences and ideas over the next few days both during the conference events and beyond. This also helped to create an environment where I met up with some people in the evening at the facilities’ on site pub to continue the conversations of the day and review some of the new ideas learned. We were even joined by one of the presenters (Dave Frank) and were able to gain some one-on-one Q&A while relaxing in the evening.
I found the opportunities to meet and network with new people of like-mind were great ways to help relax and open up over the course of the conference. In some cases where a new person might be intimidated to approach and speak with an “expert” who they saw giving a presentation, these networking opportunities helped create a comfortable environment to openly communicate.
COE: What advice would you give other first-time attendees?
Jason: Definitely plan out the sessions you want to attend ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss anything. Engage the presenters when you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to ask questions when possible. If you are inspired by a presentation and you have an opportunity to meet the presenter outside of the sessions, introduce yourself and express your appreciation for them taking the time to volunteer and share. If they have a few minutes or more I found all the people that I was able to speak with outside of the sessions they presented were more than happy to discuss their topics in more detail and answer questions. They present these subjects because they have an honest passion for the material and are happy to discuss it further. Some of these folks are very involved on the forums as well and so this is a great opportunity to personally speak with these avid contributors to the knowledge base online.