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    Want to be an Architect?; Don't Learn Revit

    Everyday Intern
    Feb 5, '13 1:14 AM EST

    Before you skip the rest of my post and start flinging words around in the comments, hear me out. I think Revit is a valuable tool and that soon (if not already) it and other BIM programs will become just part of the game and you'll have to learn it. It's either that or you can become an employer and just be out of touch with reality. 

    Right now the majority of the employers who are looking for and hiring interns with experience in Revit are only looking to hire people to work in Revit. You may get lucky and be tasked with teaching the old curmudgeons in the office about the fancy new software, but you don't want to do that anyway. You know better, and you don't want to be pigeonholed as a Revit monkey anymore than your forefathers and foremothers wanted to be pigeonholed as draftsmen and draftswomen. You understand that it takes more than a computer and a copy of Revit to create a building and you want to find a job that will guide and encourage you to learn about what happens outside your user interface.

    Let's play around in the Job Board for a little bit. Search for jobs containing the keyword "Revit" and (at the time of this writing) you come up with no less than 157 matches. But wait, you're not an architect yet, you want to become one. Search instead for jobs with the keyword "intern" and you get 46 matches. Not too bad if you don't need to narrow your job search for a specific region. Of those 46 matches, add the keyword "Revit" once more and you'll see that now there are only 20 jobs that want you to be both an intern and know Revit. I can't say how many of those are in your region or even if they'll look at a candidate from out of the area.

    20 jobs. Out of the 46 positions for interns, less than half want you to know Revit. Okay, you'll stand out if you learn Revit and the employer will want to hire you over the next candidate. But you're not really standing out with just knowing Revit. Pretend you're an employer looking in the talent finder for someone who knows Revit. There are 1312 talented job seekers vying for your future employer's attention. It gets better if you add "intern" to the search terms, now there is only 187 competing for 20 jobs. But remember, these are just the people that have created a profile with Archinect. There are plenty more who have made accounts and look at the job boards and even more than that who lurk around there without logging in. 

    The point is that Revit will not get you onto the short list. And if it did, rest assured that you would only be working in Revit, especially if you tout yourself as an expert in order to stand out. Why would an employer want to pay you, the Revit guru, to waste time working on obscure IDP hours when they need you cranking out drawings?

    Revit may guarantee you a job, but it won't guarantee you a license. And you paid way to much for that fancy education to get stuck modeling and printing CD sets competing with people who can do the same after spending some time with a pirated version of the software and google.

     (I'll let you search for the pirated software on your own)


    • zonker

      I have a job at least as a BIM WIT 

      (I'll let you search for the pirated software on your own) - thanks I own my own 2013 license

      I though being a Revit guy would be the way to architect - it's not - I am a modeler as I have been in flight simulation Video games and now architecture - my current re-focus is going to be on writing API code, Python + Grasshopper - my employers discourage me from the architectural aspect and yet expect me to be fully architectural proficient to do my production.

      Feb 5, 13 11:56 am  · 

      The point is that Revit will not get you onto the short list. And if it did, rest assured that you would only be working in Revit, especially if you tout yourself as an expert in order to stand out. Why would an employer want to pay you, the Revit guru, to waste time working on obscure IDP hours when they need you cranking out drawings?

      Those who want to be an architect need to memorize the above para.  I was at a job interview and got aced out because I was too specialized in Revit - the person they hired was a Cornell grad with lost of exp. at Gensler with an IDP track record

      Feb 5, 13 12:58 pm  · 

      Please what is IDP track record

      Mar 10, 22 8:26 am  · 

      Thanks for the comments Xenakis, especially about your job interview. I've seen this go the other way as well -- an otherwise well-qualified candidate wanting to focus on licensure getting passed up for a BIM modeler -- it really just depends on what the firm is looking for. In your case I'd guess the firm was looking for a designer/project manager type they could shape and train rather than a modeler/production drafter.

      The tricky part of all this is that sometimes the firm doesn't make the distinction, or articulate the difference very well in their job postings. Because of this, the applicant is left trying to figure out what the employer wants. And since there have been a lot of firms looking for applicants qualified in Revit, this comes across as the most important thing to new job seekers. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. Again, it depends on the firm and their situation.

      Even then, the point remains ... if you are looking to become an architect (i.e.: IDP and ARE support) and not a modeler, knowing Revit may not necessarily be the ace up your sleeve your peers make it out to be.

      Feb 6, 13 2:13 am  · 

      The largest section of IDP is construction documents? You get  this by  doing construction documents? And you do construction documents in REVIT mostly now. It seems your logic is not exactly correct. REVIT is a tool like a the pen you design with and works great at the back end of a project for production of drawings to get something built.

