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Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 20
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 11:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In order to obtain better data about potential young specifiers, I would propose a survey about how we all got started to see what the norm was as we became specifers.

What is your current age?

Did you receive education beyond high school?

What was your your major?

At what age did you first prepare some significant specifications?

Did you have a mentor in specifications?

How was the mentor related to you (office, CSI chapter, etc.)?

At what age did you first take a formal education seminar or course in specifications?

Who provided the education?

At what age did you achieve CCS (will be later for many because of when the program started)?

At what age did you first become a full-time specifier?


A complilation of the above data from a significant number of today's specifier's will provide us good information to compare with what is happening today.

To make the complilation easier, please copy and use the following outline for responses:

Current age:
Higher education: Yes or No
Major?
Age when first prepared specs:
Have a mentor: Yes or No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education:
Education provider:
Age at CCS:
Age as full-time specifier:
Edward R. Heinen, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: edwardheinen

Post Number: 15
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 11:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'll try the survey:

Current age: 45
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 34
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: CSI CDT/CCS
Education provider: self
Age at CCS: 35/36
Age as full-time specifier: 35
G. Wade Bevier, CSI, CCS, LEED-AP, Assoc. AIA, SCIP affiliate
Senior Member
Username: wbevier

Post Number: 17
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 55
Higher education: Yes
Major? Photography
Age when first prepared specs: 44
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Director of Specifications
Age at first formal education: 44
Education provider: CSI CDT Certification through the Firm
Age at CCS: 48
Age as full-time specifier: 44
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 909
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 65
Higher education: Yes
Major? Psychology (undergrad); Architecture (Masters)
Age when first prepared specs: 49
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Coworker/supervisor
Age at first formal education: For spec writing? 51
Education provider: CSI, mentor
Age at CCS: 55
Age as full-time specifier: 51 (while working towards CDT)
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 28
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 44
Higher education: A.B then M.Arch
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 29
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Director of Specifications
Age at first formal education: 27, M.Arch class on professional practice.
Education provider: Graduate school
Age at CCS: 29 (4 months after first job as specifier)
Age as full-time specifier: 30
Mark R. Jones, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: mjones

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 43
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 29
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship: na
Age at first formal education: 31
Education provider: CSI, CDT Seminar
Age at CCS: 35
Age as full-time specifier: Not a full-time specifier
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 29
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robert: One year at a SCIP meeting, I asked several specifiers (particularly women) how they got started as specifiers. There were many interesting stories, but no 'norm' path. I'll be interested to see what your survey finds.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 474
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 58
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 32
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: 49
Education provider: CSI, CDT
Age at CCS: 51
Age as full-time specifier: 49
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS
Cannon Design - St. Louis, MO
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1020
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 73
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 30
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Firm Partner
Age at first formal education: 32
Education provider: Private seminar
Age at CCS: 74 hopefully
Age as full-time specifier: 60
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 475
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Bob-

Are you going to post your own response to the survey? Most of us know your background, but it might interest those who don't know you to understand the depth of the experience you bring to these discussions.

By the way, I answered "no mentor" because I assume it related to when we first prepared a spec. But I must credit you, and several others who regularly post here on 4specs, as being wonderful mentors when I finally got around to specifying full-time and realizing how little I knew for the first 20 years of my career. Thank you all.
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS
Cannon Design - St. Louis, MO
Ronald L. Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 775
Registered: 03-2003


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 48 (as of tomorrow)
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture (B. Arch)
Age when first prepared specs: 23 (but I hadn't a clue as to what I was doing)
Have a mentor: Yes, sort of...
Mentor Relationship: Various senior architects I worked with, but none in regard to specifications preparation
Age at first formal education: 39
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 41
Age as full-time specifier: 42
Ron Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
www.specsandcodes.com
Richard A. Rosen, CSI, CCS, AIA
Senior Member
Username: rarosen

Post Number: 48
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 64
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 35
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: 40
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 55
Age as full-time specifier: 42
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 21
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes George I was planning on responding - waited a little bit to see if people were willing to participate. Looks like they are.

Robbin - Norm was probably not the best term to use. I guess the goal is to see "how young" we were when we got into the spec biz.

I plan on doing a complilation that would include highs, lows, average, and maybe means. So the results would indicate the extremes as well as the average. This would then give us some historical data upon which to evaluate the situation today.

