How come, especially in the modeling section here, most of these great solutions for geometry creation come from us, the very experienced customers, instead of from PTC? I know most times in the past, when at training, when we asked questions about problems in the real world, almost always the trainer, who was fresh out of college (and very sharply dressed, I might add), couldn't answer them. They knew the canned demo/training, but seemed to lack experience.
Many times over the years I'd applied for jobs at PTC that I KNEW I'd be a perfect fit for.....only to be ignored. Yes, I lack the 4-yr degree, but I'll challenge any of them to create the geometry I can. From what I see here, PTC should hire some of us, at least as consultants......
Anyone else notice this?
I agree with the point that the solutions the community create are great and the experience shows. No question. PlanetPTC came to be because PTC customers wanted a destination to share files with each other, discuss role-based issues, build a network of fellow product designers, admins, academics, engineers and managers across industries.
For the most part, PTC-generated solutions live on PTC.com and sites like the LearningExchange. Would you say they could co-exist here so you can connect with PTC application engineers and the people behind the software?
What experience are the instructors lacking? I understand real world, but do you mean not in manufacturing or medical? Or wasn't a systems admin to 100 Windchill users? What business problem are you looking to solve?
I'm not sure I'd have to check, there might be a conflict of interest if PTC takes on customers as paid consultants. Consultant or not, customers do shape the products. January is a big month for our technical committees. They'll be onsite at HQ hearing about product roadmaps and getting a glimpe of what's to come. The user experience lab runs the whole week too, great opportunity to grab feedback. Joining a regional group, attending a live event or becoming a TC are great ways to connect with product managers and influence PTC software development.
Our company bought Creo Parametric with FMX and ISDX at the end of last year. I am using this package at work since last week on monday. I still feel very lucky about it but...
All of these guys that left messages in this thread so far are kind of right...
I might be a kid in this. I dont consider myself as experienced user. I ve been learning about Pro/E and then Creo like 8 months ahead of time before we bought the Creo licence. I struggle alot now with Creo and the real world problems I try to solve every day at work in these last two weeks.
I might add that the package we bought includes one year of maintanance.
I was told by my reseller of Creo that I should only turn at them with all of my questions and not directly to PTC. So I shot a few at them already... at first I tried a harder one which they weren't able to solve yet.
Its related to skeleton models and use of them for multiple cavity mold designs.
I figured out the solution right after the moment I hang up the phone with them. They tried to come up with something, they have actually made short tutorial videos for me, but after I dragged them deeper into that... cause at first they thought its simple... they stopped comming with any kind of reply.
After few days I kind of ended up on teaching them.
And you gotta understand me. I don't really feel confident about my skills in Creo. I could list tons of things I used to design in other software packages that I can't make with Creo yet. I have alot to learn about Creo still.
I am just saying I already know what does that mean when for example Frank say things like "the trainer, who was fresh out of college (and very sharply dressed, I might add)" and "otherwise I end up schooling him instead". These and generally speaking but clearly hit the nail on the head just about right.
Question: Can I still contact PTC directly with my problems? Or am I stuck with my reseller?
Bunch of things don't really make sense in Creo compared to other CAD packages. Trying to think in Pro/E way gets pretty hard sometimes.
As far as I understand from other threads on here and speaking with others on Planet PTC, you're actually stuck with the reseller.
Personally, I find this terribly unfortunate. I'm definitely mincing words here, too. Right now Jakub, your best bet is to come here to Planet PTC with your questions. I have some Mold Design experience in Pro/E but it's been a good 9 years before I've used the package. I'll definitely be out of practice.
Even though Mold Design is a specialty, I'd post your questions in the Creo Modeling space. There's probably a mold design sub-group and you can post there, too. In my experience though, you'll get a faster reply from the modeling group as a whole. Even if I am not the best person to answer your questions, there are other experts and experienced users here who will jump in to help. I'm confident of that.
It's amazing difficult to change a company culture... it's like trying to turn the proverbial aircraft carrier. Still, I think we're starting to see some signs that PTC is hearing us.
And yes, I admit you have to look hard. One or two positive steps could be seen as dumb luck... but I could half a dozen really be coincidence? I don't think so. I think we're seeing a attempt by PTC to hear and react to customer feedback. I also think the company is making an attempt to improve customer outreach and support services. So far, the results are subtle... but the tools they're putting in place will take time to catch on.
