Revolution now Evolution

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I’ve been talking with a lot of my Australian peers of late, a number of which may have recently moved jobs (myself included).  In these conversations have been a lot of reflection about where they, industry and the software that supports it have come and maybe going to.  I have to out myself as the old guy here, having being around what is now known as BIM for some 25 years but some of my peers have been around 18, 15 years and a lot more racking up 7-8 years now.  A number of conversations have been around the lack of “outliers” in the BIM space.  A number more of these conversations have been around the changing focus of BIM in their minds.  Not all, but a number, of my peers no longer see a single software platform at the centre BIM, neither do they see much challenge in achieving geometry but rather more so the management of information.  “How does my company remain relevant in the lifecycle of a project’s information?” is not an uncommon theme.

Casting my memory back over 20 odd years ago, working for a medium sized architectural practice in Brisbane, I am amazed at the gulf in technology and my own thinking although the process is largely still the same.  There was no internet to search, no books in the library (maybe on CAD but not 3D), no organised meetings or conferences and maybe a paragraph or two in an architecture magazine.  I remember rabidly reading the hardcopy manual that came with the software (who does that anymore?), analysing any diagram for a clue as to how someone else may have tackled an issue.  Imagine my excitement when a newsletter (photocopy folded A4 black & white) from a reseller from another state arrived in my office.  Imagine my disappointment when I rang the reseller to see if I could get on the mailing list only to be told “No” because I wasn’t ever going to be a customer of his.

Beyond a lot of my peers, I see an almost new generation of great users of software who have professionally developed with an almost infinite supply of information, opportunities to collaborate and peers to network with.  In my honest opinion, I’m not sure that I’m seeing an acceleration of ability commensurate with this flood of opportunities but there is certainly now no excuse to not know or perform well in your chosen BIM space.  What hasn’t changed is the fundamental need for an individual to want to find solutions only the ease with which to do it.

“More” and “Better” was a consistent theme of feedback form the last RTCAUS.  There were calls for more technical sessions, better aspirational big picture presentations and vice versa.  These should not be seen as mutually exclusive but a firm indication of just how rich and broad this professional specialisation is that we have chosen to pursue.  What is important is to demonstrate to the new and subsequent generations the inherent values of all these issues and how and when to apply them to projects and business and overall professions.  RTCAUS is now in it 12th year and its no surprise just how diverse it has become.  I certainly won’t pre-empt anything here needless to say steering its future is certainly not for the faint hearted.  I will say its a great problem to have and a darn sight better environment to excel in than this little black duck had back in 1990!

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