      Feb 6, 13 9:15 am  · 

      First, has anyone ever had any trouble fulfilling all their hours in CDs? I'm not asking rhetorically either, I'm genuinely curious. Second, what hours (if any) have you had a hard time fulfilling for IDP and why?

      To quote myself and to emphasize, "I think Revit is a valuable tool and that soon (if not already) it and other BIM programs will become just part of the game and you'll have to learn it."

      Go ahead and learn Revit now (I know that contradicts the title of this post), but don't use it to find a job unless you understand what you are getting yourself into. Better yet, learn your way around in Revit and then focus on another program. Once you know your way around that, find another program. This will give you more options when firm XYZ uses ABC software instead of Revit and by the time you've worked 1,200 hours using whatever program you'll have pretty much mastered the tool. I've found different software packages to be fairly easy to pick up and understand once you've learned one or two. The nuances are a little different but overall they're all very similar.

      Also, currently the Job Board has more hits for "intern autocad" than there is for "intern revit". I think the general idea that the whole industry is on board with Revit right now is a bit of a lie and the reason why I wrote this post. I think most firms realize that's where the industry is going (and why they want staff who know the program) but not all have made the jump and started using it, let alone consultants. If anyone has numbers to refute or back up this belief I'd love to see them. 

      Feb 6, 13 10:11 am  · 

      everydayintern is once again right - once you learn one or two 3D programs, you can learn them all easily - I knew Maya, 3DS MAX, Rhino and Form-Z, Architectural desktop before I learned Revit - for dong my code research, I hand sketch situations so I can remember them better - Revit is good for now - it's best to to look over the Horizon to avoid being left "dead by the side of the road" 

      Feb 6, 13 12:13 pm  · 

      I'm in full agreement with everydayintern.  I can also confirm the slower-than-touted adoption of Revit by the industry.  Autodesk seems to be comfortable extrapolating sales figures to percentage of industry use/adoption.  But the number of firms with licenses that have been languishing for years that are "preparing" to adopt Revit is enormous.

      The firm for which I work was an early adopter (read "early purchaser"), acquiring 25 licenses for Revit in 2004.  In 2013, the number of users is still less than half of the architectural staff.  But we continue to hold the licenses due to the pricing scheme, or better the penalties for giving up the licenses and trying to reacquire in the future.

      And to be honest, I would MUCH rather have a new hire that knows how to put a building together than run Revit - even for production.  A lack of the former cannot be overcome by any degree of the latter.  IMHO, Revit makes this more grossly apparent than in firms producing CD's in 2D formats.

      Feb 6, 13 1:10 pm  · 

      I think there may perhaps be some confusion to the point. If you want just a job, to pay your bills, then sure learn Revit. The likelihood of you ever becoming more than a CAD monkey is declining in that case. I didn't go to architecture school to learn CAD software and be a draftsperson.

      "REVIT is a tool like a the pen you design with and works great at the back end of a project for production of drawings to get something built."

      You can't design in Revit. It is a production tool. Again, that is fine if all you want is a paycheck. I am an architect. Don't be confused, there is a big difference.

      Feb 6, 13 8:14 pm  · 

      I wouldn't go so far as to say that you can't design with revit. Revit is a fully-functional parametric modeling program. It will do a lot if you know how to work with it, but that can be said for almost any software package. Your ability, or inability, to design with revit is very much a function of your desire to learn the program.

      I'm glad everydayintern makes the distinction of wanting to become an architect and learning revit, though I'd say it's more of a metaphor than a rule, and just getting a job. I think revit will get you a job, but it may not get you the job you want (dependent on your career goals and expectations).

      Would we be having this discussion if times were better and employers couldn't afford to be so picky when hiring? After all, the market is still very much in the favor of the employers right now.

      Feb 7, 13 2:39 am  · 

      Revit is great for schematic design floor plans, sections, etc. As fast as CAD to spit out good backgrounds for photoshop / illustrator work and good for doing area calcs and schedules. I still use it along w/ Rhino or Sketchup  to design, but it's not terrible for early schematic design work. Certainly superior to CAD. If you can't use it early on in your design process, that's fine but don't blame the software, blame the user ;)

      "A lack of the former cannot be overcome by any degree of the latter.  IMHO, Revit makes this more grossly apparent than in firms producing CD's in 2D formats."

      ^ this. I think the #1 reason people have so much trouble with Revit isn't because of the software per se, it's that they don't actually know how a building goes together. Revit outs people that don't have construction knowledge. 