Current age: 70
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 26
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: CSI chapter member
Age at first formal education: 28
Education provider: CSI chapter - before CDT/CCS
Age at CCS: 43
Age as full-time specifier: 43
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 231
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 62
Higher education: Yes (Canada)
Major? Architectural Technology
Age when first prepared specs: 26
Have a mentor: Yes.
Mentor Relationship: Firm principal who did the specifications and over the years, other specifiers, and 4Specs.com. Learning never stops.
Age at first formal education: 27
Education provider: Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) via their correspondence course. Pre MOPs.
Age at CCS: 43
Age as full-time specifier: I think I was 27 or 28. I eventually took over from my mentor. Over the years I have been a consultant in private practice (pre SCIP), inhouse dedicated specifier, and occupied combined roles as specifier, contract admin, job caption, etc. At the outset I used the cut and paste method with a typist and Xerox copier. Tools of the trade were triangle scale for cutting, stapler and clear tape for pasting, red "Stylist" pen for edits and new text, quad pad, typist, copier. Fax machines came later. Have been a dedicated specifier for firms in Canada and the US (Hawaii and WA). Currently 1 of 5 in firm.
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 789
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 62
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 29
Have a mentor: Initially, no - years 3 through 7 yes.
Mentor Relationship: Head of Specifications for the Office
Age at first formal education: 27
Education provider: University of Tennessee, School of Architecture, before CSI
Age at CCS: 41 or 42
Age as full-time specifier: 30
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
WDG Architecture, Washington, DC | Dallas, TX
Russ Hinkle, AIA, CDT, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: rhinkle

Post Number: 64
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 47
Higher education: Yes
Major? M Arch and MBA
Age when first prepared specs: 30
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: 41- CDT, 42 - CCS
Education provider: Local Chapter study group
Age at CCS: 42
Age as full-time specifier: 40
Russ Hinkle
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Lisa - don't know why I called you Robbin - that's what happens when you get old - please accept my apologies!
Vivian Volz, RA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 123
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 41
Higher education: Yes, B. Arch.
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 30-ish
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Spec leaders in other offices of large architecture firm
Age at first formal education: 33
Education provider: Self-study, CSI materials
Age at CCS: 34
Age as full-time specifier: 33
Julie Brown
Senior Member
Username: jkbrown

Post Number: 16
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 50
Higher education: Yes
Major? Business
Age when first prepared specs: 27
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Owner of firm
Age at first formal education: 29
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 33
Age as full-time specifier: 33
Margaret G. Chewning FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: presbspec

Post Number: 175
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 56
Higher education: Yes
Major? Engineering Technology, Construction Mgt '93
Age when first prepared specs: 22
Have a mentor: yes and no
Mentor Relationship: Manager of the NEX Maintenance Department, purchased Hans Meir's Specifications Handbook to guide me in writing specifications, and converting NAVFAC Guide specs into 3Part format for Navy Exchange renovation jobs. Otherwise, it was SOP (seat of the pants).
Age at first formal education: 21
Education provider: Community College 73-74, 80-82; Old Dominion University 86-93
Age at CCS: 31
Age as full-time specifier: 30
Richard Baxter, AIA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rbaxter

Post Number: 94
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age:45
Higher education: Yes or No
Major?BAchelor Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science of Architecture, & Master of Architecture
Age when first prepared specs:38
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship: NA
Age at first formal education: 34
Education provider: Masters of Architecture program, University of Utah (wasn't particularly helpful)
Age at CCS:46
Age as full-time specifier:38
G. Wade Bevier, CSI, CCS, LEED-AP, Assoc. AIA, SCIP affiliate
Senior Member
Username: wbevier

Post Number: 18
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I would like one more piece of information if it is available.
Of those of you that consider yourselves as being full time specifiers and are CSI members how are you catagorizing your membership when you renew.
I know there are many specifiers who are also licensed and degreed architects. The membership form only allows for one occupation designation and I have a feeling that our numbers are somewhat skewed and that there may be many more specifiers than are indicated on the data base because the member indicated they are a "100 Architect' and not a "109 Specifier or Specification Consultant".
When the Board is looking for direction from the membership demographics this is the tool that is being used and the Specifiers on the database might not be getting the full attention that would otherwise be given if the numbers were to show a larger proportion of the membership.
Then again we might just be only 7% of the membership in which case that too is useful information.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 347
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 02:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 52
Higher education: Yes
Major? BS Sociology, BS Anthropology, Barch (5 year pro degree),masters work in Geology - no degree
Age when first prepared specs: 42
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Friend who was going to an office to write specs as I was establishing my own practice for architecture and spec writing. and CSI member
Age at first formal education: 6. Oh! you mean specs, age 28 or so. I had a pro practice class in school and read Hans Meier's books
Education provider: University of Idaho and then later - CSI CDT/CCS class
Age at CCS: 41
Age as full-time specifier: 42
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 01:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 51
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture (B.Arch)
Age when first prepared specs: 32
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Supervisor
Age at first formal education: 42
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 44
Age as full-time specifier: 42
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 335
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 03:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current Age: 64
Higher Education: Yes
Major: BA Sociology (Started as an English major - 18 months)
Age when first prepared specs: 24 (Doors/Hardware)
Mentor: Yes - An in-house specification (technical) writer & a Senior Architect/Project Manager
Age at first formal education in specs: No formal education - learned on the job
Age at CCS: 59
Age as full-time specifier: 50
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 187
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 03:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 55
Higher education: Yes
Major? BArch, but somehow took degree in Philosophy
Age when first prepared specs: 45
Have a mentor: Yes, previous specwriter at this firm and the firm we were at before
Mentor Relationship: Obi-Wan-Kenobi, travel guide, wine coach
Age at first formal education: 44
Education provider: seminars at local AIA by CSI
Age at CCS: when time permits
Age as full-time specifier: 45
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 344
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 03:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 60
Higher education: Yes (BA, BArch, MBA)
Major? Architecture/Fine Arts and Management
Age when first prepared specs: 31
Have a mentor: Yes (although no specific mentor)
Mentor Relationship: Colleagues at CSI Chapter
Age at first formal education: 35 (actually don't remember if I every had a course; I am talking about the one I helped to teach)
Education provider: CSI Chapter
Age at CCS: 35
Age as full-time specifier: 31
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 336
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 03:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I did forget to mention the spec school I attended in Phoenix given by the Phoenix CSI Chapter, just before I took and passed the CDT in 2001 (Age 56)
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 309
Registered: 10-2002


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 04:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robert:
What year did the CCS program start?
All I remember is that I took the exam in it's first year. I had to take the exam because I missed the 5-year grandfathering requirement by 6-months.
David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: davidcombs

Post Number: 305
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 04:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 48 (but feel - and sometimes act - much younger)
Higher education: Yes
Major? Construction Engineering, then switched to Architecture.
Age when first prepared specs: 25
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Spec writer at competing firm (and fellow member of local CSI Chapter)
Age at first formal education: 31
Education provider: CDT/CCS Study Class (self-taught prior to that).
Age at CCS: 31
Age as full-time specifier: 30
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 23
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 05:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ron

I cannot remember exactly. I was either working as a govenment owner's representative or as a general contractor at the time and did not need it for the responsibilities that I had. I took it in 1982 (or very close to there) when I became a spec consultant and I know it had been in existence for a few years at that time. I believe it was in the late 1970's but don't know the exact year.

Someone else on the forum might have worked on the program or taken it as it came out and can give us the year. Hans Meir was chair of the committee that produced the first CCS program. Weldon Nash was one of the members.

A little history for those not active in CSI at that time. CCS was the first certification program. At the beginning there was a "grandfather" clause that allowed experienced specifiers to obtain their CCS without taking the exam. The CDT certificate program came later in the 80's - again can't remember the exact year. It was made a prequiste for CCS at that time. CCCA became a working certification program in the mid-90's with a CDT prequiste requirement. For quite a few years, almost three times as many people are receiving their CCCA each year as compared to CCS.
James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 52
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 05:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 48
Higher education: Yes
Major? BS (Biology), Master of Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: ~42
Have a mentor: Yes, a very good one.
Mentor Relationship: Full-time specification writer in the same office. This individual has an architecture degree and forty+ years experience, almost half of those as a specification writer.
Age at first formal specification education: 39 (joined CSI and passed the CDT exam)
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 48 (last April)
Age as full-time specifier: 44-1/2

I received my M. Arch and started practicing in 1991. I benefitted greatly from my first boss' "benign negelect" (his term). Because I got to "do it all" from the outset, I learned a lot and learned it fast - like first learning to swim in the ocean instead of a back yard pool. After about a decade of "normal" architecture I was internally motivated to concentrate on specification writing. Having that particular skill set has been a boon to me in the current economic situation. My mentor is simply the best in terms of knowledge and attitude. It's like taking driving lessons from Mario Andretti.
Bob Woodburn, RA CSI CCS CCCA LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bwoodburn

Post Number: 297
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 05:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 66
Higher education: 6 years
Major? BA in Humanities (art, English/other languages, music) + 2 years toward M.Arch.
Age when first prepared specs: 34
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Apprenticed to firm's other fulltime specifier.
Age at first formal education: No formal spec education.
Education provider: --
Age at CCS: 44 (?)
Age as full-time specifier: 34 years.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 233
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 05:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robert,

I attained my CCS in the 2nd quarter of 1990 and do not remember the CDT being a prerequisite at that time. Perhaps it existed but was also grandfathered in for existing specifiers?
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 234
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 05:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Average so far = 46.16 years
Richard Howard, AIA CSI CCS LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: rick_howard

Post Number: 216
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 06:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 57
Higher education: BS Arch
Age when first prepared specs: 25
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: senior architect in firm
Age at first formal education: 25
Education provider: on the job and CSI
Age at CCS: 29
Age as full-time specifier: 32
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 476
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 06:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We had the "when did it start?" discussion at the Certification Committee meeting last weekend. Here are the "authorized by the board" dates:

CCS - 1977
CDT - 1985
CCCA - 1991
CCPR - 1989

However, the concensus guess on when they were first offered was:

CCS - 1978
CDT - 1988 or 89
CCCA - 1995 or 96
CCPR - 2000

Interesting to note that although CCPR was authorized first, we are fairly certain that CCCA was first offered before CCPR was. Dates in the "authorized" list were verified, but dates in the "first offered" list are best guesses.

We'd welcome all confirmed corrections to the "first offered" list.
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS
Cannon Design - St. Louis, MO
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 24
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 07:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Results from first 26 responders:

Age:
High: 73
Low: 41
Average: 55
Median: 55

Age at writing first specs:
High: 49
Low: 22
Average: 32
Median: 31

Age at first formal spec education:
High: 56
Low: 21
Average: 36
Median: 34

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 55
Low: 29
Average: 41
Median: 42

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 38
Median: 40

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 55 years old with an architectural education (80%), wrote their first specs at about 30 years old, had a mentor in their office (79%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (76%) in their mid 30's, achieved CCS certification at about 40, and became a full-time specifier at about 40. We can update this data if we get a significant more number of responders.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many. This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the professional they are most interested in.
John Guill
Member
Username: specmonkey

Post Number: 3
Registered: 07-2009


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 07:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 50
Higher education: BS
Major? Construction
Age when first prepared specs: 21
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship: NA
Age at first formal education: 35
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 42? Can't remember
Age as full-time specifier: 43

Lapsed back into part-time architect, part-time specifier.

I was tracked into specifying by an employer who saw it as less "important" than design work and since I didn't have an architecture degree, I couldn't be allowed to do design in his firm.

I found that I enjoyed it and had an aptitude for it, but no opportunities to learn more until I moved to civilization and joined CSI. That happened late.
John Guill AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 30
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 08:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For more on the when did it start question, I took the CDT and CCS in April 1994, and I believe John Bunzick was in the same room taking the beta test version of the CCCA that day.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 04:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 45
Higher education: Yes
Major? Construction Technology (B.S.) and Architecture (M.Arch.)
Age when first prepared specs: 25
Have a mentor: No
Age at first formal education: 20
Education provider: Purdue, as part of a Construction Documents class
Age at CCS: 37
Age as full-time specifier: Not full-time, but have written all specs for the firm for ~12 years
David E Lorenzini
Senior Member
Username: deloren

Post Number: 83
Registered: 04-2000


Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 10:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 70
Higher education: Yes
Major? B.ArchEng, M.BldgSci
Age when first prepared specs: 42
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Associate who worked for me
Age at first formal spec education: 22
Education provider: Univ. of Penna.
Age at CCS: 43
Age as full-time specifier: 42

Note: Started spec consulting firm before writing my first spec. SOP all the way.
David Lorenzini, FCSI, CCS
Architectural Resources Co.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 310
Registered: 10-2002


Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 04:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 68
Higher education: Yes
Major? Civil Engineering
Age when first prepared specs: 28
Have a mentor: Yes [Everett Spurling]
Mentor Relationship: CSI member and employer
Age at first formal education: 37
Education provider: CSI MOP in preparation for CCS exam
Age at CCS: 37 [based on CCS starting in 1978]
Age as full-time specifier: 30

Robert: It might be interesting to add gender to the final tabulations to find out what % of our profession are male or female.

Ronald: Happy Birthday!!
Curt Norton, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: curtn

Post Number: 151
Registered: 06-2002


Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 07:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 42
Higher education: Yes
Major? BS Construction Administration
Age when first prepared specs: 33
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: The firm’s previous spec writer was my supervisor and a terrific mentor
Age at first formal education: 33
Education provider: CSI spec writing Seminar in KC and MOP in preparation for CDT exam
Age at CCS: 34
Age as full-time specifier: 33 (although it took most of a year to shed my CA responsibilities)
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 883
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 11:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: almost 56
Higher education: Yes or No yes
Major? BA Urban Studies
Age when first prepared specs: 24 for interiors projects; 26 for a small building
Have a mentor: Yes or No ; yes, Director of Architecture; Director of specifications (two people)
Mentor Relationship: boss's boss
Age at first formal education: none
Education provider: self taught (took CCS when first offered, before classes were offered)
Age at CCS: 27
Age as full-time specifier: 24; was an assistant to a consultant before that for 1 year
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 331
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 12:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 63
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 33
Have a mentor: Yes, two of them
Mentor Relationship: CSI chapter member; business partner
Age at first formal education: 26
Education provider: community college
Age at CDT: 57
Age as full-time specifier: 43
Bill DuBois
Member
Username: billd

Post Number: 3
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 12:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 58
Higher education: M.Arch
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 30
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Director of Specifications
Age at first formal education: 37, study for CDT and CCS.
Education provider: CSI CCS Instructor
Age at CCS: 37
Age as full-time specifier: 35
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 30
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 04:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 54
Higher education: Never really stop, do we?
Major? Physical Sciences
Age when first prepared specs: 21
Have a mentor: More of a motivator
Mentor Relationship: Firm Owner
Age at first formal education: 25
Education provider: DC CSI Avoiding Material Failures Class at AIA HQ,~1980. CCS prep class at VA HQ in DC - 1987. Been teaching ever since.
Age at CCS: 32. CCCA: 43
Age as full-time specifier: 24
Listed as Specifier w/CSI.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 311
Registered: 10-2002


Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 06:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

<<Education provider: DC CSI Avoiding Material Failures Class at AIA HQ,~1980.....>

Ken:
I recall this education program well; especially since I was the EdComm chairman [toot toot]. IIRC, it was conducted over a 6 to 8 week period with 60+ in attendance.
I think Metzger in there also.
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 332
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 07:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

yes I was there Ron; may even still have my notes squirreled away somewhere.

They were good classes
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 42
Higher education: MArch, MBA, working on my JD.
Major? All the above
Age when first prepared specs: 24 ish
Have a mentor: I had several for the first 10 years of my career
Mentor Relationship: Firm Owner, co-workers
Age at first formal education: 23 ish - took CDT class
Education provider: Phoenix Chapter CSI
Age at CCS: 32.
Age as full-time specifier: 32
Listed as Specifier w/CSI.

This is me - Robin Snyder - can't seem to remember my username and password...
Don Harris CSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA
Senior Member
Username: don_harris

Post Number: 225
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 59
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 31
Have a mentor: No, actually sort of but not really
Mentor Relationship: Outside consultant to firm
Age at first formal education: 36
Education provider: Baltimore CSI
Age at CCS: 37
Age as full-time specifier: 40 +/-
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 25
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 01:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Revised results from first 36 responders:

Age:
High: 73
Low: 41
Average: 55
Median: 55

Age at writing first specs:
High: 49
Low: 21
Average: 31
Median: 30

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 35
Median: 33

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 55
Low: 27
Average: 40
Median: 39

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 38
Median: 38

The expanded results from 36 people are not significantly different from the first 26.
So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 55 years old with an architectural education (75%), wrote their first specs at about 30 years old, had a mentor (75%) in their office (81%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (76%) in their mid 30's, achieved CCS certification at about 40, and became a full-time specifier at about 40. We can further update this data if we get a significant more number of responders.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (16%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.

