Most important SW skills for Engineering/MFR?

Alright, So I’ve done a lot of concept design stuff over the past year, picking up and using Solidworks since february-ish (and to my credit I’m not half bad with a spline).

My problem: I picked up a gig that would produce real honest-to-goodness products but I feel like all my SW skills are just complex surfacing stuff and I’ll look like an idiot the first day not knowing how to interface with the engineers.

Now I have two weeks before I start, what tools should I cram for interfacing with Engineers and manufacturers? Drawings and Dims? what else? SW has always seemed this great ungainly collection of tools to me, what should I pick out as essential?

I’d say, if they’re going to have direct access to your files, focus on what you do and just keep lines of communication open. Ask them what they need of you and any key constraints you should follow. If you just try to cram in a bunch of quick knowledge in 2 weeks in a subject they’ve studied for years you’ll still look like an ass because it’ll be obvious that you don’t really know it.

A more respectable, responsible, and professional thing to do is to know and be realistic about your limitations and know when to delegate and let someone more knowledgable hold the wheel. Make sure that you know what you know well. You shouldn’t have to keep running to a tutorial or looking online to figure out how to do something. In my opinion, you should be able to perform under tight deadline pressure and know you’ll get it right in order to say that you know what you’re doing (for a paying job). Be clear and honest about the things you don’t know, don’t try to fake it. Otherwise nobody will be able to help you grow if you convince them that you know it already, learn from your elders.

What I would say to do is to make sure you know how to trouble shoot your own files and are skilled enough to be able to modify them quickly if you need to. Have an organized workflow that’s editable. Also make sure you’re familiar with any translation issues that may come up if they might be using a different program to put in the guts like ProE. Know how to translate to different formats effectively, what settings to use, etc…, don’t wait until you have to do it on a project with a tight deadline to try to figure it out for the first time. Some things work better than others, some things might take a long time to translate, and some of them have a lot of options that you need to get correct to translate well.

Sorry for the wordiness, I get like that sometimes. Quick summary is to really know what you know and be able to make changes quickly. They’ll let you know what standards they need for files, whether to keep them solid or try to shell them, etc… Be honest about your knowledge or lack of, don’t try to “cliff note” the job requirements.

I probably made the situation seem more dire than need be. I represented myself honestly and the position does not explicitly go over my head. I am merely trying to overshoot expectations and impress rather than be merely adequate.

Thanks for the tip on software environment, I’ll def be able to work proactively on that aspect.

Also, the job is in Austin, it isn’t hot there this time of year is it?