      "I've found different software packages to be fairly easy to pick up and understand once you've learned one or two. The nuances are a little different but overall they're all very similar."

      What are we arguing about again? If it's easy, just learn it. If you've got a great design folio and skills with more design-oriented software packages then you should have no problem getting to do design work.

      I would think that even if you got a job as a pure "BIM-monkey" you could knock most of your hours off IDP by simply doing CD and DD sets. Most of the categories fall into the process of simply completing a construction doc set.

      I do think the overall point of the OP is a good one. Revit isn't the key to finding the right job to get you where you want to go. But then neither is knowing CAD, or Rhino, or Max. Hopefully, you learn the software because it helps you make better things more efficiently and opens up new design possibilities. 

      Feb 7, 13 7:56 am  · 
      1  · 

      AlI these programs are useful, but here's the trap.  Learning to design takes time.  It takes time to familiarize yourself with the wide variety of issues that go into a well thought out design, to say nothing of being beautiful.  All the time you put into mastering a new drafting tool is time away from what really makes you valued in the long run, and that is you are a problem solver.  Like any muscle, you need to exersize it as much as possible and in varying ways to be both strong and nimble.  If you spend a disproportionate amount of time re-learning how to communicate your solutions, that's less time developing the mental agility to solve problems, problems that paying clients and bosses hire you to do in the first place.

      So for sure learn the tools required, but don't fall in the trap that becasue a computer can generate a thousand permutations, that you have a thousand good alternatives.  Study the life around you, both in the buildings and how people interact with them.  Talk to people and get their impressions, the fewer architects the better, and learn to incorporate these findings in your work.  And don't underestimate a pencil.  If you practice, it's the quickest tool for getting out an idea, and it never crashes.

      Feb 7, 13 10:33 am  · 

      I wouldn't go so far as to say that you can't design with revit. Revit is a fully-functional parametric modeling program. It will do a lot if you know how to work with it

      Revit is a great design tool - 

      AlI these programs are useful, but here's the trap.  Learning to design takes time.  It takes time to familiarize yourself

      Create the time and then learn the software - Rhino, Revit Grasshopper and Python - Maya - AutoBuildingGen 

      Feb 7, 13 1:17 pm  · 

      Absolutely, as I said, learn the programs, and use them as a design tool or as a tool in your arsenal, no doubt.  My only point was to understand that every time you r-elearn a new tool (which is always marketed indespensible)  it's time away from what your real task is, problem solver.  It takes a month to get to speed on one of these programs, it takes years to understand architecture's potential.

      Feb 7, 13 2:29 pm  · 


      Jun 12, 23 12:04 pm  · 

      How can I understand architecture's potential then?

      Jun 12, 23 12:04 pm  · 

      No problem - learn the software in your off hours - get up early on weekends and do the tutorials - then when you are up to speed - integrate the software in your practice - every place I worked at, we were discouraged from learning software on work time - but were required to learn software on our own time - thats what nights and weekends are for

      Feb 7, 13 2:40 pm  · 

      everyday - i've read through your post twice and still feel like there's a straw argument in there. meaning (and i'm now that proverbial employer): what does an employer look for in any employee? well, what does the firm need to have done that can't currently be done by someone else there? answer that and you'll answer your question: it just depends. 


      look, we've only had 1 person out of our last 10 or so hires who knew revit coming into the job. they've all managed to pick it up just fine. but, we weren't hiring 'revit monkeys'. yes, using revit as one of the tools was part of the job, but not the part we were most interested in. 


      having said that, there's a lot of good reasons someone needs to hire a new employee who specifically knows software "X" (revit, digital project, grasshopper, whatever). that's their prerogative and they may have very solid reasons for making that requirement. if i need someone who specifically has experience with commercial interiors, does that make me any less "awful" (my word) than someone looking for experience with revit? 


      as far as it's adoption: bim (in general) is, most definitely, where the industry is moving towards. it may not be where all the architects, or all the contractors, or even all the owners, are moving just yet. but, hey, there's still firms who draft by hand (if you can carve that niche...). i will say, though, that in 5 years, i could see more mid-sized contractors doing bim in-house than architects. point being: we're not driving the train, though we could have. instead, we've let the contractors and owners drive it and consequently the innovation inside revit, etc. is being geared towards those groups, not the architecture side. but that's a wholly separate argument than anything related to employ-ability vis a vis revit.

      Feb 7, 13 4:47 pm  · 

      First off, Revit is not a great design tool - it's not a bad design confirmation tool though - once you have your design in your head, you can start putting it into Revit and decide if you like the direction you're going, and you can fairly quickly quantify if your mental model is going to be viable.  Minor tweaks - no problem.  Major tweaks - your model might be too hard to edit and carry forward, and you might end rebuilding it.

