What do Revit API developers do?


Hey guys.

I would like to know what other people on this forum, that have the skills to write Revit API plugins do for a living?

Do you work at architecture firms? What positions?

Do you work for yourself? What do you do?

Do you work for software companies?

I have a, what I think is a rare, but at the very least uncommon, overlap of skills. I am a qualified professional Architect who has a background in software development, which I studied before Architecture.

I have since studying architecture mostly been focusing on my architectural career. I have now been working in architecture firms for about 4 years, and never really thought there was much use for my programming skills as none of the firms I have worked for had any use for or interest in them.

But I have recently (due to my current bad working environment) developed a new interest in my programming side and have started exploring the Revit API and started writing some plugins to help me with automating some aspects of my workflow.

I am still only employed as an architect, my company does not really seem interested in my programming skills (which I have discussed with my superiors), and I dont really feel like developing a bunch of plugins for them for free.

So I was wondering what other kinds of opportunities there might be for someone that shares my skill set?

One opportunity I have been thinking of is possibly going solo and starting my own business writing plugins to streamline other architecture firm's workflows, but what other options might there be for me?

Thanks in advanced!

Mar 12, 18 2:25 pm

I personally do not have this skill set, but wish I did.  An old roommate of mine (not an architect) is a programmer and works for a company that makes plugins for Revit.  It is my understanding that they make some kind of plugin that the owner can use to access information from their Revit model without any Revit skills.  I think through the plugin, they can push some buttons, and it spits out a webpage with the floor plan that they can use for space planning.  I believe it also has some basic components (chairs, desks, trash receptacles) that they can move around on the webpage.  From my roommate, I learned that the challenge for their company is often understanding where the need is - owners? architects? - and what Revit isn't doing that they could design a plugin to do.  Also how to organize information out of the model to be of use to an owner with no advanced computer skills.

All that to say, to my knowledge, you may be more successful looking for programming jobs that would value your background as an architect.

Mar 12, 18 3:33 pm

My programming skills atrophy every year.  I'm constantly running into workflow scenarios where it's clear that much of the work could be automated, but I barely have time to edit our in-house families, much less learn the Revit API.  

So far, any time I've suggested improved/automated workflow, I've been met with "meh/skeptic" responses.... but any time I've gone ahead and implemented said workflow and then shown superiors how much faster we can get something done, they are very happy.  I do believe this has helped my rep and has been partially a cause of some of my raises, but I've yet to actually get paid for any of it.  I am on the "BIM committee" at my current firm (last firm too) for what that's worth?

If I were to go out on my own as you suggest, I'd focus on the peripheral parts of the workflow process, such as converting CAD files into revit file as-builts, or converting .PDFs/scanned drawings into revit files.  Point cloud stuff, creating more easily manipulated light fixture families, creating entire gang restroom families that can flex based on readouts from an occupancy schedule.  And yes, as your example says, creating apps that allow non-revit managers to play around with revit data.  Making actual tools that are helpful to the monkeys is never going to sell... because the monkeys don't hold the purse strings.

Mar 12, 18 7:44 pm

Your comment is slightly disappointing, but valuable. I have also found that there does not seem to be very much interest in improving workflow efficiency, which is very hard for me to come to terms with, surely, the less time your "monkeys" spend doing menial and repetitive tasks, the more time they can spend on either improving the design, or the less time they need to spend on overtime (we actually get paid overtime at my firm), so in effect that should save the company money over time. But anyway, thanks for the comment!


This is a path I have been pondering over. While I have no skills in programming yet, I wonder if taking time out to learn can actually pay off. Maybe even switch careers temporarily.

And yes, if you're doing it while working for a firm you're very likely to be met with skepticism and mehs unless you show results. And much of it depends on how your BIM team handles your input.

Mar 13, 18 3:48 am


If your background includes some computer science, or if you have used languages like C++, you could become an Autodesk developer member and start writing and publishing apps for Revit, or anything else for that matter. See here a list of Autodesk apps, or more specifically Revit apps.

Also, look up these resources - the Revit API forum or the general Autodesk forum, you will get more answers and a better idea about the path to take.

Mar 13, 18 1:43 pm

Thanks Adrian. I have been looking through the API and Autodesk forums for a little while, which is also what started me thinking that I could actually do some of these things myself. I was also wondering what exactly the Autodesk developer membership means?

Mar 19, 18 11:00 am

Practically speaking, I would say better access to otherwise obscure / hard to obtain API resources and knowledge

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