Letter from the President - February 2019

February in Pennsylvania can be downright dreary! I am fairly certain I was meant to live somewhere warmer than this... perhaps Texas or Arizona would be nice this time of year. Sometimes the shortest month of the year can feel like the longest. By now, those New Year’s resolutions have probably been long forgotten. It’s cold, it may or may not snow, and things that are vibrant green in warmer months, right now are drab brown. The ground is either frozen or mud. We look forward to warmer months and new beginnings all around us.

This month is our Beginners’ issue. Do you remember when you were beginning your career? The first time you double-clicked the icon on a brand new piece of software? Or sometimes it feels that way, no matter how long you’ve been using it? We all started somewhere, and somehow learned our way around, right or wrong. Maybe you had formal training, or if you are a nerd like me, you actually read a textbook or manual. The AUGI forums are a great place for newbies to find answers, and one of the resources I used when starting my career over a quarter-century ago.

Having taught many different courses on AutoCAD and Revit, I feel like I enjoy the introductory classes the most. I think it’s the “A-HA!” moment, when a concept finally clicks and the student feels empowered with newfound skills. It is that sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from my lecture or demonstration, but from the student applying that information and making it work for themselves.

Many times, the students will discover different ways to do something that I hadn’t told them, or (*gasp*) that I didn’t know myself! That’s perfectly fine with me, because I enjoy continual learning. I often tell students who have been sent to trainings by their employers and may have more advanced skills that even if it is a beginner course, I hope they learn some tips and tricks they may not know.

If anyone ever says they have learned everything they need to know about anything, don’t believe it! There is always something new to learn, and there are always different perspectives when it comes to design. Just because your way works doesn’t mean someone else’s way that also works is wrong! What is the old saying? There is more than one way to skin a cat! (Side note: I’m not sure why that is even a saying, and I’m not sure I want to know!) Be open to new or different techniques. You may find something that works better than what you are currently doing.

I hope you will discover something new in this issue, whether you have been using the software for many years or have just clicked that icon for the first time. Our AUGI authors are excited to share their experiences with all of you, novice or pro. My hope is that you will, in turn, share that knowledge with others you meet. And sometimes it helps to take a “beginner” perspective when it comes to software. Take an introductory training or read a new manual. Visit the AUGI forums and participate in the discussions there. You never know what you might learn!

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