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Continuous improvement of professional skill of experts as a part of design activity
Continuous improvement of professional skill of experts – a sign of advanced design culture and the important characteristic technologically developed country.                                  

Let's consider, why improvement of professional skill of users of programs is necessary.

He is interested in improvement of professional skill of the worker not so much, how many its employer. High qualification of the designer directly affects incomes of any company. Expenses for the qualitative design decision are non-comparable to the price of a design error. And the insurance here only one – selection of high quality experts and maintenance of their qualification at high level.

In our country as you remember, there was developed enough system of continuous vocational training and improvement of professional skill. For doctors, teachers it has partially remained. And why has ceased to exist for other experts?

Because was fiction – as cardboard scenery. The system of improvement of professional skill was state and direct interest of the enterprises in competent experts simply ignored. More often the expert raised qualification, studying as own errors or at the senior colleagues.

Has passed time. Have changed both economic conditions, and requirements to quality of designing. The quantity of the design organisations has objectively decreased, but to project did not become less – loading on each designer has increased. The highly skilled expert became very occupied person? Pay for concrete work, instead of for disinterested aid to colleagues... And here the period of continuous automation of designing, CAD everywhere – from the big design organisations to small bureaus has begun now.

Mastering by technologies of the automated designing allows the company to make jerk both as design workings out, and in quantity. It is measured in absolutely concrete sizes: percent to an oil recovery, percent to melt of a steel, additional volumes of building. And, certainly, in a direct money's worth it is obvious (differently CAD would be simply expensive fashion).

Who could learn at once such quantity of designers to work in CAD? Use of computer technics for last five years has promptly passed some stages:
1. New technologies of the press and engineering specifications duplicating.
2. Use of computer technologies for preparation of text and tabular documents, carrying out of various calculations.
3. Transition with kuhlmann on the personal computers, full transfer of all drawing process in CAD.
4. The beginning of use of potential of design possibilities modern CAD.

Let's notice that stages 1, 2 and 3 do not demand special skills – only investments of means in quite material hardware maintenance: plotters, copiers-scanners, computers. Therefore designers studied independently (as though on a process course) and now is in overwhelming majority quite confident “draw by the car”. But whether labour productivity has raised really? “Beat off” whether the money spent for the equipment and the software?

It is necessary to see rather frequent, what even simple execution of drawings in CAD is conducted by the primitive, ineffective receptions directly transferred with traditional kuhlmann. Representation of experts (unfortunately, many) about possibilities CAD often does not go further mechanical plotting “sticks with the sizes”. Heads and owners of the design organisations perfectly understand it and ask a reasonable question: where expected efficiency? In the meantime at exhibitions, seminars developers and sellers of the software show all new and new possibilities, there are new products, – but whether users-designers for whom all it is intended can use them? Plotting automation was made, but as there was it not designing automation.

Some time these problems of very few people worried. Projects become, drawings are printed, what? And here the quantity began to outgrow in quality:
- the large quantity of the electronic documents accompanying project CAD, has generated huge problems in management of them;
- the new design problems which were not existing for lack of CAD (the information interchange, the automated preparation of the data, alternative designing) were designated; there was a set of the projects entirely executed with application of computer technologies;
- possibilities of computers, remote terminal units have sharply increased, the network organisation has become complicated, possibilities of all programs have qualitatively changed.

Work with the software all becomes more comfortable, but programs do not become easier – on the contrary, they continuously become complicated. And the designer-user of often it does not notice! He is assured that it is quite enough available knowledge. The wide circulation of the counterfeit, stolen software has created erudition illusion: one business to understand with the elementary, obvious, intuitively clear icons and absolutely another – to understand ideology of the program, to master the technique of work put in it.

Let's consider, as it dares now.

Any brothel bothers sooner or later. First sign was accumulation “critical weight” electronic documents which breed with space speed and with which need to be operated. The quantity leads to natural requirements to quality.

