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SUMMARY: Toolkit training....

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Regular Member

SUMMARY: Toolkit training....

Thanks for the many responses to my question!

ORIGINAL:
Can anyone give me their opinion(s) on Toolkit training? What should
you know going in? How proficient should you be? How long after
training or obtaining the Toolkit were you able to start being
productive? Any other comments about the overall experience would be
greatly appreciated! Thanks...

RESPONSES:
_____

I took the class some years ago, and it was worth it.
I highly recommend it.
Trying to learn toolkit on your own will be frustrating.
However, please note that the quality of this type of class is highly
dependant upon the instructor's real-world knowledge.
In my case, the instructor was from PTC's services group, that creates
custom toolkit applications for customers.
I recall that one of the other students was a new PTC employee, who was
going to be teaching the same class in the near future.
I lucked out. I pity those who took the class from the new employee.

You need to know the basics about Pro/E.
And you need to be reasonably proficient in C (but not C++).
You especially need to understand pointers & double-pointers.

You should be able to start creating real applications immediately after
the class.
I had my first one done within a week.

P.S. Even before you take a class or get a toolkit license, you can
install from your Pro/E CD, and look at the docs and examples.
_____

Check out Torgon Industries in San Jose CA. They have a local guy there
who used to teach the class at PTC. ( I assume he didnt leave since I
took the course last spring.) Since he is local and they dont have to
pay for travel they will conduct the class with only two participants.

You need to know how to program in C. I think if you took a course in C
at a local community college before taking toolkit you could survive. I
tried without a good knowledge of C and had a very hard time with the
class.
_____

I took the training in 98. I knew some basic C programming, and was
concerned that I was not good enough at C. I read over the
Kernigan-Riitchie C book on the flight to Boston. The training went
pretty well. I came back and was writing some tough code right when I
got back, which is still in use today. With toolkit, if you can
imagine it you can do it. Its all about using the toolkit wizard,
which looking back at the training we never really used it much there.
Use the wizard to find what functions are available and what arguments
the function takes. then In turn you must find the function that gets
these arguments for you. In this sense its almost like working
backwards. I can honestly tell you this. Without the toolkit apps I've
written here, Pro/E would be about useless to us.
_____

Knowledge of ProEngineer itself is most important. Secondly, programming

skills - C language skills.
Other than that, with minimal training, one can be productive in very
short time. I would suggest to
first build the toolkit sample codes and learn what the code does - 1
week, learn related toolkit api functions.
Do a one week project where you modify that code to
do something relevant to your work. After that you should be productive.

_____

You wanted opinions on the Pro/E Toolkit Training. I basically found it
useless. What do you need to know before going to the class, cut and
paste. I personally felt there were no real "programming" examples
given. By that I mean, in most programming course I have taken there
were flow charts and pseudo-code, and descriptions of code usage -- in
the toolkit class it is put "this section of code in here". Just as an
example of my futility, the instructor shows you how to use on-line
help, in the exercise you are to use this new function, in searching the
30+ examples in the on-line help 20+ are the same and nowhere near the
assigned usage, finally at 30 something I found code somewhat similar
(in some cases there were no examples similar to the assigned function).
It was so frustrating, I started using the "completed" code and cutting
and pasting and figuring out why it worked -- or did not work.

The only plusses it looks good on the resume, the book is a decent
reference for the 10 to 12 functions used in class, and if you have
programming experience you will be able to extrapolate from the examples
how some of the other procedures of the functions work.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to use is since I have taken the
class. But don't expect to take the class and go back to work and
function as a toolkit programmer. I would guess it would have taken me
5 to 6 weeks to create something useful -- not just running a program.

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