I'll talk to management about getting per incident support. I may be posting a request for services.
I consider myself quite capable of learning on my own. I've taught myself every bit of software I've ever used including Autocad, Land Desktop/Civil Design/Survey/Raster Design, Map, ArcGIS, Microstation, Power Civil, MS Access, DBASE and more. For the past 4 years I've put most of my effort into learning Microstation and Power Civil (I had zero prior experience with Microstation), mainly because of the deficiencies, stability and performance issues I'd encountered in C3D up to that time (2007). While I've continued to evaluate C3D up until today I've always felt the Bentley product had the overall advantage. However I've not gained the efficiency I was looking for with that product and now that C3D has overcome some of the obstacles that were stumbling me I am ready to make more use of it. What has been a major hindrance for me is I have to translate all my work to Land Desktop for final production since no one else can work in these other products. This wipes out most most of the productivity gains that can be had.
Regrettably after all this time and effort I am now having to start learning all the trouble areas and workarounds for C3D, as well as all the enhancements to ACAD (dynamic blocks, sheet set manager, annotation scale, fields, CUI etc.) and the enhancements to Map to boot. Believe me, there is A LOT to learn in each of these products. I am just plain burned out.
P.S. What is really pathetic about this whole process is I've never been able to have a product demonstrated using a realistic dataset and workflow to see what it's true limitations are.
I could go on and on about this topic and even more regarding the "P.S." in your last post but I'll just try to get to the point.
I think that the best use of the company's dollar when implementing is to allow a power user, probably you, to use the software for day-to-day real life applications and become as familiar with it as possible. Or several if the company is large enough. Hopefully they can remain at least somewhat billable. Let them use the forums, help menu, and autocad university to get a fairly solid understanding of how to use the software. Then send them off to training to learn all of those dumb glitches in the program, and hopefully some misc. tips and tricks along the way. After that they can be the "go to" guys for the other users in the company. I do the same thing as Sinc with several people at my company. If there is something I can't answer, they can usually work on something else while I go crazy trying to find the solution.
In my experience, it just takes a few hours of my time every week to get several people relatively efficient using C3d. Some mornings I find a lot of hair on my pillow.
Of course nothing is possible unless your company realizes that it takes money to implement new software.
Oh, there are some trainers that will work with your actual projects, but watch out because some of them do such a bad job that you will never be able to convince anybody to use the software ever again.
Always feel free to bug me about anything you need to know. I feel I already owe you, for the help you've given me with Bentley/Microstation.
And I'm always available on an hourly basis, doing customized one-on-one training via something like GoToMeeting. It often works best to do an hour at a time... (web meetings that last any longer than that, most people suffer brain-fry and get diminishing returns). But I know C3D well enough that I can save HUGE amounts of brain-fry for most people, even in just a few one-hour sessions.
C3D has a huge number of problems. But I think it's also probably the best solution available right now, IF you can manage all its quirks...
Sinc is right. By the sounds of it he has a winner of a colleague however.
It's possible we're pretty lucky there. But to throw all stereotypes out the window, she's an Engineer in her 50's who had only been using LDD, yet is still picking up C3D at a very fast rate (with my training). So much for the idea that only young people with no training in LDD are the only fast-adopters of C3D. But we also had someone else we hired on, and then quit after 4 days, because he didn't want to learn all this stuff. So I suppose a lot of it really does depend on the individual...
Hey, wait a minute...I'm well over 50 (ok, I wasn't quite 50 when I started with C3D) and I think I picked it up fairly quickly :-) I'm firmly convinced it's more a "state of mind and/or lack of support from higher ups" than it is most anything else which keeps people from being productive with C3D. Sure C3D has issues, but EVERY product I've used to do my job since I got into this profession in 1973 has had issues. My customization folder for LDT was massive, for C3D it's much smaller thanks to SincpacC3D...but that is the beauty of Autodesk products...we CAN add our own customizations to bridge the gap of what the developers see and we, as users, see as being 'required' for our jobs.
And for the record, I know someone a few years older than me (ok, some say they'd have retired before that age) and I think HE has picked C3D up quite well, long before most of the rest of us.
I really appreciate your offer Richard. Your expertise in Survey alone will be a great help.
I've dabbled in the survey module a bit and tried to use it on a couple of small projects. One thing that was troublesome was undertstanding how to manually edit the survey figures and update the database with the changes. Eventually I just abandoned using it. It probably has an easy solution but that was a case where a "go to" person would have been a big help.
As to programming, I have wanted to get into that but I'm relegating it to a lesser priority until I get thoroughly familiar with everything else.
I'll get in touch with you when I run into a snag. And of course I'm always willing to help with anything I can.
Your comments about using the software is just where I've been. The company allows me to use the forums and has me on Subscription so I can access AU content, which I do use. It is a great way to learn workarounds (the AU course on how to get around the problems with the HEC-RAS tools would have saved me a day of wasted effort if I'd known about it).
In spite of all the help available online, I really need a go to person, someone who knows all the tricks and problems and can look at a project and my strategy for tackling it and tell me "use this approach, here are the problems you will encounter, and here is how to get around them".
I have one surpervisor who has been supporting me in using the new software on my projects. So far we've had mixed results due to the lack of live support. I am hoping I can get him to advocate hiring per incident support for a couple of projects in the near future. Our reseller has a Gold rating so we may try them. How does one go about finding someone who has expertise in our types of projects?
If anyone is interested in taking on one of my challenges, please see this post:
Access a broad range of knowledge to help get the most out of your products and services.