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SolidWorks - Creo Parametric Comparison Series (Part 2)

A few years ago, I realized there was no value in bashing other CAD software. Everyone has their preferences. Different CAD packages serve different needs. When I was in pre-sales for Pro/ENGINEER in the 2000s, occasionally I would recommend to different companies that they explore SolidWorks instead of our offering. One time, we were working with a furniture maker, and Pro/ENGINEER was clearly more CAD than they needed.

Around that same time, I had a conversation with a CAD designer who said, “I really think the people at PTC who make Pro/E hate their users.” Such a statement, of course, is ridiculous on its face. This was before I knew any of the product managers, but still I pressed him on it. “Do you really think they hate their users? Do you really think that?” He doubled down on his pronouncement. The way I looked at him, his face changed to recognize we both knew he was full of crap.

Any company that has contempt for its customers, so much so that they would deliberately create a bad product, will not be in business long. You might not like their product, but to assign ill intentions and motives to their work is baseless and uncalled for. Some people might not care about their jobs and might phone it in, but I have never actually met anyone who purposefully tries to do a bad job or make something bad. You don’t become a product manager anywhere by wanting to make something bad or hating your customers.

In time, I would come to know many of the Pro/ENGINEER (and later Creo Parametric) product managers. I met guys like Don and Raphael who are no longer with PTC, and later I got to know Paul, Mark, Martin, Jose, Michael, and more. Twice a year they are available in person at LiveWorx and the PTC/User Technical Community Meeting. Once a month, they are on the calls for the various PTC working groups. From my conversations with them, I can attest that they are absolutely committed to delivering a quality product their customers will love.

I am sure that the product managers and developers at other CAD companies feel the same.

In November 2019, I got to meet David Corcoran. He was a developer at Computervision and later helped create SolidWorks. He then went on to create Onshape. This guy is a titan in the world of Computer Aided Design – and you will be hard-pressed to find someone as friendly and humble as he. He’s accessible and genuinely interested in end users’ thoughts and wants about CAD tools.

So when someone bashes SolidWorks, I wonder, if David were here, is that something you would say to his face? I can’t imagine someone insulting a nice guy to their face, especially when their interested in making your life better. If you were to bash SolidWorks to him, that says more about you than it says about the product.

On the internet, it is way too easy to forget that there are real people behind the targets of our insults. What gets accomplished by bashing another CAD package? Bashing SolidWorks, or Inventor, or CATIA, or NX does not make Creo Parametric better.

But being a little more civil in our speech does make the world just a little bit better.

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