Travis gives a fresh perspective on the benefits of bold collaboration.
Recently we had a request for some help in creating some custom hatch patterns in Revit, for 1/3 running bonds. The Revit.pat file that comes from the standard install has a good amount of hatches, but customizing and creating new ones from scratch can be daunting. Although I was able to figure it out with some help, it took a bit of time. Code is not my forte. I’m not concerned about admitting this, even in my current role, because I’m over what is referred to as Imposter Syndrome. I’m fortunate enough to work on a team where we all draw on each other’s strength to provide a very adaptive and robust support team, and when we don’t know the answers, we’ll sometimes leverage our customer base for help on things we know they have experience with. In essence, we collaborate, we share information.
As up and coming, young professionals, we are often the ‘go to guy or girl’ in our office for certain things, and when we don’t know how to do things requested of us, there is a pressure felt to figure it out, or find someone who can and when we can’t, it’s disconcerting. Since discussing the Imposter Syndrome with others, I realized I wasn’t on an island, I just wasn’t collaborating as often as I should have in the past. I would imagine most of the BIMTech readers out there are in some sort of business where their product or service requires confidentiality to protect its value. However, there is a time and a place for collaborative efforts. We see now with the advent of Autodesk’s Collaboration for Revit, a very deep concern over proprietary information being used in unethical ways, or at least, ‘my hard work, making your life much easier’.
Here’s the thing.
If you don’t do the hard work and in turn plagiarize, then you’ve become the Imposter, without the Syndrome, and that’s hard to hide.
I do care if my hard work doesn’t make your life easier because I employ the logic that if nobody shared the technology of the wheel or how to make a fire burn, we’d be in a less than comfortable place. There’s being competitive and then there’s ‘I’m taking my bat, my ball, and I’m going home’. Because the adoption of BIM is practically synonymous with collaboration, it shocks me to hear that people don’t want their BIMs being used by others i.e. consulting engineers, sub-trades, or manufacturers. I see this as an opportunity to become a thought leader. As a trainer and consultant, I’m always glad to share my data, with the provision that the raw data itself wasn’t used for profit; but if the knowledge or workflow extracted from it could be employed by others, they might tell me how to execute something with improvements that would ultimately help the industry. I may be idealistic, but I do recognize it is important to protect the data you’ve worked hard to develop and that’s why in the upcoming weeks, Bill and I will be ‘collaborating’ to develop some webinars on how to do exactly this with your Autodesk tools.
The other day, I put my philosophy into practice. I challenged a young gentleman with the task, I’ve been training and he figured out the great 1/3 running bond hatch dilemma by the end of the day. By giving him this challenge, he didn’t have to twiddle his thumbs during the parts of the training he didn’t need, and his ability helped me put together a video tutorial that will, in turn, help others. We’re doing good things for the industry and nobody got hurt.
So admitting I’m not one for code doesn’t de-value what I know of BIM, BIM is a pretty wide topic encompassing a number of areas of expertise. The collaborative process has helped usher in a new consciousness of responsible design for the environment we occupy and the aesthetic quality of our landscapes. I say it’s time to usher in these collaborative efforts and bring our bats and balls back to the diamond and leave them there for everyone to love and learn the game, as it’s playing the game that makes you better.