With the emergence of cloud-based computing, engineering technology and software are evolving more rapidly than ever.
The Cloud has brought on the biggest change to engineering since the personal computer. Engineering software is more advanced than ever and, for those who aren't dedicated to keeping up, it can be easy to get left behind.
The New Pace Of The Cloud
Consider the way we used to upgrade our software. Once upon a time, software upgrades were physical (and with many desktop computers, still are). You purchased an upgraded annual release and then began to figure out all the new features that came with your upgrade.
All of this changes with the Cloud. Since most of the work is being done through an online portal, your device doesn't have to store upgrades — upgrades are done on the server side. This means that upgrades are near instantaneous and automatic. These upgrades don’t happen annually anymore but, instead, far more frequently.
Keeping Up With Progress: Ongoing Learning Replacing Training
The Cloud hasn't just changed the nature of engineering software; it's changed the way we are learning engineering. Gone are the days of once annual training to adapt to new changes to best practices.
The Cloud is allowing technology to evolve faster than ever, making it harder for engineers and designers to keep up. Staying current on the latest capabilities can be a daunting task when considering the speed and depth at which engineering software changes. Traditionally with engineering training, people go off site, at most, once a year to learn industry best practices.
With software updates happening on a monthly or weekly basis, keeping an eye on best practices requires one to be nimble and in a constant state of learning. Engineers can no longer afford to only invest time once a year to catch up on new tools and technologies. By incorporating learning into an engineer’s day-to-day routine, organizational efficiency is multiplied.
The nature of the "user island" has changed as well. Thanks to the connectivity of the Cloud, team projects can be worked on together in real-time. Cloud projects are often naturally collaborative, and the single user system is being displaced by a model that emphasizes community.
For engineers, this means learning how to collaborate instead of working in a silo. Gone are the days when a single engineer is likely to own a project from start to finish. Iteration of designs, collaborative creativity and breakneck speeds are the new hallmarks of cloud-based design.
The Cloud has altered the way we do engineering and changed it for the better. Technology is now evolving more quickly than ever; it's important now for the wielders of that technology to do the same.
Tony Glockler is the CEO of SolidProfessor, an online learning company helping engineers and designers learn and improve their skills. To learn more, visit www.SolidProfessor.com