      There's a few quite different workflows for design too, just to make it messier.

      As a long-term Revit user, I also see that Revit adoption is growing, but still in its youth.  In some places, having Revit under your belt will help get you a job.  If I had to go to architecture school now, having Revit on my confuser would be very useful for modeling and presentation purposes.

      Feb 7, 13 4:57 pm  · 

      I think we've strayed off topic with questioning Revit as a design or production tool. It's probably an argument best articulated elsewhere. 

      Perhaps I'm being a bit misleading with title of this post, but then again, I do stand behind the the distinction made between wanting to be an architect and wanting to get a job. "Employ-ability vis a vis Revit" is part of it, but I would rather readers understand that finding the right job is just as important as finding a job if you have long-term goals you wish to accomplish. My intent was to shed some light on the notion that has been shared various times in the forums here and elsewhere that learning Revit is a golden ticket into architecture. Yes, it may land you a job but I think that current students, recent graduates, and other interns have been led to believe that without it you don't stand a chance of getting into the profession. I've had my fair share of interviews and without fail Revit experience always comes up, but I don't feel that it has ever been the deciding factor of whether or not to offer me a position. I think Gregory said it right when he points out what employers are considering when deciding who to hire (consequently, the following are good questions to ask when writing cover letters, putting together a portfolio, and when taking part in an interview);

      "what does an employer look for in any employee? well, what does the firm need to have done that can't currently be done by someone else there? answer that and you'll answer your question: it just depends."

      It really does depend, and I appreciate Gregory's input as an employer. I don't think it very fair for anyone to say one employer is any more or less "awful" in looking for particular qualifications when hiring (even if they put that distinction upon themselves). Ultimately, they have a business to run and they have the right to say what they are looking for without bringing judgement upon themselves (within reason of course - i.e. don't discriminate). 

      Feb 7, 13 9:17 pm  · 

      As for another point, I appreciate everyone's comments. One of my goals with this blog is to encourage discussion within our profession and the discussion thus far has exceeded my expectations. 

      Thank you ... and, carry on ...

      Feb 7, 13 9:23 pm  · 

      Like Gregory, I too, have been re-reading this post a number of times. While I think it's a true statement, I don't feel as though architecture students think that learning Revit in schol or post graduation is their ticket to becoming a full fledged architect. Everyone has made the point that Revit is not what makes the architect, but only a tool and vehicle to build a set of deliverables for a project.

      However, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a high level of proficiency at a certain tool (a mis-understood tool at that), at least to brand yourself and give you a foot in the door at an office which doesn't know what Revit's capabilities and role could be. I'm not sure if I'm falsely sensing some fear or doubt in some of the comments, but whether your expertise is in 3d modeling, drafting or writing spec's, its going to be up to the candidate to assess what the role in the office will be and take initiative not to be pigeonholed into only using one tool. I think Gregory, as a firm owner, would want to hire someone based on not only their skill set and ability to "plug-in", but also their initiative and drive to learn and educate.

      My only critique of this post would be to say it probably could have been written about any software, and still would have been mostly true. I don't think it addresses a larger problem about not putting enough emphasis on intangibles, a strong self-identity as what kind of designer you want to be, and how you can fit into a certain firm.

      Feb 8, 13 1:52 pm  · 

      Revit nor any other software you learn will ever make you a good designer.  Design starts in your mind.  If you can't think of good designs or sketch them out quick on paper, no software will make you a good designer.  All you're doing is pushing and pulling and hoping you luck out on something cool looking.

      I think most of us who've done an internship or worked for a firm know Revit or any other software isn't going to make you an architect.  I personally limit the number of fancy rendering I put on my portfolio for the mere fact that I don't want to become the render artist or cad monkey.  I include work like initial sketches, process, detail drawings, physical models etc instead.

      However, knowing Revit or another software just might make you get a job over someone who doesn't.  It is up to you to display your other qualities at work (if you got them that is) so you're valued to do other work for the firm.  If you got no talent in designing and don't know Revit either, good luck to you in getting hired.  There are waaaayyyy too man who can't design for shit but think they're good, nor do they bother learning these softwares because they want to become an architect. ;) 

      Feb 8, 13 4:54 pm  · 

      Programs like Revit, 3d max, autocadd, and others are just a tools anybody can learn that. But to learn how to draw good and develop your ideas on paper takes a years to master.

