What I’ve Learned in My First 40,000 Hours with SOLIDWORKS :-)

Darin @ DASI - Celebrating 20 Years

Written by: Darin J. Grosser – CSWE – Elite AE

The accepted standard baseline that qualifies one as a Full Time Employee in the United States is 2080 Hours per Year. Those 80 hours are generally regarded as the standard 2 weeks of Paid Vacation, putting a normal work year at 2000 hours.

On February 1st, 2017, I will be CELEBRATING my 20 Year Anniversary working with David and Richard Darbyshire and the rest of the DASI Solutions Family!

Simple math concludes that on Wednesday, I will have been working for the same company within the same community for exactly 40,000 hours……though I could argue I hit that mark years ago…  😉

Reflecting back on 20 years in the Software Technology field, it truly is AMAZING where we’ve come. As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot of things in that time………

The Events That Define Our Lives…..
“How Did I Get Here?”

I’ve always said, “Life is what’s happening while we are making plans.” In life, we are ‘doing’ things all the time, but there are a handful of “Core Events”, the defining moments that are the key points in each of our lives. Those are the puzzle pieces in a giant mosaic that go together and lead us to RIGHT HERE!

In 1989, as a high school sophomore, the search for an academic direction led me to a visit with my brother, Chris, at Ford Motor Company. There, now 28 years ago, I saw my first 3D Printer in action. Pure ASTONISHMENT!!

Now people always say this, but for me it’s true. I literally can remember it like it was yesterday, and it’s because I can trace back my decision to become an Engineer to that very moment!

I graduated from Western Michigan University in December of ’96 with a Bachelors in Engineering Graphics, or another way of describing an ME with deep computer focus. I was on the ‘5 ½ year plan’, but I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂

In early ’97, I was handed a ‘used’ sub sandwich wrapper by my other brother, Jim. On it was a phone number for a little company in Pontiac, MI.

A few days later, and with mother nature working against me, I arrived 2 hours late and gave the absolute WORST interview, probably by anyone……EVER! Seems I ‘overstated’ my AutoCAD capabilities a bit on my resume. Oops.

Lucky for me, it wasn’t AutoCAD they wanted me for……it was for a new little product called SOLIDWORKS. I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment would put me on the path towards the next 2 decades of my life.

If There is One Thing That is Constant…… It’s Change…

So what have I learned during this incredible time of Technological advancement? Well, more than I can put in this BLOG. However, here are a few things I’ve come to accept, and even embrace, as well as a few things I feel are simply ABSOLUTE.

Change is inevitable. There is no way to stop it.

So as soon as you embrace that concept, you will find that there is a lot of benefit to Constant Change. Human nature is to always try to invent something to solve a problem or improve something that already exists.

Enhancement Requests can make your DREAMS come TRUE!!

No kidding! SOLIDWORKS has some of the most talented Developers on the planet. They love nothing more than to dazzle us with their code writing awesomeness, they just need your ideas. Seriously….I’ve sent in some ER’s that I figured were impossible over years…..

I’ve since removed that word from my vocabulary!!

Let’s do the math! Each release since I’ve been supporting SOLIDWORKS has had an average of 250 Major Enhancements. I’ve had the distinct honor of being involved in the release of 23 of the 25 versions SOLIDWORKS has produced.

That’s approximately 5,750 MAJOR ENHANCEMENTS to SOLIDWORKS core in my tenure. That is downright incredible!

Inflation doesn’t affect everything in life, or maybe we just don’t let it!

The first seat of SOLIDWORKS was sold in 1995 for $3995 US. At the time it was a tremendous value.

A seat of SOLIDWORKS Standard in 2017 goes for $3995 US…STILL with every Modeling, Assembly and Drawing function included…and 20+ years of evolution…



MySolidWorks - Manufacturing NetworkAccess to Manufacturing has never been easier!

SOLIDWORKS opened up access to High Quality Solid Modeling to the masses, but access to getting that 3D Geometry fabricated was still a challenge.

These days, we have a passionate SOLIDWORKS Community of over 3.5 MILLION users! Getting those users connected with manufacturers was always an essential step.

