Daily Prompt: Teachable Moment

Today’s subject is essentially “how do you learn?” When learning a new skill do you prefer to read about it, hear it from someone else, watch someone else or just do it yourself?

This is an interesting topic for me right now because, as it happens, I am learning a new skill – Vectorworks Architect 2013 (BIM). Our office made the switch by first purchasing two seats – one for me and one for our other intern – a couple of weeks ago. We decided that we would take two new projects and start them in Vectorworks rather than trying to start in our old software and move after.

Now, learning BIM is not quite like learning a completely new skill where you’re starting from nothing and working up. I’ve been a practicing Intern for about 9 years. I’ve worked in multiple cad platforms, some with 3D capability and some that are purely 2D, so my experience is fairly wide. But BIM is a true shift in thinking from conventional drafting so I’ve had to alter my learning style some in order to keep my momentum moving forward rather than getting bogged down in the minutia of the various tools.

I’m typically a “learn from doing” kind of guy with a little “point me in the right direction” thrown in for good measure. With Vectorworks, and BIM in general, I’ve taken the “everything under the sun” approach to learning. I’ve downloaded and bought books, watched nearly every video posted to the Vectorworks support site, combed through the community forums, watched youtube videos, asked for help from other architect users and I continue to push through on my own as I’m actively designing and detailing two residential projects. It’s been……interesting, to say the least.

Some days I feel like I’m doing ok, and then others I feel like there’s still so much to learn that I’m never going to really get it. Somewhere in between those days I know that I’m getting it little by little and, luckily, there are MANY tools and resources out there for me to use in order to find my way.

So, whatever your personal learning style and no matter what you’re learning, remember that no matter how you think you learn the best, there’s always something you can learn from some other source. Don’t limit your learning. Use whatever and do whatever it takes to master “it” and achieve your goals.

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