What Makes a Successful Reviteer

I have been doing many levels of training and all kinds of support for Revit Architecture in our firm for the last year plus as we’ve been working, project team by project team, on getting revit to be our primary design and documentation software.

A consistent question from the principals in each office is “which person will be good at Revit?”  A very valid question, but obviously a very difficult one to answer.  You can’t point and say “yes” and “no”.  I mean, you can, but you might be wrong.  And you might get in trouble.

What I have discovered is traits that are usually a good indicator of being successful and, more importantly, traits that usually indicate NOT being successful.

Here’s the big one.  AutoCAD (or as we refer to it here in the BIM Basement, “AutoCrap”) or other CADD experience.  There are two camps here.  The first camp thinks that if someone is good in on CADD software, they will be good in them all.  The other camp recognizes that there are differences with traditional CADD and BIM and have convinced themselves that someone who knows CADD will just have their brain full CADD stuff and won’t be able to empty their brain to learn Revit.  From what I’ve seen, it just doesn’t matter.

Obviously, Revit is a piece of software.  There are people who are just naturally inclined to using software.  Setting that aside, knowledge or the lack of in a CADD package are almost a zero indicator on Revit success.  Someone who is good in software may have a quicker time picking it up, but in the long run successful Revit users come from both a strong CADD background and from very limited CADD background.

The best indicator I have found of someone who has success in Revit is knowledge of how a building goes together.  Time and time again, we have seen incorrect views because the model was put together wrong.  And it was put together wrong because the person working on the model did not understand how part A plugged into part B.  They might have known in the past that they were supposed to draft a thick line and then a dashed line next to it, but they never understood what they were drafting.  The people who understood what was being drafted, or what they were drafting know how to build the model properly, which is key to a successful Revit project.

Luckily, that can be learned, if you have the right person.  The number one indicator that I have found concerning someone NOT being succesful in Revit probably won’t come as a shock.  It is a good indicator for most new tasks.  Attitude.  Attitude is huge.  The desire to learn something new, the willingness to admit that their old methods do not apply anymore, the acceptance that things change.  Using Revit and working on a BIM project is a major shift.  A lot of people hate change.  These two items are totally incompatible.

So, unfortunately, there is no litmus test on who will be great at Revit and who won’t.  It pretty much comes down to common sense.

Not to sound melodramatic, but BIM and Revit represent one of the largest changes in the industry since… well, I’m not really sure.  You know who in your firm is ready and able (and willing) to come along for the ride.


4 thoughts on “What Makes a Successful Reviteer

  1. Mike Pryor says:

    well said dude, with some exceptions you really do have to “build” the house. I have designed for SIPs for 3 years, the last two in Revit. I found myself leaning on CAD skills for a while but it’s mostly Revit now ( and Sketchup..) MP

  2. hael says:

    Revit is not about drafting (CADD). Instead Revit is about modelling buildings (CAD) and new ways to communicate. For the answer for your question and this discussion you should avoid comparison with “old-school” drafting (CADD) and the people who have a more conservative appraoch. I think ” older Draftsman” who have “older techniques” kwown what they draw..

  3. jkunkel says:

    In a perfect world, yes, I would agree. In the firms I have talked to and the folks in charge of staffing projects, their mind always tries to compare what they see their current staff can handle next to what Revit can do.

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