      It doesn't mean you know revit you are a good architect I hate people bragging about how good they are in 3d, but sucks in drawing manually. When i was in school of architecture very few knows how to draw manually, and these guys who knows  excels very well, they are the ones who can produce good designs and presentations . keep in mind guys a good concept starts from a pen and paper not from the keyboard. ;-)

      Apr 7, 13 5:35 am  · 

      It sounds like his job was taken by a Revit monkey intern. haha

      Jul 26, 13 12:47 am  · 

      "Revit outs people that don't have construction knowledge."

      Exactly true. In my experience, most of the people who complain about Revit don't know how to build a building. Revit REQUIRES that knowledge, and it is cleverly designed to prevent faking it. Trying to use Revit without that knowledge just exposes the deficiency of experience one might have. If you haven't got it, you will hate Revit.

      Jul 26, 13 1:21 pm  · 

      Does it mean that if someone, an intern or a graduate can not work in 3D Max, Autocad or Revit, the employer would be giving him the job of concept design development or the IDP? No this does not mean that, an architect has to be good in design,  He/She has to be good in Pencil, Pen and any other media, Revit is one of the many tools he/she can use on the go.
      It would be a lame thought to not to learn or use Revit or anything else if you want to be an architect.

      Oct 22, 13 11:22 am  · 

      First timer. As a current architecture student just starting grad school coming from a planning undergrad I find this topic on my mind frequently. Of course I speak to all my friends doing various internships about what they are doing to try to get a leg up. I knew no software until as a freshman I was required to learn Rhino for a semester long project the design was basic so I had to teach myself not only the software but on Mac platform.


      Upon speaking to a friend interning for a big firm, he in the same boat as me, was immediately thrown into Revit. According to him the design principal explained that as an architect just out of school employers would be looking for skills and he identified 3 (sketchup, photoshop, and revit) as they would immediatly make them useful.


      Talking to professors our school does little to no training on the programs as that would make a "technician" not a designer/ architect. I have only recently closed my first semester out and feel that my designs although greatly flawed I am doing well learning the design but I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to represent my ideas using the software. Largely because I figure after building the 3d model it is easily to get the section cuts elevations and plans.


      This leads me to a few questions: So I have two opposing view points;you guys seem to agree with the Prof and not the principal, true?

      Would I be better served (better rested) by forgetting the digital till later and just doing work by hand? I feel I could do this but accuracy would suffer in the process; does this even matter?

      If so are there some resources out there that would help hand drawings look better than just the typical drafting?

      Would continuing to delve into rhino and have a solid understanding of at least one program still be the way to go, or should I get a basic understanding of multiple programs?

      Any other advice would be appreciated.

      Dec 7, 13 4:13 am  · 

      I'd take a different approach if Iwas a young graduate trying to become "architect".  Learn some computer programs, yes, but I would differentiate myself by focusing on drawings both free hand & drafting.  Firms may not use a lot of this but it will make your portfolios stand out and they will appreciate you attention to craft.

      And although it may be niche at the moment, there is growing interest in old-school analog tech, whether vinyl albums or film cameras.   This trend can apply to architecture too.  slow food, slow wear, why not slow architecture too?  Shit, this guy is making a nice career just writing calligrahpy, drafting lettering could also be a niche career.

      It's actually a bit of a shame taht firms jump so quickly into the computer drawings world because it actually requires spending a lot of resources on software & hardware that aren't necessarily paid for int the fees from clients.  You mayve work faster but fo what real gain?

      And there is environmental impact too.  hand drafters will spend weeks on a single sheet of paper & use little electricity.  but the cad station churns out tons of paper.  and the collective  electrical load of computers is significan too.  And who's too say for certain rolling blackouts aren't a part of everbodys future given global energy needs?

      And on top of all that, there are now increasing security concerns.  Anything on computer is subject to being seen by nsa or who-knows what other hackers.

      Alls ofwhich is to say that hand drawing is a decent long term hedge in an uncertain future and might even be the ace up the sleev that kputs one on the architect career track rather than the cad monkey culdesack..  That's how you diferentiate youself, by avoiding the herd.

      Dec 7, 13 10:15 am  · 


      just read throught your post more carefully.  I think it must be dificult for students these days because there are now so many digital tools available in addition to the old fashion ways of representation.

      My advice would be not to overconcern yourself with digital know-how.  Computers programs change and you also will never really know what you'll need in a firm until you get there (and they'll likely have a bit of training availbal).  And even if you know their program, you'll still have a learning curve as you get accoustomed to their standards and they way that you'll have to interact with the rest of the team (as there are few lone wolfs in offices, hence the need for standards).

