Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do I Start to Lie?

I am a terrible lier. Ask anyone. A typical lie will manifest itself about once every two months humorously around my friends which will be followed by myself saying ten seconds later, "I'm sorry. That was a lie..." just incase they did not get the joke and I will explain the truth.

I was taking a true and false quiz for a position at an aerospace company. I was applying for an engineering job. The position was a statics load engineer. One of the questions was, "Do you have a masters degree in Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineering?" I answered "False" because of course I do not have that degree. I have a masters in Materials Science and Engineering. As I stared at the job title and the question I thought, 'Really? A master's in Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineering would know something about static loads that I don't?'

This is not nearly the first question that I have answered "wrong". I often answer questions about specific programs that I have used. Many aerospace companies use CATIA, a CAD and FEA software package. I have not used CATIA but I have used SolidWorks, ProEngineer, AutoCAD and Abaqus as well as creating MatLab simulations. How hard would it be for me learn CATIA? I am 99% confident that in less that one business day I could create a beam and bend it in a finite element simulation. Sure that is very simple to an experienced user, but considering I have never touched the software that would be impressive. I have spent so much time learning different CAD programs and a fair amount of time learning FEA that switching to a new system would be measured in hours or days instead of weeks and months and even years for a true beginner.

So when I am asked how much experience I have with CATIA and I answer "none" I can feel the recruiter passing my application into the junk pile. Interestingly enough CATIA and SIMULIA (the company that produces Abaqus) are owned by the same company. Lest one of my readers think that my education was lacking I would not change a thing. Abaqus supports DANTE which is a very powerful piece of software for heat treating steels and something that CATIA does not do, as far as I know. CATIA can model kinetics, however, I am not sure to what extent it covers. Steel, particularly the Pyrowear 53 I was working with, has fairly complex heat treating kinetics compared to most things.

Wow, that got detailed.

Anyway, I'm not going to lie. I can't. Also, it doesn't make sense. Despite the fact that I could probably pass myself off as knowing CATIA (let's be honest, companies don't actually test your technical skills until you start working; they only ask questions about your technical skills) however, truthfully I don't know CATIA.

Frustrating to say the least. It's like asking if I drive a Ferrari. Well, I've never driven a Ferrari. Does a Porsche count? No. Once again I wonder, do nice guys finish last?

Actually, finishing last would be fine with me. At this point it would be nice to know that I even get to start the race.

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