Mike, I'm amused how earlier you stated that it wasn't fair that Ca didn't invite Bentley to the game! Waa boohoo.....Sounds kind of like here in MN and other nearby states with their local DOT having a closed door policy! Not much fun when you know your software is probably better but the DOT just refuses to let you play in their arena! Personally I think we are getting to the time where the big guns need to come out and we by pass the DOTs and go straight to those holding the purse! The state legislature! More to come on this one!
I spent three years teaching Civil Techs in the MN college system and it always amused me why the DOT wouldn’t use a software that just about every single college and Tech school in the state (and Country) teaches. But instead uses a software no one teaches, and must spend thousands of dollars per student teaching themselves!
During my first advisory council I had with local employees’ I directly ask both the NDDOT and MNDOT managers that were present if they would like it if we started teaching Microstations and possibly Geopak. Their answer was "don't worry about we'll teach them ourselves!" Right there I realized just how fruitless it was talking to such closed mind fools!
Now again back to my original question that thing you called “Foolish”, I think you will find a few hundred and maybe a few thousand employers that would disagree with you on what training actually cost! I’ll bet if Bentley stops charging for training and just gave it away that would solve all our problems! (Few months latter they could just shut their doors too). But I do enjoy the competition! Kinda like Ford VS. Chevy! Except I would say it’s a 2000 (V-8) Ford vs. a 2012 Chevy Druramax! But that is a whole another thread!
From my days working on the consulting side training was as rare and priceless as the Democrat in Western ND drilling for oil, most mom and pop shops can barely afford to pay the subscription to the software let along send their people away for a few weeks just to learn how to import pts and create a surface. Even the larger companies see training as almost an award to be given to their best employees.
Way back in the early days (90s maybe 2000, don't remember exactly the year) I remember seeing on the MNDOT website a listing of all the Microstation and Geopak classes they listed as mandatory for their employees. What really floored me was the fact that after each 3 to 5 day class as a prerequisite required the student to work in the office for another 3 to 6 months before they could take the next class in the series. Bottom line what was taking us at the time in LDT to learn in 4 days the DOT was taking a year to learn! As for today with C3D I could get a student fresh out of college with only their college knowledge of Autocad up and running C3D and designing roads with intersections and storm sewer layout in 5 days at most! 5 days! (Doing that this week infact) I had an ex student of mine that last year spend a full 5 days just learning Geopak roads and it had zero to do with pts or surfaces and nothing to do with Storm sewer! I’ll bet our local DOT doesn’t even know how to do Storm sewers in Geopack!
So when you look at the complete picture your software really can’t be that easy and C3D I know for a fact is not that hard to learn! 5 days just for ROADS! Again 5 days just for roads! Heck in 5 days I’ll also teach them how to build their own custom subassemblies using the Subassembly Composer Tool! I’ll also spend the 20 minutes to teach them Datashortcuts so they can learn how to do the BIG projects you talk about!
I’ll be generous and only say it would take a Geopak trainer 20 days to train your easy software to do what I just claimed above! Now throw in 4 round trip airfares to Florida, 20 days of hotel at $100 plus per night in sunny south Florida and then multiply that by the amount of employees you wanted train and we are talking some serious “Foolish” money! We are talking in the neighborhood of 20 thousand plus dollars per student! OUCH that is some serious Foolish money! As they say a Fool and his money will soon part ways! Don’t forget the 20days they are out of the office not being billable too! 8hrs x $50/hr (real generous on that figure, don’t want to make you look too bad) x 20 days! That is $8k of lost income! Starting to look like a real bargain isn’t it! What do you guys charge per day of training? Again just to design Roads! If it so darn easy why does it take so darn long to learn?
Have a nice day in sunny Florida! Just had a record setting 70 plus day here in Bismarck, ND! Shhh don’t tell anyone! Hate to see a bunch of out of work Floridians wanting to move up here!
Bill Neuhauser P.E.
I don't use Microstation because of the poor customer and partner support. I've attempted to get trial versions of the software without luck and my application to become a Technology Partner was not even replied to. From my point of view Bentley doesn't want me as a customer or a Partner. While this discussion is mainly about DOT, I can see why Bentley products are not well used by companies if other companies are experiencing the same thing.
billneu08 wrote As for today with C3D I could get a student fresh out of college with only their college knowledge of Autocad up and running C3D and designing roads with intersections and storm sewer layout in 5 days at most! 5 days!
So when you look at the complete picture your software really can’t be that easy and C3D I know for a fact is not that hard to learn! 5 days just for ROADS! Again 5 days just for roads!
Umm... Let's not get carried away here... C3D is full of bugs. And for people not used to "model driven design", there is a significant learning curve. I tend to feel it takes AT LEAST 3 months for someone to get proficient with C3D, and that's with good training. But once that curve is overcome, it's easy to do incredibly powerful things in very short time frames.
