To: "SEAOC Newsletter" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: RISA
From: Christopher Wright <chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 99 08:46:27 -0500
>Can anybody out there give me some feedback and comments on each program.
>Its costly to buy two things. I'd rather buy the much better program.
With finite element software, 'better' almost invariably means 'the
program I've spent years getting used to.' The central fact of FEA
software is the learning curve. It takes a few weeks to learn to run the
program (you can run the trivial demos in a day or two), but a lot longer
to learn the quirks and work-arounds well enough to do honest-to-god
engineering efficiently and with confidence. Few working engineers have
the time or the inclination to work that far up a learning curve for more
than one or two general purpose programs.
Before you start trying to figure out which program is 'better' figure
out what you want to do with it. When you find software with the analysis
capabilities you need (Really need--not just the cool ones you figure
will make chicks dig you ;-> ) for your job, commit time to learning how
it works (on your own--seminars are OK for the rank newbie, but rarely
have the depth needed by a working engineer), and use the software every
chance you get, not just as a last desperate measure. If you're careful
and make enough mistakes so you keep learning (we engineers don't learn a
tenth as much from our successes as we do from our failures), after a
couple of years you'll find you actually did buy the 'better' program.
Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com | this distance" (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)