Does it take UML knowledge to be good at designing BIG project?
If yes is there free UML modeling software?

I don't know 'bout the first question, but I've been searching for free uml tools for a couple of days. (under title: some open source tools)
I'm using Bouml on ubuntu (linux), but I don't know if it's available for Windows.

From what I have been reading, my conclusion is: there are no PERFECT free UML tools, but there are good ones if you do a little research to find one that suits your needs (do you need automatic code generation, in what languages, ...)


EDIT: there is also a free version of Visual Paradigm (Community Edition):
PS: Visual paradigm is considered the best UML modelling tool available.

UML is a low level diagramming language that is usually used in too fine-grained a manner. The truth is that people should avoid diagrams, so that they force themselves to store the graph of information in their brains.

Well, I think it's quite a help when programming complex program's. If you design it accurately with UML you only have to "translate" your design into real code, and if your design is logically correct, it should work properly.

It helps to hold on to previous ideas (at least for me it does), like you think of something for another class or whatever, but half an hour later you find that you forgot what you thought out before that... And just loosely noting every idea ends up in a bunch of paper that's barely usable. While when having a good design, you can start building according to plan.

Well, that's just my experience, but I'm just a starting programmer. What may work for me may not work for you.

Grtz, K?!