Interview With Josh Mings of SolidSmack

By Dora Smith

Hey folks! Hope you missed me while I was out for a few weeks. I’m back.

I was reading Mark Burhop’s series on Practical Social Media and it reminded me that sitting in my inbox was Mr. Josh Ming’s As to my Qs.
Consider this another in my series of reverse interviews, turning the mic on media and bloggers like Desktop Engineering’s Kenneth Wong and Develop3D’s Al Dean. Josh (of SolidSmack) cleverly avoided my video camera at PLM Connection back in June. But he did respond to my questions in old fashioned text mode. So smack on this.

Q: Who is Josh Mings? What’s your day job? What’s your night job? What keeps you up at night other than a newborn ;-)?

A: I’m a design engineer. I smash design and engineering together to see what happens. During the day, I help design, engineer and manage VIP aircraft interior projects. During the night I prepare blog content, hang out and take care of the family. I keep a book by the bed to catch thoughts and get up at 5 to get a head start on the day, or in reality, to feel the full brunt of being sleep deprived.

Q: What did you think of PLM Connection? What were the big takeaways for you?
A: Besides being traumatized by karaoke, I was able to get a good sense of how companies are using Teamcenter. I enjoyed the chance to see how people have implemented NX and Teamcenter, as well as, talking to people about their company culture and how PLM has or has not been accepted.

Q: Do you think you’ll design things differently a year from now? Where do you think things are headed in this industry?
A: Here, I’d have to say, that the underlying principles of how we design are not going to change. There is great potential for how we think about designing products to change though. Where we’ve had a certain type of input and interaction with 3D models and 3D space over the past decades, we’re seeing what some would call a drastic shift in how we compute. It’s hard to think this could affect the MCAD market quickly, but seeing the interests from CAx vendors certainly shows different options will become available.

Q: Why did you start blogging? Why do you keep blogging?
A: I love to write. I love to give people the unexpected wrapped in the expected. It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s all those things that make people keep pursuing things they do without getting paid (or paid very little) by anyone to do it.

Q: What social tools have you integrated into your daily work?
A: With work and the blog, Twitter and Facebook are important. People know they can get a hold of me through those mediums and I encourage it actually. We tried Yammer. It could have been done better, but some functionality just didn’t work they way we needed it to. So, went the simple route. IM is also petty common.

Q: What’s open on your desktop right now?
A: Outlook, Excel, FireFox (Seesmic, Gmail, Gdocs, SolidSmack, Facebook) and an internally developed PDM program.

Q: Do you do most of your social networking through your computer or your handheld device?
A: It’s a total mix. I’d have to say I use it more on my computer though, since I’m in front of the thing all day. But yeah, when the network goes down or a server explodes, it’s total mobile.

Q: What value do you get out of Twitter?
A: By far it’s allowed me to extend the reach of SolidSmack, plus I’ve been able to ‘meet’ a lot of people in the industry on there. Now, when we meet face-to-face, it’s like old times, like you know each other. Takes the formality out of the whole mess which I think is nothing but excellent for actually having a meaningful conversation with someone.

Q: I heard several folks ask you this at PLM Connection – where do your hilarious first tweet in the mornings come from? Do you eat Sugar Smacks cereal?
mings morning tweet

A: Yeah, it’s odd, those just started up for some reason, gets the day started. They probably come from a wide influence of different slap-stick television and repressed memories of being beaten by jocks in high school. Just kidding about that ‘being beatn by jocks’. I beat them.

Q: The next time you’re in a karaoke room, what song do you want to sing ;-)?
A: Wow, can I even narrow it down to just one. This will be hard…. hmmmm… probably… something by Elvis or Weezer, oh or “On the road again”, by willie nelson or CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” – really anything that covers up my weezing and hacking.

Thanks Josh for educating us on your use of social media and for making us laugh along the way. For those of you not already connected to Josh, connect with him  on Twitter and on the SolidSmack blog where he provides lots of goodies, including product reviews, his view on industry news, and his famous Friday Smackdown.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at