FreeCAD presentation topics and development

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Joel_graff
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FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 pm

At the suggestion of chrisb, I'm starting a thread here to focus on the topic of presenting FreeCAD at conferences or other public / private venues.

This is an issue I'm working with as I'm going to present open source / FreeCAD to industry engineers across the state here in Illinois (US) in early June. In addition, I've been contemplating a presentation at Ohio LinuxFest this fall, and the call for speakers opens, I think sometime in April.

That said, there are a couple other threads to note:

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=23412
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27063

The big issue for me is my audience. In my June presentation, I'm talking to engineers and business owners. I'm not terribly worried about tailoring my content for that, but they are, as a general rule, going to be unfamiliar with open source, or may not give it much credibility.

By contrast, should I be accepted to present at Ohio LinuxFest, credibility and basic FOSS principles are not the issue. Rather, the audience will likely not have expertise in the more traditional engineering disciplines (to which FreeCAD caters) and would probably be more interested in the non-engineering elements of our project.

So I'd like to explore the various aspects of FreeCAD and how it can be presented in different ways, rather than just a brute-force presentation of it's features. What sorts of topics and strategies to present FreeCAD makes it easier for various groups (like non-engineers or non_FOSS folks) to understand?

To this point, I've considered mentioning topics more common to FOSS projects in general for the LinuxFest propossal.

For example:

1. The conversion process from Python2 to Python3 and /or QT4 to QT5
2. UI / UX growing pains - successes / failures (@ickby's new UI)
3. Community... We seem to be pretty healthy, but how are we, really?
4. Attention from external interests (@yorick mentioned Ton Roosendaal has an eye on us, small businesses are using FreeCAD...)
5. Criticisms / praises from the engineering industry as a whole...

Again, I don't mean to focus on tangential issues to the exclusion of demonstrating FreeCAD's abilities, but it seems as though they could be developed to make a presentation more interesting to users who don't have a vested interest in FreeCAD's technical strengths.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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bitacovir
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby bitacovir » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:51 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 pm
(...)
Again, I don't mean to focus on tangential issues to the exclusion of demonstrating FreeCAD's abilities, but it seems as though they could be developed to make a presentation more interesting to users who don't have a vested interest in FreeCAD's technical strengths.
Here in Latin America the Open Source fans are people with a strong interest on social projects. They love to see how OS tools are valuable to produce a positive social impact.
If people from North America are the same, you could show cases where FreeCAD is a proved tool to make real social projects:
http://www.iearobotics.com/
http://wikilab.blog.br/
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Joel_graff
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:17 am

bitacovir wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:51 pm
Here in Latin America the Open Source fans are people with a strong interest on social projects.
Using tech for social change is definitely a thing in the US. I saw @yorick's Fosdem presentation on Youtube and I definitely intend to feature that. I didn't know about the iearobotics link, though.

Most anyone who gets heavily into FOSS encounters this idea, but it definitely doesn't get emphasized enough - at least around here.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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Joel_graff
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:35 pm

This is a recent presentation I did with our local chamber of commerce at a "lunch and learn". I presented for about 30 minutes over the lunch hour on open source software for business, then had about 10 minutes of Q&A. This has nothing to do with FreeCAD, though I did mention it briefly. Still, it will be the basis for the presentation I will do with the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers in early June. The June presentation will go in-depth into what FreeCAD is and the latest developments, with specific focus on transportation / strucutural / architectural engineering.

Understand that everyone I'm presenting to knows little, if anything, about open source, so I not only have to talk about FreeCAD and engineering in June, but I also have to cover some of the ground I'm presenting here.

Anyway, I'm putting this up here because, frankly, I have no idea what a non-US audience would think of my presentation style. Assuming I get a shot to present at a Linux conference this fall, and given that most of FreeCAD's participants (so far as I can tell) do not hail from the US, I'd like to make sure I'm not making myself hard to understand for those who aren't midwest Americans. :lol:

Right now I see three things I need to improve:
1. Speak slower (I was a bit rushed for time)
2. Don't play with the change in my pocket (it was noticeable during the Q&A)
3. Try not to pace around so much...

phpBB [video]


And I can make the slides available if, for some reason, someone wants them...
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
thschrader
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby thschrader » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:01 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:35 pm
Right now I see three things I need to improve:
1. Speak slower (I was a bit rushed for time)
2. Don't play with the change in my pocket (it was noticeable during the Q&A)
3. Try not to pace around so much...
I see none.
Very good presentation. You are authentic and you believe what you say. No need to be a robot.

"Chamber of commerce", not the worst audience, isnt it? I wish, you can do a FC-presentation
with the same eloquence.

Thomas
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Joel_graff
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:09 pm

thschrader wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:01 pm
Chamber of commerce", not the worst audience, isnt it? I wish, you can do a FC-presentation
with the same eloquence.
The chamber audience was really good. Had good questions in the Q&A and they even laughed at my jokes, even though you couldn't really hear it. That's unique. I never get people to laugh at my jokes. :)

Once I get a feel for my June presentation, I'll post my outline here for review since I'm familiar with only a very limited scope of FC. I find authenticity requires confidence, which is hard to have if you don't feel you have mastery over the topic, especially when there is Q&A afterward. That can get scary. :lol:
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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Kunda1
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Kunda1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:50 pm

Haven't watched it yet, @joel_graff but bravo for public speaking. That is an accomplishment in itself. Reminds me of this Seinfeld bit:
phpBB [video]
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Joel_graff
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:42 pm

Kunda1 wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:50 pm
Haven't watched it yet, @joel_graff but bravo for public speaking. That is an accomplishment in itself. Reminds me of this Seinfeld bit:
:lol:

I've heard that statistic, but never saw the Seinfeld bit. That's funny.

I actually love public speaking. It's fun. But only if I can really present an idea that people can "get behind", so to speak.

That's why I started this thread. FC is in a unique position in that there's no other FOSS project quite like it, it's active and growing, it's major competition is extremely expensive commercial software, and it has great potential for use in so many applications. I feel like we could really present it as a project with a lot of social value rather than just focus on features, roadmaps, and dry technical details that only engineer-types would really care about. I'm hoping I can work that out well enough here to outline a compelling talk for Ohio LinuxFest.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
paullee
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby paullee » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:39 am

Joel_graff wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:35 pm
This is a recent presentation I did with our local chamber of commerce at a "lunch and learn". I presented for about 30 minutes over the lunch hour on open source software for business, then had about 10 minutes of Q&A. This has nothing to do with FreeCAD, though I did mention it briefly. Still, it will be the basis for the presentation I will do with the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers in early June. The June presentation will go in-depth into what FreeCAD is and the latest developments, with specific focus on transportation / strucutural / architectural engineering.
Great presentation!
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Joel_graff
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Re: FreeCAD presentation topics and development

Postby Joel_graff » Thu May 17, 2018 5:40 pm

So it appears the call for presentations for Ohio Linux Fest will open soon. I've no idea what length of presentation I may get, but I'm trying to develop an overall format that would have broad appeal, rather than get overly technical about FreeCAD's specific capabilities.

At this point, I feel a valuable talk would focus on some or all of the following topics:

1. A brief overview of FreeCAD
__a. History
__b. Features

2. FreeCAD's unique position
__a. Only open source project of its kind
__b. Proprietary competition
__c. Flexibility (C++ / Python workbench framework)

3. Project status / growth / userbase
__a. Github statistics
__b. Active users
__c. Projects
____i. Social value
____ii. Technical value

4. Demo
__a. Existing projects
__b. Quick parametric demo

Anyway, with these topics in mind, if anyone has any specific suggestions on what I should focus on, I'm all ears. :)
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails