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.