      At a minimum during school learn a basic toolkit of computer programs and represent it in your portfolio; a 2d drafting program, a 3d modeler and of course, photo editor like adobe photoshop.

      If I were a student today then I'd probably try to focus on different techniques each semester.  Maybe start with some basic computer stuff just to get that out of the way.  Then with each new studio course, at the beginning, I'd try to think strategical about what techinique would best represent the specific project adn then work on developing a skill along the way.  It might be heavily focused on  hand-drawing one semester or water color painting, or clay modeling or welding or video or photograpy or website developement or whatever.  Dont' be afraid to take some risks.  Most instructors will appreciate the effort.  Unfortunately you're already in grad school wo you don't have as much time to experiment and you are closer to working full-time so there is more pressure not to waste time.

      I guess what's I'm saying is that it is more advantageous to experiment in undergrad if you've got the opportunity.  And then you could use grad school as the time to really hone a few specific skills.

      Anyhow, good luck.

      Dec 7, 13 11:16 am  · 

      I believe revit had spoiled most of architecture students creativity because of this early BIM thing. Its good to know how BIM works but the problem is we spend too much time building process that we forget that we have to design not construct.

      any way that was my point of view..

      Dec 19, 13 10:26 pm  · 


      isn't that the truth - most of my co-workers and myself are Revit modelers - others do the design, usually on bum wad "trace" then we bust out the design in Revit

      Dec 20, 13 3:58 pm  · 

      It takes an interpretation of how a building goes together to understand revit. There is a host of details that only a employed individual would know like schedules and demo plans.

      Dec 23, 13 1:23 pm  · 

      when people ask who is this guy, what does he do? I simply say I am a designers best friend. Meaning I understand construction, I understand design speculation or theory, I know how organize a designers crazy idea into a readable set. I know to how to use the latest technology to set up drawing sets. What I don't have time to do is be a project manager. I think this is done almost on purpose cant have one person that knows how to do everything it makes the subordinate to supervisor relationship become awkward.  Only problem is we must all eventually learn every facet of our business, unless you plan on never getting laid off or working for someone else for the rest of your life. Revit does out those that do now know construction and many other things like basic communication.

      Dec 24, 13 4:52 pm  · 

      I'm new to this forum, and was really taken by this post and the discussion it has generated. There seem to be a number of factors at play here: whether Revit skills are a boon or bane in securing a job, and consequently being able to complete the IDP program. When I first got out of school. I was moderately proficient in AutoCAD, which I'm sure helped me secure my first position. My first employer sent me to Revit training, and I completely "drank the Kool-Aid" and became a Revit advocate. Through two more jobs I became more and more Revit proficient, but it eventually dawned on me that I was being pigeonholed as the "Revit guy," and it became harder and harder for me to get experience in anything other than CD production. In my last job, I really had to claw to get those last few IDP hours in the hard-to-get categories (i.e construction administration). Part of the problem was a seemingly common attitude amongst some of the senior partners and staff that Revit is only a production tool - an opinion I disagree with most heartily. Anyway, this discussion prompted me to write an extensive blog post about attitudes towards BIM as a design tool - you can check it out at

      Apr 4, 14 6:00 pm  · 

      I just walked in this lively discussion, subject close to my heart.

      I have been a practitioner and an educator  for the past  fourth years. I begun my first job as a drafter in an AE firm in NY. Never forget, when my immediate supervisor told me "think before drawing" . That has been my guiding light in life.  During the years of being employee and employer, I have also learned well rounded and critical thinker designer/architects have better chance of longevity  of job security and  professional advancement.

      The above  dialogue brings up some intriguing discourse. Yet, we have  to realize, as part of our tool of the trade, we must be able to express our  design ideas through critical judgement and legible representations. I come from the old school when parallel bar was like the Revit of today. I was hired not for how I could use the bar, but how I used the bar to produce a design solution.

      i currently teach at the university, my concern is  to produce students with ability to think critically, process design ideation, and represent  design ideas in a  graphic language that is expressive and  intelligent. I also think, the future of "architect" should not be determined by drafting tools but by their intelligence and professional development. At the same time, architects should  adopt current practice culture.

      Apr 26, 14 11:03 am  · 

      It depends on where you want you career to head. If you want to document learn revit. If you want to design and get closer to the design directors then I believe Grasshopper/rhino coUpled with Max Vray is the best way to go. That way you can be pigeon holed as a "design development monkey"

      Jul 13, 14 4:05 am  · 

      Or Learn Dynamo/Revit and Vasari if you want to not only design but maintain integrated with production and construction.

