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Monday, February 9, 2009

Response to anonymous blog post about the ribbon and more

I received an anonymous blog post a few days ago and I thought I'd take a moment to publicly respond to it.

I'm trying to come up with all the reasons why? Why did I start this blog? Why do I criticize 2D drafting programs. Why am I so passionate about BIM.

The answer? I don't know. Something deep inside me drives me to do these things. I don't know how I ever wound up as Vice President of the the oldest Autodesk reseller in the US. Being a general contractor, the very first thing I fell in love with about Revit was the door schedule. I can't tell you how many estimates I worked on as a GC where the doors on the plans didn't match the doors in the schedule. It was love at first byte. There was something magical about Revit and I couldn't even draw a straight line in AutoCAD. All the buttons and palettes and command line....and I had a computer consulting business for 10 years. AutoCAD just seemed way too complicated and Revit so sophisticated. It's just feels right to have this blog and interact with the world in a positive way.

Here's the comment I received and I'd like to address it.
(comments in blue are from the commentor)

"Revit comes up with a new interface and suddenly it's a great feature, yet a year ago, you bash AutoCAD for the same ribbon-type interface. http://bimboom.blogspot.com/2008/05/jr-just-opened-autocad-2009.html"

~I didn't actually bash AutoCAD. That blog post was labeled 'Humor' and I did have a 3 month old son who I caught on camera with the most disturbing look on his face.

That blog post: Oh my poor son. He just looked at the new AutoCAD 2009 interface.
I don't think he'll ever be the same. Does this happen to all AutoCAD users?
He definitely needs some Revit implementation!!!!!

I didn't think that was so terrible. I wasn't bashing AutoCAD for the ribbon. I like the ribbon. I was commenting on the change and how many AutoCAD users went back to the old style interface. My issues has been and always will be the battle for productivity and accuracy.

"As much as I applaud your evangelism in promoting Revit, I feel that your posts are too AutoCAD vs. Revit. "

~Duh! It's a Revit blog. I blog about Revit. I'm here to support current Revit users, help them get into advanced capabilities & peripheral technologies AND I am here to help curious or new users of Revit make the transition AND give them the resources they need to go to battle against the old guard at their firms. Damn straight it's AutoCAD vs Revit. It's 2D vs 3D. It's drafting vs design. It's oBIMa vs McCAD. I'm doing something right because I keep getting more and more readers, my subscription level is going up and I'm linked by more and more other bloggers. I've gotten too much positive feedback from happy blog readers to ever change what I'm doing. I'm trying to change the conversation. I won't accept that things have to stay the same. Somehow AutoCAD became an industry standard and I want to make Revit the new standard. There were thousand before me that got millions of people into AutoCAD in the first place.

What you may not realize is that I want to help you make a lot of money. It does me no good if you have no business, profits or technology to do LEED calculations. It takes a lot of time and energy to do what I do for this blog and I get Revit for free, so I'm not doing this for myself. It's for the greater good and it's for those who embrace technology and appreciate what Revit does for them.

"Both applications provide features that are useful for a specific solution. "

~AutoCAD is fine for drafting and detailing. It should not be used to "DESIGN" buildings. Revit is the solution to a problem in an industry of "CAD Operators". They're not design and construction specialists who know how building go together. It started when architects and engineers with their higher billable rates were considered too valuable to have them sit in front of computers. That was the beginning of the end.

It seems like Autodesk understands this and continues to expand both products. Revit might have some inherent features that make it more suitable for building design, but AutoCAD has features that are more useful for engineering type projects (ACAD P&ID, Civil 3D, etc.)

~OK. They're not expanding AutoCAD. They're taking Revit features and adding them into AutoCAD. Give me a break. Any program where you have to spend 20% of your time determining a layer, line weight and line color is not an efficient use of your time. Civil 3D is nothing like AutoCAD. It's a modeling program for Civil projects and everyone's moving to it in the civil engineering industry. I'm not sure Autodesk understands it. They're supporting an existing base of people who refuse to change. It'd be like Microsoft still supporting Windows 3.1, but they pushed through the complaints and moved forward. Autodesk still makes money from AutoCAD upgrades and subscriptions, so they can afford to throw money at it. Has AutoCAD really changed functionality it 25 years?

Please differentiate between the two so that users can understand which application will benefit them.

~It's not my job to tell people which application will benefit them. That's why they get trials, talk to their reseller, do their own research on blogs like mine. I can't force someone to spend money. Revit Suites come with a copy of AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture. They get 2D, 2.5D and 3D software. I'm here to help people make the transistion to Revit. That's why my company does. I work with firms who want to learn new technologies and invest their resources in software that helps them design and doubles productivity. Conduct a poll and see how many AutoCAD drafters have lost their job in the last year against Revit designers. I doubt there's one person unemployed right now who knows Revit. When you can say that about CAD, then I'll shut up and change my passionate position.

Any out of work AutoCAD drafters want free Revit training? Email me and you can sit in on the class. How's that Mr. Anonymous blog poster. I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Anyone out there without a job want AutoCAD training? Didn't think so.

I'll end this with what a great job I think Autodesk has done with their Design & Analysis portfolio. Revit and Civil 3D. Ecotect, Green Building Studio, Intelisolve and Robot.
They've really made a huge investment in tools that help the AEC industry.

Thanks this was fun. Today was a great day and thank you Autodesk for giving the Reviteers something to look forward to around April. I encourage anyone else to comment.

Mr. Revit


Timeeh February 10, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

Well said, thank you for putting this together.

arkitect75 February 11, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

You should know that especially here in South Florida where AutoCAD is in the vast majority of firms, the main thing that keeps people from moving from AutoCAD to AutoCAD Architecture or Revit (or ArchiCAD) is the "grip" that the MEP engineers have over the architects when it comes to collaboration. Most MEP firms here are still using some older version of AutoCAD (2002, 2004), and thereby "forcing" the architects to remain in the 2D world, or at the most, use limited smart objects and "save down" each time.

arkitect75 February 16, 2009 at 10:50 AM  

FYI, I know Revit and I AM unemployed

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