I can't imagine that you can spend 5 days with a college student and turn them into a good C3D engineer. Part of that is that being a good C3D engineer is knowing your work, and frankly, college students don't know enough. So much of being a good engineer is built on experience. The software is only a tool, and if you don't know what you're doing, you can't operate the tool properly. You may be able to pass some "test" that you are trained to pass, but that's a completely different thing than knowing your craft.
Sync you are wrong. NOT ONE of those mentioned has switched from using a Bentley software.
(WisDOT Alaska and Caltrans all were standardized on Caice...) Florida- still cannot pass standards checker (as of early this yr)
Please spell my name correctly.
And no, YOU are wrong. EVERY DOT I mentioned was standardized on Bentley software, and has either switched completely, or is in the process of switching, because no one uses Bentley in the private sector. So for the DOTs to work with anyone, they HAVE to get off the Bentley stuff. It just creates too many problems otherwise. The only major holdout is the Army Corps, and even there I've seen a break (I've heard Army Corps personnel call Microstation a "dirty word"...).
I'm not taking sides in this debate but I think there is a lack of perspective on the past. Keep in mind that prior to Civil 3D the competing products were Autodesk's Land Desktop and Bentley's Geopak and InRoads. I have no experience with InRoads but I do have some feel for Geopak since many of the Geopak tools are in Power Civil though it lacks the more robust road design tools in Geopak. So based on my knowlege of Power Civil and what I have been able to glean about InRoads and Geopak, I would have to say that prior to Civil 3D the Bentley civil products have been far superior to Land Desktop for large scale road design projects, not only for it's more robust road design and modeling capabilities but also for it's support for large scale multiuser project management. Thus for me I think the DOT's had more than political or financial considerations when chosing Bentley products. They were just superior to Land Desktop in every way. In fact InRoads corridor modeler was a predecessor to Civil 3D's corridor modeling and apparently it's capabilities are somewhat mimiced in C3D.
With the advent of Civil 3D the game has changed somewhat as Civil 3D now has certain technical advantages over the older Bentley products, but it still falls short in regards to it's support for large scale project management and interoperability. There was an AU presentation last year which considered the challenges the Florida DOT has had to overcome to get C3D to work within their system, largely due to Autocad's limitations vs. Microstation. Apparently they are still struggling to get it working as Mike Barkasi mentioned.
I do know that Bentley is making significant enhancements to their products which should in time overcome the current deficits vs. Civil 3D, so I am not ready to conclude that the DOT's are going to abandon their products any time soon. If anything the DOT's might be more open to considering Autodesk's solution as an alternative technology now that it's capabilities are more comparable to Bentley's road design tools.
I should say that Autocad/Civil 3D's strength is it's annotation capabilities. Microstaton has been rather poor in that regard. Also I agree with C3D Reminders that Bentley's support for us small fish has been disappointing, to put it mildly.
Sinc: The Army Corp isn't holding out. They're currently, as we speak, are in the process of switching.
Another one down, another one down, another one bites the dust yeah. dot dot dot dadotta dot dot dadat.
Sorry, you just did.
I'm not taking sides in this debate...
Well, yes... Land Desktop was pathetic in comparison to C3D. That's not news. However, I agree that C3D is very weak when it comes to large-scale Project Management. I've repeatedly stated my position that Autodeak has completely missed the ball when it comes to Project Management, since they seem to think that Model-Data Management and Document Management are synonymous with "Project Management" (and they are not, these are three completely separate things). So I'm kind of with you on that point.
So based on my knowlege of Power Civil and what I have been able to glean about InRoads and Geopak, I would have to say that prior to Civil 3D the Bentley civil products have been far superior to Land Desktop for large scale road design projects, not only for it's more robust road design and modeling capabilities but also for it's support for large scale multiuser project management.
Sinc: The Army Corp isn't holding out. They're currently, as we speak, are in the process of switching.
Well, I DID say that even with the Corps, I've seen signs of them switching (and have heard people privately call Bentley stuff a "dirty word")...
Oh, and I also agree with your point about "multi-user support". The DWG format is incredibly flawed, basically an archaic single-user DB format that doesn't even work properly (thus the need for an AUDIT command)..... Yeah, TrueDWG is a joke. Point taken there.
While it may appear I am taking sides, for the record I am not sold on Bentley's products and I have been quite vocal on their forums about deficiencies I've found in their products as well. I just feel the debate tends to ignore the fact that the products being compared have evolved at different rates and thus cannot be objectively evaluated in their current state, so it seems premature to be making predictions about where things are headed.
And yes Land Desktop is pathetic comapred to Civil 3D. It is also pathetic compared to InRoads and Geopak. I can't imagine trying to do large scale road projects with Land Desktop. It's no wonder DOT's didn't want to consider it.