      Dynamo a "grasshopper for Revit"

      Jul 13, 14 7:59 pm  · 

      I know this is quite an old post but it keeps coming up in google searches based around Revit.

      Whilst this argument might work in the US it certainly doesn't work in the UK - not knowing Revit is becoming like not knowing CAD.  All our projects are moving to Revit and it's becoming a requirement for all new members of staff to have Revit experience which makes perfect sense.  It's like saying back in the day that you shouldn't learn how to draft using a drawing board and pens because that's all you'll do.

      Anyway I'm sure most folk are capable of making up their own minds but IMHO if you want to get ahead in the current climate arm yourself with the skills to do that.

      Sep 19, 14 10:10 am  · 

      Hey Badkube, I was under the impression that the UK generally uses MicroStation instead of Revit, is that true? I've been told they work somewhat the same but MS was simply more common over there/got taken up early?

      Sep 20, 14 10:15 am  · 

      bullshit, bim is NOW-OR-NEVER's need to draw as a bastard 1001 elevations and restart when the client is not agree...after, i'm agree that for concepts it's not the appropriate thing at a time dude!

      Sep 27, 14 12:22 pm  · 

      If you can't get a job using Revit, and there using Autocadd then your being used and abused!  Come on  Its only a tool guys, don't be a digital Monkey Slave!

      Oct 18, 14 6:43 pm  · 

      If you think it's 'just a tool' then I'd suggest you've not really grasped the importance of BIM. 

      Oct 19, 14 6:20 am  · 

      badkube, if you don't think your tools are just tools, you haven't grasped what architects do.

      how did this get necro'ed anyway?  i wonder if everydayintern will return and let us know if his outlook has changed in the year an a half since he posted this?  would be good to hear how hindsight can effect his viewpoint.

      Oct 20, 14 12:51 pm  · 

      The range of skills required by architects today is so vast that IMO no-one possesses all of them. 


      However, BIM is a fundamental shift in how things are done, it's not like going from a drawing board to CAD, nor is it something that can flourish in isolation. Just as using a pencil to draw a sketch, in time understanding BIM will become an integral skill in how buildings are designed, constructed and operated.  That doesn't mean you need to spend your life modelling but you WILL need to be able to operate that software, interrogate it and get the information out of it that you require. 

      If you think that you can simply ignore it and think you can carry on on your merry way then, IMHO, you're wrong. 

      If you want to say that REVIT is a tool, fine, but BIM is so much more. It's up to you if you want to stick you're head in the sand and pretend it's not happening. 

      Oct 20, 14 1:47 pm  · 

      curtkram, Necro'ed is right. Seems like such a long time ago I wrote this. I practically had to necro my account just to respond. Badkube answered your question of how it got necro'ed when they necro'ed the post ...

      "I know this is quite an old post but it keeps coming up in google searches based around Revit."

      I did a quick search and checked, this post does feature quite highly in a google search, which I find extremely ironic. As for a year and a half of hindsight affecting my viewpoint ... it still remains primarily the same. If I were to go back and repost this, I might change the title to make it less 'click bait' and more tailored to my thesis, but overall I still stand by my point.

      If you are looking for a job in architecture, learn Revit and I'm sure you'll find one as a draftsperson. If you want to become an Architect, be careful looking for work based on your ability with a piece of software. You run a very real risk of being pigeon holed as your office's 'Revit guru' and if that happens, fulfilling your IDP hours and gaining the experience you need to be a well-rounded architect will be difficult.

      Today's job posting for a "Revit Drafter" by Perkowitz + Ruth is a good illustration of the type of job that will probably not lead to gaining the type of well-rounded experience that will help you complete IDP and become an architect. Keep in mind I'm using this example generally and not specifically; Perkowitz + Ruth may be very willing to help an intern become licensed.

      Oct 23, 14 12:37 am  · 

      Serious question, in your opinion, should they learn CAD? 

      Oct 23, 14 1:48 am  · 

      Learn CAD, or Rhino, or Sketchup, or 3DS Max, or Microstation, or even Revit ... yes, I said Revit (I've even said it before, way up there in the comments).

      I don't think it really matters what you learn as long as you understand that the software is not going to make you an architect. You need to be proficient in whatever software your employer is going to require of you so go ahead and learn it. But don't fool yourself into thinking that if you attain some level of expertise or mastery in a particular program you have a golden ticket to the profession. 

      There are a lot of other things that make up this profession and you should become proficient in all of them. This includes cost estimating, scheduling, specifications, red lining drawings, building codes, contracts, agreements and other boring but extremely important documents. The sooner you start to show your boss how valuable you are in these other areas, the sooner you become a real asset to your firm and not just someone that knows Revit or AutoCAD really well. 