I think the best thing they could do is actually work with us veteran users. I spent hours of my personal time trying to help PTC with regard to Windchill......and have had zero feedback since. I don't feel like they took me seriously, are looking for more feedback from me, or were willing to work with me. I don't know that i'd ever spend time with them again without them paying me in some way. It wouldn't have taken anything mroe than some positive feedback and them wanting to have me work with them. I'm disillusioned. But, at least now I have finally realized that I'M the customer, and that they need to make ME happy instead of the other way around.
I agree with Frank's point of view especially the "Canned" demo. Many a times, especially during on-site training, the customer expects the software company to study their product, interact with their designers and take a live example for demo.
A canned demo followed step by step often puts the person demonstrating in a quandry, especially when difficult questions are asked. Often I had to pitch in. A canned demo does not connect the demonstrator with the customer. e.g a Custom machinery designer has nothing to do with a Soap box or an Electric Kettle.
I think this is the point that Frank wishes to make.
OR, PTC could take project questions from customers and then craft demos/trainings that actually answer those specific project questions. This approach would give PTC staffers time to go through and build the solution and overcome any glitches or quandaries that naturally occur during the CAD process.
I think I understand what PTC is trying to do (with corporate customers and even FIRST robotics teams for that matter) when they use these "canned demos". PTC is trying to develop demos/trainings that expose rather than solve specific customer problems. It is the goal of PTC to get get customers... perhaps exposure meets this goal before training(s) does??
The learning curve for Pro/E seems to be steep -- at least steeper than Solidworks and certainly steeper that TurboCAD Pro yet the PTC training seems to have lots of room for improvement.
Let me stop here. I certainly owe it to PTC to take a hard look at the exchange and PTCU, but up to now I have had an experience similar to Frank in that I had endure some "canned" i.e. not so helpful PTC trainings.
Finally, I am really grateful for all the help I have received from this community. Thanks Community and PTC.
A slightly different point, but I've thought for years that I'd really like a member of the software development team to come and watch over my shoulder for a week or two (yes, I know that's not really practical given the size of PTC's customer base). I know it's a rant that's been had before, but the 'improvements' they bring out often seem nothing to do with the way we use the software.
On one level, we saw a great demo in Mechanica training of the Optimisation study. It worked fine on a mobile phone pocket clip; but I've yet to make an Optimisation study work on a real part (i.e., one that's complex enough to warrant it!).
On another level, there are tiny changes that would help day-to-day - for instance, almost every time I create an Angle x D chamfer it takes the angle from the wrong surface, and I have to flip it; similarly, when I Merge two surfaces, it almost always chooses to keep the wrong sides by default.
Stuff like this makes me feel that there's a disconnect between the people writing it, and the people using it.
Here here Jonathan. While I certainly don't want this to devolve into a gripe-fest, I have experienced many of the same frustrations with PTC trainers and training materials.
Byron, what you're proposing is probably the answer- but it will not happen from PTC. I don't mean that as a slam I mean it from a practical standpoint. They simply couldn't do business that way... it would take too long and the customers wouldn't be able to afford training developed in that way (individualized).
HOWEVER, I've always believed the customized training sessions are a better way to go. PTC University is a nice tool... truly, but it's canned. Learning Exchange is a great venue for free tutorials- if you go there religiously and know what you're looking for. And certainly this site is another good tool for finding help. Yet, this still doesn't nail Frank's question, resolve Jonathan's concerns, nor does it address Byron's ideas.
The solution? Well... I think there's a two-pronged solution:
PTC's software improves partly because of the passion and dedication of it's people- but also due to competition and other market forces. PTC's customer support, training, and outreach efforts would also improve if other companies started competing for this market. The VARs do not compete.
It's tough to word this in the positive way I want to it to be interpreted. I'm not trying to beat up on PTC. I think they're trying to get better and sites like this prove it. I also believe some healthy competition would be a positive thing for customers (companies), users, and PTC, too.
So I guess what I'm saying is... PTC is only a company. If we want the software to develop in a beneficial way, we have to make ourselves heard. If we want better training, support, and outreach we may just have to demonstrate how it's done by creating it ourselves.
Anyone wanna help me start a company?
Excellent suggestions, all, thanks! I thought this could be a very productive way to let PTC know that there seems to be a VAST, as yet untapped, knowledge base. We experienced users create geometry probably undreamed of by the developers, and it would be a shame to waste this.