Second sign – the requirement caused at once by several factors for a sharp intensification of work of the designer:
- The qualified expert who is able as much as possible effectively to solve tasks in view is required to the enterprise. To wait some years while the expert will be generated from the graduate of high school, the employer does not want now;
- Possibilities of a personnel choice were essentially reduced: the expert not only is obliged to be now competent of a designing subject domain, he still should own computer technologies decently;
- The modern design organisations are very compact and operate proceeding from economic feasibility principles. Each expert should be whenever possible versatile that gives the chance to operate the size of staff operatively.
- Designers objectively became less, but the designing volume proportionally has not decreased. Loading on each expert has simply increased.

From here abundantly clear that experts it is necessary to train, raise their qualification.

First of all this so-called pilot training. Such training is effectively conducted on special purpose software products – for example, PLANT-4D, Raster Arts, TechnologiCS. It is the important component of work with the corporate customer. Attempt simply to instal such software on workplaces and to tell “Will understand, there all is very simple” would mean full discredit of activity. It at all does not mean that experts-users are silly or incompetent. On work the expert tensely works and autocratically to be engaged in studying of interesting possibilities of programs to it simply will allow nobody. Therefore in short enough term (3-4 days) the elementary training necessary for the successful beginning of work is made. And only then the program is transferred in time operation.

The following kind of training – base training within 3-6 days. Such training usually is mass. The overall objective – to provide uniform for all designers level of possession with a base CAD-PLATFORM. The uniform understanding of possibilities of base systems is provided, self-education blanks are closed, there is an acquaintance to more effective working methods. It is necessary to notice what to train the majority of experts “to plotting” in CAD actually already there is no necessity – now at employment even necessary skill is underlined. To those experts who in general yet do not work in CAD, it is recommended to pass base (certainly, longer) training in the specialised educational center. Base training is prevailing mode of study CAD. For example, such trainings at the enterprises pass. In the USA regularly, and it is not considered shameful to take the same course some times: not everyone is capable to acquire huge volume of the information in a short space of time. Base training – a key to development of more difficult programs, in which trivial “drawing” it is replaced by really automated designing.

Specialised training. It is the most difficult kind of training. In an ideal each expert should work in specialised CAD: the mechanical engineer – in Inventor, the engineer on a vertical lay-out – in Land Development Desktop, the architect – in Architectural Desktop + VIZ etc. As a matter of fact specialised training is studying of CAD of average and high level. Two directions were defined:
- Studying of the organisation of design process with use as the means put directly CAD, and other programs (for the document circulation organisation, for example);
- Studying of methodology of designing in such CAD which, by the way, not always coincides with an existing domestic technique of designing. The main thing here to define optimum methods of reception of design result and to provide its correct (from the point of view of domestic standards) interpretation.

During such specialised training pilot designing, that is the joint design actions which are most full opening possibilities of CAD can be carried out. Duration of training happens different: from several days about several months (certainly, with breaks). The whole technological line of designing is usually considered: preparation of the data and other predesign actions, the correct and effective organisation of the electronic project, maintenance of the operative control and management of the project, network interaction of various experts etc. Rigid professional requirements are shown not only to trained experts, but also to instructors – after all the instructor plunges together with listeners in “a problem field” the enterprises.

Let's consider, who will be the customer of corporate training.

First of all it is those organisations and the enterprises which have faced a staff deficit. How with small expenses to increase labour productivity? The skilled head will address in the specialised educational center.

The way on which it is necessary to go, is defined clearly: radical reorganisation of process of the engineering work, based on universal introduction of a modern information technology. Already today in the world market the Russian scientific and design organisations which strategically truly planned the development and have beforehand enclosed means in information re-equipment successfully compete. Most likely, future decade becomes for Russia time of definitive transition of the viable organisations for complex use of an information technology.

1. Ishmyakov A. Becoming a corporate training as a part of culture of design activity//CAD and a drawing, #4 (14), 2002 []
2. Alhimenko A., Bolshev А., Tuchkov A., etc. The information technology as a key element by preparation of new generation of civil engineers//CADmaster, #3 (13), 2002 []

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 07/22/2009

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