My first internship was, by all accounts, a dream job. Not only was it with the oldest firm in Florida (their corporate license # is A000001), but they were one of the first firms to make the switch to Autocad in the 80s and were even published in an early edition of Arch Record for a 3D model done of the Jacksonville Airport. They continued, and continue, to stay on the cutting edge of technology. While I was with them we always had the latest version of Autocad and once I moved up a little, I was allowed to get in on Beta testing for Autodesk, which means we got the latest versions before they were commercially available.
BOOOYAH! Yeah Baby.
It was, to say the least, an amazing learning experience to work with other architects and designers that had such a wealth of knowledge about the technology available to us and it’s practical use in the profession. Unfortunately this has not been my experience since leaving that firm.
In the first few years after leaving this firm it was easy to stay on top of new developments because I was actively in IDP and a bit of a pain in the ass when it came to getting experience. So, I was always looking for new ways to make my life easier in the world of cad production.
In my current position….let’s just say I feel as though my ears are continually leaking valuable information out of my brain that I will perhaps never get back as I drum through the day on one redline task after another on a 4 year old platform of Autocad Architecture. Suffice it to say I’m behind the curve at this point when I used to be ahead of it.
So there’s the question – is it ever too late for a architect/designer to learn new tricks?
I ask because, knowing that I am woefully behind the AEC technology curve, I’m endeavoring to teach myself BIM and IPD, starting with Archicad. Being a teacher at a local state college has it’s perks. I have a fully licensed copy of the educational version and access to a ton of tutorials and videos and other teaching aids. It’s awesome, but slow going. Other than SketchUp I haven’t had to teach myself anything new in more years than I care to admit.
Does anyone else have any experience with this kind of professional shift – moving from one way of doing things to a completely new way and changing technologies all at the same time? Have you had successes, failures, or was it a seamless process? What do we think are some keys to success when dealing with new technology, new techniques and new tools? Is it simply a matter of attitude or is there some other trait that keeps us moving forward, striving to stay at least near the top of the curve? I hope everyone will share their own thoughts, experiences and opinions.