@Dan: I'm really busy today, but I'll address your questions when I can.
The short answer is basically what others have voiced: That the guys PTC has available for training us, generally, are fresh out of school with zero practical knowledge, and when the topic strays from the canned demo to solving real-world customer problems, they are, frankly, incapable of helping us. Generally, we are taking training to address a specific issue, and I, honestly, expect a guy teaching me, to be at least my equal......otherwise I end up schooling him instead.
I think PTC would be a lot better off looking for and hiring us Pro/E veterans to teach the courses, rather than kids (I can say that since I'm generally about twice their age) fresh out of college. I realize we'd be more expensive, but, far more worth it in customer satisfaction. For instance, Brian and I helped someone here with a difficult problem that none of the trainers I've ever had would have been able to solve. Think how good that would look to your customers to havd a guy who could not only teach the canned demo but actually help the customer solve the problem he came to the course to solve in the first place?
That part about "we'd be more expensive" is the problem. I've made some good friends out of several of the PTC trainers and they do not make much money. You're figuring travel expenses, lodging, etc... and sometimes the VARs are involved, too. The costs of a class can get pretty high. I don't know any customers who say "Yes, I'd like to pay even MORE for a PTC class!".
Instead, customers would rather subscribe to PTC University... or buy books that don't teach much. You may have seen that PTC is finally attempting to launch some "webinar" type remote learning classes. Anyone who's used WebEx or GoToMeeting has had this idea already. All of this is in an attempt to trim costs. I assume PTC will be passing some of the savings on to its customers to entice them to utilize their training services more.
We've had some seasoned trainers come to our company and yet they were unable to answer some softball questions we tossed at them. These were wonderful, professional people yet they weren't very "deep" in real-world knowledge. I have to go back to my original assertion that we're just going to have to demonstrate a better way.
By "real world", I mean understanding the needs of engineers in a production environment. They have sort of an idealized concept of a production environment which doesn't ring true to everyday designers and engineers. This happens all the time to personnel who leave the grind of everyday production to teach classes or write books. It's too easy to forget the complexities of a real work environment and write the book or teach the class in a vacuum.
To try to put it succinctly... taking a PTC class is like trying to learn how to paint by reading a book. It's clinical, pre-planned, and narrowly scripted. You're assured of success... because the demonstration models have been sanitized of all problems and potential conflicts. You're learning in the best possible setting with the best possible models using ideal workstations and given virtually no chance of stepping off the pre-determined path. When you get back to your desk... the real world comes back and much of your training seems like it doesn't connect with what you really need to do to execute your job efficiently.
Does that explain it right?
I'd like to address this thread if I may. I am the North American training lead for PTC. It is my role to ensure that every learning consultant provides the highest quality learning experience possible. First let me apologize if your learning experiences have not met your expectations. We at PTC University strive to add value and exceed our clients' expectations every day.
I can assure you that all instructors have completed a rigorous certification process prior to any delivery. This process includes both technical instructor skills training and course mastery. Additionally, I can add that each of the PTC learning consultants have several years experience as designers and engineers in a variety of industries, some with more than 10 years real world design experience using PTC products.
A fair number of comments on this thread refer to the demos in our training content as sanitized or canned. I think it is important to understand that we are teaching the concepts and functionality in many of our courses. We need a fair amount of predictability to successfully demonstrate the content.
What I think Frank and Brian are suggesting is that PTC should develop training content more geared toward the client situation. I believe someone referred to it as "connect the dots." We at PTC could not agree more, which is why we now offer the "Best Practices Academy."
Best Practice Academy (BPA) is our training approach that goes well beyond "pick and clicks". While onsite, the consultant will discuss the various methods one can use to solve modeling issues with Creo. The consultant will then work with your design teams to identify the best methods that align to your particular situation. The take-away for the teams is that they know how to leverage the best methods that have been tailored to your specific products.
I would encourage everyone to follow this link to PTC.com and view the example course on rounds.
Thank you for joining the discussion. I actually already checked out Best Practice Academy's tutorial on Assembly Methodology. I posted my comments because there was no place to submit feedback after viewing the video. I applaud the attempt but, if you follow this thread, you'll see I was not really impressed with the results.
