A Mom, a Wife, and an Engineer Walk Into a….

After more than 4 years of helping thousands (and thousands) of SolidWorks users learn more about the software, Gabi Jack has announced her “retirement” from the SolidWorks Community.  This week, I’ll take a look back at Gabi’s work (and life) in the community.  Here’s Part I of however many parts it takes to honor this very special person.

In late 2007, as I was reading through the SolidWorks forums (something I do every day), I came across a post from a new forum member with a curious name – Gabi Jack.  I wasn’t really sure if this was a name or an alias, but it struck me as unusual. I followed Gabi’s posts for a few weeks, and then something really cool happened.  Instead of logging in and asking questions about SolidWorks, Gabi was now answering questions in the forums.

Fast-foward to January 2008, and Gabi is now a SolidWorks blogger!  Her first few articles reveal that she’s still a beginner, but subsequent posts start to show the potential she has as a SolidWorks user and mentor. In a post titled “I’ve Got the Underdefined Blues“, Gabi talks about feeling a child-like enthusiasm for the task she’s taken on.  There’s even a baseball reference as Gabi works through fully defining sketches in SolidWorks part files.

You could see that something special was happening by the sheer quality of the writing.  As Gabi’s blog progressed, we learned a little about her husband, her two kids, and discovered just how passionate she was about learning all aspects of SolidWorks software.  It was funny to read “Thinking 3D” where Gabi admitted to finally “getting it” – as if she hadn’t already.

Gabi’s blog eventually developed into one of the best out there.  In addition to the quality narrative, Gabi posted pictures and video on many of her posts – something I’m sure that all of her readers appreciated very much.  Comments started streaming in, and people were hooked on Gabi Jack.

In September 2008, I was finally able to meet Gabi in person.  We met at a user group meeting in Northern California (of course) and I was immediately taken back by…


I was completely caught off guard by that.  Here was this dynamic “on-line” personality that we had all come to know and respect, and she didn’t say three words the whole evening.  It still amazes me to this day that someone so verbose in writing, so helpful to SolidWorks users everywhere, and so seemingly extroverted on-line could be so reserved in person.  For whatever reason, I decided right there that we had to bring this wonderful person out of her shell a little and get her in front of SolidWorks users whenever we could.

Next…Part II – World Travel, Public Speaking, and Rendering

Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle