Let’s roll the hands of time back about a decade or so. I graduated from Technical School with my Associates in Specialized Technology degree in Design Drafting. Back then, it was a big accomplishment for me; now-a-days, a BA is pretty much expected as the minimum, but I digress.
My very first job out of school was working for a civil firm basically annotating drawings – on the drafting table with either the Leroy machine or using the green templates – one….letter…..at…a…time. That gave me experience in a firm and, to this day my printing skills are admired by the bank. 🙂
My second job was within walking distance of my house (a huge plus) and was working in a firm that designed buildings for commercial storage. We did everything from food storage warehouses with the different temperature zones, to factories. Some memorable projects were a huge food storage Warehouse in Carlisle, PA to the Hershey Factories where they produced the first Hershey Hugs, and Twizzlers. I got to work on various projects that were intriguing, especially with the chance to go on-site several times to see the progress.
Oh, I worked in the Mechanical department doing HVAC and plumbing. And we were using AutoCAD release 9 to produce these documents. Bonus! 🙂
In 5 years, I was promoted from Jr. Mechanical Drafter to Mechanical Designer. With this new responsibility, I was introduced to actual sizing of ductwork and piping (with an Engineer still giving me gentle guidance)
The line of work continued until things started to slow down, and unfortunately I was laid off. As a side note, the company has, sadly since then closed its doors.
My drafting design journey continues with a few side trips into the IT field. But my true love was, and still is drafting/design. I landed a job in a firm that was involved in Stream Restoration. That introduced me to a new AutoCAD software package called Land Desktop v3. It was a fascinating piece of software that allowed some pretty cool automaton like profiles, surfaces, surveying, and alignments. Although we didn’t utilize it to its full potential, it was fascinating.
The journey in the Civil area was memorable, highlighting some of them including:
* The introduction in an even better software package called Civil 3D. I was fortunate to get in on the beta testing for this software from its inception and have been involved in beta testing since then.
* the opportunity to get involved in the publishing field with this software. I was a Technical Editor for several high-profile books and even co-author on several of them.
Finally (yeah, I know that was long), I moved with my wife to Utah to accept a job in a Civil firm. Moving from PA to UT was a leap of faith only to be laid off after 7 months. A crushing blow to me.
So now in my unemployed state, I have been doing some soul-searching with my various ventures and trying to fill in the void doing useful, productive work. I reflected on what I really enjoyed the most and keep coming back to the days when I was doing HVAC/plumbing work. So, I decided to try to et back in that area (of course if a civil opportunity presents itself, I won’t refuse it).
The MEP arena has changed ( for the better ) with the advent of the new catch-phrase BIM. And while there is still AutoCAD to do stuff, a new software called Revit handles things much better. So, I have been playing with both Architectural and MEP Revit and am, to put it bluntly, BLOWN AWAY!
The is my journey (thus far) and hope you will follow my journey. If one doesn’t enjoy the journey, they need to re-evaluate.