I certainly believe you when you say many of your trainers had years upon years of design experience. Most of the instructors I've met have been very professional, polite, and very competent at teaching the material they're given. This is wonderful. Yet the criticism expressed here is still very much valid. How can BOTH be true??
The answer begins here: "Many of your trainers had years upon years of experience of design experience". The operative word here is actually "HAD". At one time, they were deep in the trenches working with the tool and they "felt the pain" of the average user. Now, they're so far out of the design loop, they've become out of touch with real world problems. After a few software revisions pass you by, your design experience turns from practical into theoretical.
For example, a few years ago during the rollout of the new Wildfire dashboard, the users got a brand new Hole Tool. The old tool in Pro/E 2001 was okay, but the new tool captured all sorts of design standards and was tremendously more useful (in theory). If you were a lead designer using Pro/E 2001 and you left to become a trainer for PTC during this time, you'd see the new tool as very, very useful. You'd see the Wildfire Hole Tool as a huge step forward... and you'd teach it as such. However, most real world designers STILL don't use that thing as PTC intends. Why? Because it severely limits or destroys your ability to make changes to holes that have been patterned without having the hardware fail assembled to those holes fail!
I'm sure you're saying to yourself "how in the heck can that be accurate?" I can assure you, it is. Pattern a standard hole of any given size (3mm, etc). Assemble hardware into those holes by Mate/Axis. Now try changing the hole size to 5mm... and watch your hardware fail.
This is the simpliest example I could give to illustrate my point. Once you no longer live and die by using the software for design work and meeting deadlines, the "small" yet important details get lost. Even the best designers get a little 'soft' when they step out of the pressure cooker of a design environment and move into tech support, training, or consulting. They lose perspective. And this makes them less credible and less effective as trainers.
Re-reading my response I understand how critical it sounds. Please understand that I realize you're only here to help... and that you passionately believe in your mission to provide value to your customers. I have that same passion for my job and the tools I use to accomplish it. I love Pro/E and Creo and there's no product I'd rather work with. To that end, I want the same things you want... hopefully my feedback will be seen more as "tough love" than anything else.
I think Best Practice Academy has the right idea... and I believe some of the other new training tools (Learning Exchange, Learning Connector, etc) will continue to improve the quality of training. I simply feel that we need to continue improving... and exploring problems (like the instructors' loss of perspective) so that we may find solutions to benefit everyone.
Thank you and best regards,
'Morning James. I think my major issues was that, for the most part, we users that were taking the training already had years of advanced Pro/E experience under our belt, and some experience with the particular module (piping, surfacing, etc.). Yet, the people that gave us the training, were, for the most part, fresh out of college with no real-world experience, and no experience outside of the canned demo. So, we'd go thru the exercises, then after class we'd try and talk to the instructor about applying this to out specific issues, and they were of no help. Yes, I know us "Olde Guys" probably would command a higher salary, but actually that might not even be the case from what I remember. I remember a guy I worked with, a fresh Engineer with almost zero real experience, who's hand I had to continually hold in even the simplest of Pro/E issues, took a job with PTC at what he told me was $80k/yr, and this was in the mid-90's. Now, I can't vouch for what his salary really was, but it gives me pause........
In a nutshell, specific training for each company based on their needs is a great idea, but it would still be better to have your trainers be seasoned, with lots of real-world experience instead of recent college grads with none. It would make your trainers far more versative, and your customers a lot more happy.
And to recap my view....
It isn't so much that the trainers had no real world experience... it's that their real world experiences had faded from memory. Rather than being able to "feel the pain" of an everyday engineer or designer, they remembered a bit of what the real job was like but they'd also not "lived" it for quite awhile. They say time can heal old wounds... and it's almost that time has made them forget the "pain" (figuratively speaking) of the real world.
Mind you, I don't know how you fix this... I am just trying to accurately state the problem in my very humble opinion.
Hmm, we must have had diferent trainers. All the training I had in the Cleveland area, for various companies including NASA, were younger guys fresh from school where this was their first job. Actually, we liked the training we got from Rand better than that provided directly from PTC. The price of the class was the same or similar, but the offices at Rand were a lot nicer, we each had our own PC instead of sharing at the PTC facility, and the instructors seemed to have at least a little (though still not much) real-world experience. Of all the training I've had, I'd have to say the best by far was from Accuer here in CO. Paul DeLong is an excellent instructor, very knowledgeable, AND has even more years of seat time than I do, and had actually worked as an Engineer for many years, putting Pro/E thru it's paces in a real-world environment. Highly-recommended. I'm as happy to give credit where credit is due as I am to let loose with both barrels when that needs doing.
