I’ve gotten so many questions about how to learn Revit, what technology to buy, etc. lately and so I wanted to respond in what might initially sound like a surprising way…STOP!!! Don’t stop asking, and don’t stop pursuing, but stop and think and ask yourself a question: Why? Why am I learning Revit? Why am I purchasing expensive technology? Otherwise, you’re just throwing money at something that you’re hoping at some point you’ll understand. Not to sound like Mr. Miyagi or anything, but, understand first, purchase after. Revit Essentials or Advanced? 12 gigabytes of RAM or 24? You certainly don’t need to understand all the ins and outs of your company’s transition to BIM, but strategize a bit. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you even know why you want to go from CAD to BIM (and your answer shouldn’t be because everyone else is). And it also can’t just be because the project requires it. Do you understand the difference between Revit and BIM? You shouldn’t be transitioning from AutoCAD to Revit. You should be transitioning from a CAD-based project process (which used AutoCAD) to a BIM-based project process (which uses Revit – among a lot of other applications). You need to take two approaches: project process AND technology. Your project process WILL change. How and what pace is up to you. Your technology will need to change also, but you should understand why before you purchase it. And when buying more powerful technology for the new software and processes you’ll be going through, don’t buy cheap. And I say that because “cheap” will WILL WILL cost you in the long run. I promise you it will. You can buy inexpensively, and you can find deals, and even negotiate, for what you need. If you’re purchasing for commercial purposes, technology shouldn’t be free. You will spend more time getting “free” things to work for you and your business and, again in the long run, it won’t be worth it.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “why is Scott ranting like this?” For too long now technology has been an after thought. It has been thought about and budgeted for way past when it should be and you end up backing yourself into a corner. Then you either buy too much, or even too little, of what you need. But Scott, you say, why is anything you’re saying new? Hasn’t it been important to plan for technology all along? Of course it has, but these days the change in technology is not simply an upgrade in software or a better graphics card. With the introduction of the Cloud and new found abilities to move design and construction data between different analysis applications to improve outcomes, we are once again finding ourselves both having to adjust our processes AS WELL AS investigate new process that can make our work more efficient and more effective.