I spent many years working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel doing tech support and teaching SOLIDWORKS classes. This afforded me the opportunity to work with thousands of individual SOLIDWORKS users across the U.S. One of the things I always looked forward to each summer was the release of the Beta version of SOLIDWORKS. Beta is your chance to try the next version of SOLIDWORKS before it launches later in the year. It’s an opportunity to explore the new features and possibly identify any bugs, while providing feedback directly to R&D. This means that every Beta participant has the ability to directly impact the functionality of the next major release of SOLIDWORKS.
Traditionally, SOLIDWORKS has hosted physical Beta testing events at our campus is Waltham, Massachusetts. Due to COVID, this has been difficult to accomplish over the last two years. This year, we had the opportunity to open our doors once again and welcome in some SOLIDWORKS users to test the new version. Just to make sure we had the best and brightest users in the room, we decided to invite a select group of 15 SOLIDWORKS User Group Leaders to be our guests for two days of testing and what’s new presentations.
We have over 280 user groups worldwide, so narrowing this list down to 15 is not easy. We started with the SWUGN committee members who help us support the network around the world. We also invited the folks that bring us SLUGME (The SOLIDWORKS Largest User Group Meeting Ever) each year. There were also a handful of other group leaders who have accomplished amazing things within our community, like IRON SWUG.
I wish we could invite all the leaders but space was very limited and I think we ended up with a fantastic crew. These folks were not only group leaders, but many were also SOLIDWORKS Champions and Super Users Advisory Board Members. I hope to see all the other leaders at 3DEXPERIENCE World in February.
During the course of the two days, we put together a jam-packed agenda for the group leaders.
- Portfolio Update from Suchit Jain
- What’s New – SOLIDWORKS 2023 – Bruce Holway and many members of his team
- 3DEXPERIENCE World 2023 Update with Simge Akarsu Walsh
- SOLIDWORKS Connected UX Design Challenge with Kevin Berni, Taufiq Sheik, Priya Dalmia, Hannah Verlin and many more…
- SOLIDWORKS Cloud update with Chris Pagliarini and Dan Mcginn
- Fablab tour with Abhishek Bali, Sara Zuckerman, and Albert Hernandez
- Q&A with R&D – John Sweeney & his amazing team
Between all of these sessions, the group leaders had free time to test the beta version and post their findings on the Beta SWYM community for the support team to check into. Big thanks to Mark Johnson, Jose Moreno and many more who helped organize all of the hardware and the support structure to make this event happen. Supply chain issues have made it more and more difficult to pull together hardware for an event like this. Mark and team were able to partner with NVIDIA to get some great workstations, complete with powerful NVIDIA graphics cards.
The group leaders created 15 posts on the beta community during this event. Several of these posts led to confirmed enhancement requests and/or Software Performance Reports.
We hope to continue this event in the future with an even larger crowd and additional time, and I once again wanted to thank everyone who helped to make it happen.
Also be sure to set your reminder for SLUGME7, the SOLIDWORKS Largest User Group Meeting Ever.