Today, users simply need to login to to get connected with Manufacturers of different capabilities and disciplines who can produce their parts and ship them directly.

The World is a MUCH smaller place!

We have none other than Al Gore to thank for the indescribable thing that is THE INTERNET!  Wink, wink…

No matter who is responsible for the infancy of the World Wide Web, it has single-handedly made access to information and people from nearly anywhere on the planet just a few milliseconds away.

It has changed the way we work and communicate in both positive and negative ways. We save time by not traveling as much and instead connect thru online meetings and conference calls, yet by doing this, we lose that personal feel of face to face meetings.

I’m personally a fan of knowing my customers, but more importantly my customers knowing who I am. I love being a road warrior and getting out there to see vast array of things our versatile customer base creates! It’s my favorite part of the job! 🙂

Who is this guy and why should I be listeningDarin @ DASI - Tech Tips to him??

These days, you can get software suggestions, ideas and how to videos from many sources in an instant in places like YouTube, the Online forums and

There is currently over 750,000 videos on YouTube related to “SOLIDWORKS”. The problem then becomes, “Which video source is worth my time?”

DASI Deep Dive - SOLIDWORKSThe DASI Solutions YouTube channel has been growing at an incredible rate. We’ve recently included 100’s of new videos created by my new co-workers from DASI Arizona and California, and we are making more all the time.

You can check out the DASI YouTube channel with my playlist of SOLIDWORKS Two Minute Tech Tips and my new series called the SOLIDWORKS Deep Dive, where I dig into the finite details of different workflows from setup to usage.

Just like the SOLIDWORKS Developers, my goal is to produce content that YOU WANT!

If you have a SOLIDWORKS topic you would like to see made into an instructional video, please follow me on Twitter and let me know!!

@DTwitter LogoarinDASI


You can’t get anywhere without a little help, no matter what you think!

We are ALL connected! And from the person running the show right down to the person sweeping the floors……we ALL NEED EACH OTHER!!

I get frustrated when I hear someone say that they are “self-made” or “I got here on my own”. Sure, you may have started with a little whatever and built it into something larger and more successful, but unless you physically built all of the pieces of the car you drove to work in……you LITERALLY didn’t even get to work “on your own”!!

It’s the people around us that we work with every day, our family members, and even those that we meet thru coincidence that impact us in ways we may not even realize that help us get where we are going. Whether they help us directly thru collaboration or help us thru the everyday activities of life, every member of the “TEAM” is important!

At DASI Solutions, the Admin Team processes the activities of the Sales Team.

The Tech Team supports the Sales activates as well as the HelpDesk Requests from our Customers.

There would be no work to do if the Sales Team didn’t produce any sales, which they could not do without the Tech and Administrative Teams supporting them.

HOWEVER, if it wasn’t for YOU, our Customers……NONE of us would be where we are RIGHT NOW! You are the lifeblood of our business and that NEVER escapes our minds!

Our Success, that of DASI Solutions and the SOLIDWORKS community as a whole, depends on keeping our Customers satisfied, excited and well supported!! If you are successful with our tools, then you will grow. And if you grow, then we will also benefit from your success. WIN WIN!

What a Great Ride!!

I honestly live my life with no regrets. Each and every thing that we’ve done or experienced brings us to this very moment, and if ANY of those things were even a ‘breath’ different, our path would have been different too!

I look at my wife and my girls every day, thankful to be right here, right now!

I’m grateful to the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve had!! There is NO WAY I could have gotten here without them! When you have one life to live, feeling like your precious time was a waste would be nothing short of tragic.

Today, I am thankful to say that my “First” 40,000 hours with DASI Solutions and SOLIDWORKS have, without a doubt, been THE most amazing time………but it seems to me that we’re just GETTING STARTED!! 🙂



-Darin @ DASI


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One Response to What I’ve Learned in My First 40,000 Hours with SOLIDWORKS :-)

  1. Dan Bovinich says:

    We’re glad you made it, congrats on 20 years! Thank you for all the help over the years!

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