      Are there any employers that could back me up on this, or am I out of my mind? Is Revit experience really the deciding factor for who to hire, who gets the bigger bonus, or who gets laid off last when a project falls through?

      Oct 24, 14 12:42 am  · 

      I don't think you're out of your mind, but if you were to rank the skills you have listed in order of how much you need to call on them, I'd be interested to see what you came up with. Obviously it depends on what kind of architect you are - I know some that are healthcare experts, contractural experts, specification experts etc. 

      They way I look at it is this, if you have 2 architects, one with REVIT experience and one without, but roughly equal on all other levels (give or take) it would be the latter that would stand the better chance of getting the job. Generally speaking. 

      However I totally agree that you shouldn't limit your options by JUST. Learning REVIT, that would be crazy. Equally though I see that REVIT has become an essential skill, like CAD, and one that shouldn't be ignored. 

      Oct 24, 14 1:56 am  · 

      Seems this old post wont go away. Thought id give another bit of advice since if people are interested.  Knowing to use revit, or any other software will make you marketable, but as previous posters have mentioned to be a well rounded architect, you must learn all other areas of this career of building buildings.  Remember Architect offices are not the only places hiring.

      The old guys will know this, or people with atleast 7 years in the business, here it is "to attain or get experience, wherever you are working, here it is "try to be likable".  What does this mean? well it means comforming to your workplace social ambiance. 

      Companies are different in terms of how they act in a professional situation. My first exposure to being in this line of work was within a company where you did you job, gave 110% everyday, no talking about anything not related to work, other than small talk every once in a while, and no showing displays of emotion in front of all others, if it got to that point it would happen behind closed doors. ok now forward to present day, now everything i just said reverse it. (and no, im not as old as you may think, we are in some ways molded by all people we meet)

      so that's my advice "try to be likable in your workplace", because if you are not then it will not matter if you can cure cancer, you wont advance,  well on second thought if you know a cure for cancer you can advance lol good luck, dont forget to have a sense of humor.

      Oct 25, 14 2:03 pm  · 

      Will being Revit trainied get you a job over the next guy?
      An employer is not only looking for Revit skills when you come into that interview.
      Is having Revit skills a plus interviewing with us? Yes.
      Is having a good knowlegde of construction and design an asset for an interview? Absolutely and more so than Revit.

      I have worked in IT for architects for over 20 years and it constantly amazes me that new 'graduate architects/interns' have such a high expectation of exactly what they will be doing in their first job in the workforce.
      It's not their fault. They are given unrealistic notions by their lecturers at University. Is it super realistic for graduates/interns to expect to obtain a first position designing multi-million dollar projects for a client when they have never designed, managed and built a project before? Seriously???
      They must learn the ropes first.
      Our new graduate intake each year start at the bottom and build up their knowledge through documentation work and being part of teams on projects.
      As an employer we look at employing both graduates and experienced staff with and without Revit experience. We use Revit and understand that we need to help our users make the most of it to get a good product from it

      We train users regularly and understand the value for our company in doing so.

      Oct 27, 14 7:16 pm  · 

      You don't need to learn Revit ... all you need is love.

      Jan 26, 15 5:47 pm  · 

      I have never found my Revit Expertise to get in the way of my opportunity to design, although I have seen it with others around me.  I have always made it clear that Revit is a tool and the more proficient I am with the tool, the better I can directly interface with a design on screen, execute and produce my desired result.


      I had to sell myself as the Designer I wanted to be...but I sure as hell made sure that I was proficient in the Software that I was using.  With that said, I am now a Project Manager and Project Architect.  I rarely find someone that is as proficient in Revit as I have become and it DOES fall on me to maintain QA/ QC, which is more work, but I would not have the control over my project standards if I could not access all of the tools the software has to offer; it does also mean I have gone through and train anyone that has worked under me (more than I have seen amongst other teams in any office I have been a part of, but we in turn produce two-thirds more drawings than any of the surrounding teams)...I have more of an involvement in production.

      Due to me proficiency with the program and my VOCAL stance that this tool is necessary for me to continue my work load, I have moved forward.  Due to my proficiency, I conduct more interviews and my technical recommendations are taken quite seriously.

      No matter what MUST learn Architecture, it will never be the software alone, but the software was the base that has gotten me where I needed to go.

      My technical skill base landed me at my current position and provided me a 20K pay hike in the last 14 months.

      Jun 16, 15 4:44 pm  · 

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An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect (now architect) I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process (and beyond).

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