Well... to be perfectly honest I've taught myself just about everything I know. I've taken some PTC classes but I blew through them with little instructor interaction. Sometimes my employer demanded I take a class for a topic I was already experienced in. For example, I had been a Pro/INTRALINK admin for years but my employer wanted to see a Certificate of Training from PTC.
I spent two and a half days in Virginia Beach helping the instructor teach that class. We hit some bugs with the Pro/INTRALINK installer that totally hosed things up. The class was stuck. The instructor and I stayed until 9pm working to restore the "student" workstations to working order so the class could continue.
We have different experiences but similar feedback I think. I have always found my PTC trainers to be well-intentioned, professional, and courteous. They've been well prepared to teach the class. My only criticism is that when I asked questions that were "off script", they could rarely answer. Every time I teach a class, some student starts tossing up those "off script" questions... and I believe it's how you handle those questions that separates the good trainers from the great ones.
"My only criticism is that when I asked questions that were "off script", they could rarely answer. Every time I teach a class, some student starts tossing up those "off script" questions... and I believe it's how you handle those questions that separates the good trainers from the great ones."
Exactly. The guys I had could teach the class.....but with no real-worl experience to draw from, for "off script" problems they didn't have a clue even how to start on a solution. I'd have rather taken "your" class.
The fact is that PTC have got rid of most of their experienced Pro/E guys - we used to get a lot of help in this community from Andy Deighton of PTC (search deighton and you'll see all his postings) - they got rid of him and he's now at SolidWorks....
REALLY? Wow. That was Tre Stupido. Andy was VERY helpful, I had a lot of conversations with him. I should look for him there at S/W. Perhaps S/W might like to hire me part-time as a consultant?
You'd THINK PTC would rather have us high-powered guys inside the tent p!ssing out, instead of outside the tent p!ssing in......
Actually Frank, if you could refrain from relieving yourself anywhere near the tent, that might be best for all involved.
Who knows the circumstances surrounding Andy's departure. People leave companies for many reasons. Sometimes they leave on their own... and sometimes they leave because they're shown the door. The point is, we'll never know.
However, for every Andy that leaves... there's a Frank or Kevin Bradberry that join. I searched for Deighton... and he had about 350 posts in 5 years of activity. That's 70 posts a year... not too shabby. By comparison, Frank has 298 posts in less than 1 year of activity. Kevin has 249 posts in about 1 1/2 years. Other people have racked up similar activity.
So while Andy seems to have answered quite a few questions, the community has shown that it can continue to thrive even in his absence. I don't know Mr. Deighton but I'm sure we all wish him the best in his new endeavors. In the meantime, I'm confident others will rush in to fill the void created by his departure.
True, but, I think I'm going to contact S/W and see if they don't want me helping them since PTC doesn't seem to be listening to me. Hey, who knows, maybe I could help S/W be good enough for me to want to permanently switch.
The tent reference is an old racing saying in reference to a certain very, ah, vocal......but very fast rider.
Are you coming to Planet PTC Live Frank? I can imagine work and other commitments may not allow it. Still, I'd like to meet you in person and introduce you to some of the Technical Committees. I think you'd find a home with other people trying to make a positive contribution to the development of PTC software.
Anyway... if you can make it... I think we'd have plenty to talk about.
Mmmmm, I'll have to see if the boss/budget will allow for that. I went to the PTCUser meeting about 5 years ago in FL and enjoyed it, and it'd be nice to have a beer or 3 with ya, but I've gotta check.
Definitely check... and hurry up!
You certainly don't want to miss my presentation (shameless plug): Ninja Cabling - Unconventional Tactics to Unleash The Power of Pro/CABLING.
This reminds me... this presentation is due in like 3 days. Everything I want to present is still in my head... none of it is on paper let alone in a presentation. To make matters worse, everything's changed in Wildfire 5 and Creo so I have to make sure the things I want to show are still cool enough to present.
Hehe... if not I'd better come up with something amazing to present in a hurry!
You may want to attend just to see an EPIC Train Wreck of a Presentation occur LIVE!
Back to work...
So, you're going to be talking to Andy, eh? Be sure to read him this line from the Godfather Part II...