Thoughts from the Founders for the New Year


Last year, over 26,000 engineers, designers, students, teachers, and businesses made the decision to learn with SolidProfessor and achieved incredible things.

As our team began to look back on all of your accomplishments, we wanted to share with you some of the things we noticed that make us excited about learning, as well as ideas for how to bring that energy into 2018. I asked our founding team for some insight – these are their key takeaways.

solidprofessor founders CXO (Chief Experience Officer) Pedro Santana, left, Director of Product and Services Jason Wright, middle, and CEO Tony Glockler, right.

2017: Learning from a new perspective

In 2017, we added a number of new faces to our team in San Diego, California. While there are many reasons this is exciting, our CXO, Pedro Santana, was most excited by what he was able to learn from this passionate group of people. “There are many people on this team that care very deeply about what we do. Taking time to listen to their unique perspectives gave me a new appreciation for something I thought I was thoroughly familiar with.”

By taking the time to look at things from a different perspective, we give ourselves the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of things we already think we’ve mastered. No matter how long you’ve been working at something, there’s always more to learn. Because of this, and in order to pursue continuous learning, it’s important that we build relationships and open paths of communication with people who can provide us with different insights.

Realizing you have a lot to learn about a subject you consider yourself an expert in can be uncomfortable, but being willing to do so and seek out those new perspectives is what allows us to truly master a topic.

2018: Set goals

Continuing in the theme of pushing yourself to seek out and learn more, Pedro is bringing this excitement into 2018 by focusing on the bigger picture. “In 2018, I’m most excited about taking on big goals. The new year provides an opportunity to look beyond the day to day tasks that have been the focus of the prior year and set our sights on new challenges.”

Regrouping and refocusing on your goals is an important part of any new beginning as it gives you the chance to really understand what you’re working for and find the energy you need to succeed. “I’m excited about the goals set forth by our leadership team. They’re aggressive and a bit uncomfortable, but also invigorating. I look forward to seeing the very best of our team in 2018!”

Set aggressive, attainable goals for yourself as you look for new perspectives and deeper knowledge in 2018. A great way to do this is to sign up for an industry certification exam, such as the CSWA, CSWP, AutoCAD Certified User, or Inventor Certified User exams. Preparing for these will not only help you gain a new perspective on a tool you use daily, but are also likely to give you a career boost so you can achieve your long-term professional goals.

2017: Expanding your horizons

As you commit to deepening your knowledge in your area of expertise by seeking out new perspectives, it’s also important to branch out and learn something completely new. For Jason Wright, our Director of Product and Services, expanding our horizons was the most exciting part of 2017. “It’s been exciting to see how we’ve been able to help so many people already with not just SOLIDWORKS, but also AutoCAD, Draftsight, MATLAB, ANSYS, Mastercam, Rhino, and others.”

In today’s global economy, where we strive for the most efficient paths to production, it’s crucial to expand your breadth of knowledge and build a more comprehensive understanding of your field. In fact, gaining a broader understanding of your field will help you in gaining a deeper understanding of what you do as it provides context to your specific role.

As you expand your horizons and discover new areas of learning, you set yourself up to succeed in brand new ways. For SolidProfessor, expanding our areas of knowledge meant being able to offer more to our members. Consider for yourself what areas you’d like to know more about. Push your own boundaries. Dive in and learn something new.

hands-on strategies for learning something

2018: Pursue your passion

While you’re learning new things, take into consideration what it is you’re passionate about. Jason finds his passion and excitement in the work our members are doing. “I’m most excited about being able to help the people who are solving real-world problems and making the world a better place to live through the inventions and products they’re creating.”

Your successes really are what drive us forward and it’s what makes us excited to get up in the morning. “It’s amazing to hear the stories of students getting certified and professionals going further in their careers as a result of their ongoing learning through SolidProfessor.” As you pursue knowledge and work towards your goals, find passion at the heart of everything you do.


2017: Embracing lifelong learning

With the industry abuzz with conversations about the changing global economy and the impacts of automation, the most energizing part of 2017 for our CEO, Tony Glocker, was watching the industry truly embrace the idea of lifelong learning.

“Hearing the calls for ongoing learning to be a requirement for people as we enter the new economy really struck me. From the ASU+GSV conference to Autodesk University and SOLIDWORKS World, executives and thought leaders in every space emphasized how remaining relevant, keeping up with technology, and staying ahead of innovation now requires a commitment to ongoing, lifelong learning.”

As we enter into the next technological revolution, it’s important the industry realizes our greatest opportunities lie in helping people grow and adapt their skill sets to the changing world around them. With business and technology leaders prioritizing learning, the engineering workforce has more, exciting opportunities ahead.

“I’ve been in this business for a long time and the emphasis on this requirement has never been louder.”

2018: Commit to continuous learning

Tony summarized best the one thing that’s most exciting to all of us – seeing our members really commit to continuous learning.

valuable insights about continuous learning

“The most exciting for me is seeing how people are taking up this cause of committing to ongoing learning. We watched as our community of members passed 10 million lesson views. Engagement with our Library of courses increased by 56% year over year. This translates into a more skilled and prepared workforce, people pushing themselves and their skills to the next level accelerating innovation.”

So, keep up the motivation and the hard work. Learn something new. Set goals. Expand your horizons. Pursue your passion. Embrace and commit to lifelong, continuous learning.

Happy learning!

Share this post

Phylicia Clifton
About the Author