Dec 9, 2018

Meet the Instructor: API 1104 Online Code Clinic

By Michael Riobueno

This week, we bring you Part II of our Meet the Instructor blog series. Not too long ago, we introduced you to Rick Suria, the instructor at the helm of our AWS D1.1 Online Code Clinic. This week, we will share a great conversation we had with Dave Diaz, the instructor of AWS Learning’s API 1104 Online Code Clinic. For those of you who are unfamiliar, AWS has made two additions to our Online Code Clinic course offerings to help you prepare for Part C of the CWI exam. For more information, please to refer to this previous blog post. For those of you already up to speed on these new courses, let’s turn our focus over to Dave!

AWS Learning: Hi, Dave! Let’s fill our readers in on the basics. What is your educational and professional background?

Dave Diaz: Well, I’m originally from Chicago, where I attended NDT school for radiography and became a Radiographer Trainee Level I. Then I got drafted and ended up in Vietnam. While in service, I worked as a Metals Processing Specialist, which benefitted me greatly when I got out. I went back to radiography, but I have also been involved with aerospace, in a civilian capacity, and the nuclear industry. The bulk of activity for me has been with power plants. I took the CWI exam in 1978, and became an ASNT Level III around 1983. I worked for Bechtel, a utility in Northern California, and then got involved in the AWS CWI program around 1994. I continued my education and got a degree in Materials Engineering around 1997. Today, I hold every certification offered by AWS except Certified Welding Engineer and Certified Welding Supervisor. I’m still active in the industry and the CWI program.

AWS Learning: Wow, that’s quite a journey! Let’s shift gears and focus on CWI seminars for a moment. What are some common questions you receive from students attending your seminars?

Dave Diaz: I’ll give you the questions followed by my answers:

Why is the CWI exam so difficult? 

It’s difficult because the exam requires you to draw from a very large knowledge base in order to do well. Students should be familiar with the body of knowledge!

*Note: The Body of Knowledge for the CWI exam can be found here.

Why can’t the seminar be longer?

Though there are other agencies that offer longer seminars, I find that many people are at an AWS seminar on their employer’s dollar. Since some employers are paying for the seminar and effectively losing an employee for a week, a shorter seminar is preferable. 

A common complaint I receive is, “AWS just wants my money!”

I tell the students, “Not really!” The issue is with expectations. Some students believe that taking the seminar guarantees a passing score on the exam, but that is simply not true based on many factors. As I stated before, the body of knowledge necessary to pass the exam is very large. Also, a student’s familiarity with the codebook and previous experience with the CWI tool kit are two factors that can influence exam results.

AWS Learning: Agreed. Who do you feel could benefit from an online code clinic?

Dave Diaz: Everybody can benefit from it, especially anyone interested in taking the CWI exam.

AWS Learning: You touched on this a bit earlier, but let’s talk more about student expectations. What should students taking the online code clinic expect? What would you suggest they do to get the most out of the experience?

Dave Diaz: The online code clinic provides basic preparation, knowledge, and fundamentals training. The emphasis is on the word “basic.” To get the most out of the experience, you should take the course and study afterwards.

AWS Learning: What one bit of advice would you like to leave with our readers about prepping for the CWI exam?

Dave Diaz: Study, study, study! 

We hope you found our conversation with Dave Diaz to be insightful and helpful in determining what's right for you. If you’re interested in purchasing any of AWS Learning’s Online Code Clinics, or simply want additional information, check out the Online Code Clinic landing page, which gives you plenty of details about each of these courses.