At Long Last–Passing the Certified SolidWorks Professional Test

Back In March I wrote about how I was challenged by Matt Lorono to pass the Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP) test. In April I talked about taking (and passing) the first segment of the test, and in June I discussed how it took two attempts to pass the second segment.

After my experience with the second segment, I made sure to spend plenty of time preparing for the third (and final) segment. If you’re not familiar with the CSWP test, the third segment covers assemblies, mates, coordinate systems and mass properties analysis. I paid close attention to everything my teacher, Marie Planchard, gave me for homework, and went through everything twice.

As I began the eighty-minute test, I felt more confident than I did taking the second segment, mostly because the process of creating assemblies is a much more natural part of the design process. When you are designing a product, it is very rare that you only create a single part, and working with a system really helped me to feel like I was accomplishing something, and that I was reaching the end of the process.

I am happy to say that I completed the third segment of the test on my first try, and that I am now officially a Certified SolidWorks Professional. To prove it, here is a copy of my certificate.

CSWP 003

Those of you who are already CSWPs might notice something a little different about mine. Normally, the certificate includes the CEOs signature. But I didn’t think it would be right for me to sign my own certificate, so I got Marie Planchard and Jeremy Luchini to sign it instead. If you are not familiar with them, Marie is in charge of our education programs, and Jeremy manages our certification team. My certificate is now hanging on the wall of my office, where I can be reminded of the dedication our users put into their designs every day.

Going through the process of studying for (and passing) the CSWP test led to a few things I wasn’t expecting. It had been a while since I was so hands-on with SolidWorks, and the more I worked with the software, the more time I wanted to spend with it. I now feel confident that I could design almost anything I wanted to, and I really want to stay in touch with the product going into the future. I also have a greater sense of connection to all of the SolidWorks users I talk to around the world, and even though I’m not a professional designer, I feel that I’m better able to understand their daily experiences.

For anyone considering taking the CSWP, or even the CSWA, I will repeat my advice from earlier this year. Develop a plan for yourself and set goals, then stick to them. It is easy to get sidetracked, but you always have to keep the end goal in mind. Give yourself time to study, and establish milestones. That will help you avoid skipping something important, and you won’t find yourself feeling rushed like I did at times.

And finally, I would like to thank Marie Planchard for all of her help and advice as I worked my way through this process. She helped to make what could have been a difficult process much more organized and logical, and was always there with words of encouragement. And I’d also like to thank all of you who have offered words of advice and encouragement on our blog. It really did help me through the process knowing I had the support of the SolidWorks community.

And to those of you who might ask when I plan to pass the CSWE, I will have to get back to you!

Bertrand Sicot

Bertrand Sicot

Bertrand Sicot is CEO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
Bertrand Sicot