Response to Ron Beard: 19% of the responders have been female. One significant difference with the females in compared to males is that on average they seem to have started in specifications a few years earlier in life.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 445
Registered: 04-2002


Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 01:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 63
Higher education: Yes. B.Arch., University of California, Berkeley, 1970
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 32
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Instructors in CSI chapter education series
Age at first formal education: 32
Education provider: San Francisco Chapter, CSI
Age at CCS: 35
Age as full-time specifier: 48
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: doug_frank_ccs

Post Number: 242
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Friday, July 24, 2009 - 08:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Sorry I'm late in responding. My data won't change the median numbers much.
Current age: 64
Higher education: Associate Degree; Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 32
Have a mentor: None specific
Mentor Relationship: CSI members
Age at first formal education: 33
Education provider: Univ. of Wisconsin; “Construction Specifications” (1978): Univ. of Wisconsin; “Construction Contracts” (1981)
Age at CCS: 36
Age as full-time specifier: 33
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
FKP Architects, Inc.
Houston, TX
Ronald J. Ray, RA, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: rjray

Post Number: 80
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, July 27, 2009 - 03:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Late as well:

Current age: 56
Higher education: B Arch (5 year) Master Arch.
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 27
Have a mentor: None
Mentor Relationship N/A
Age at first formal education: NA
Education provider: N/A
Age at CCS: 40
Age at CCCA: 45
Age as full-time specifier: 37
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 27
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 04:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI here are progress results of the survey which includes responses in CSI Forums:

Age:
High: 73
Low: 41
Average: 56
Median: 56

Age at writing first specs:
High: 49
Low: 17
Average: 31
Median: 30

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 34
Median: 33

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 55
Low: 27
Average: 39
Median: 37

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 38
Median: 40

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 56 years old with an architectural education (77%), wrote their first specs at about 30 years old, had a mentor (74%) in their office (81%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (73%) in their mid 30's, achieved CCS certification at about 40, and became a full-time specifier at about 40. We hope to further update this data if we get more rssponses from specifers.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (14%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.

Again, we would like to expand the number of specifier responses to see if the above results are accurate.
Tomas Mejia, CCS, CCCA, LEED
Senior Member
Username: tmejia

Post Number: 48
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 01, 2009 - 09:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 53
Higher education: Yes
Major? BS Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 28
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Vice President of firm (FCSI)
Age at first formal education: 29
Education provider: LA Chapter CSI CCS prep class
Age at CCS: 29
Age as full-time specifier: 29
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 349
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 02, 2009 - 12:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robert; what is the size of your sample?
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 28
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 02, 2009 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

43 as of 7/28 in the summary above.

Have the responses from a few more that have not been imputed into the spreadsheet yet.
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 350
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 02, 2009 - 10:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 60
Higher education: Yes
Majors? Chemistry, physics, biology, architecture; BS, BArch
Age when first prepared specs: 36
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: 38
Education provider: MSP Chapter
Age at CCS: 39
Age as full-time specifier: 36
John McGrann
Senior Member
Username: jmcgrann

Post Number: 75
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, August 03, 2009 - 08:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current Age: 54
Higher Education: Yes
Majors? B. Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 27
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Employer (AIA, CSI)
Age at first formal education: n/a (just read the MOP and took the test)
Education Provider: n/a
Age at CCS: 32
Age as full-time specifier: 35
John T. McGrann, Jr., AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1074
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, August 03, 2009 - 09:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 56
Higher education: Yes
Major? BA in org. behavior
Age when first prepared specs: 30
(Added item) Age when first worked for design firm: 30
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal education: None in architecture or specs, other than self study of CSI Manual of Practice.
Education provider: School of Hard Knocks
Age at CCS: Not sure, 36?
Age at CCCA: 41 (Lisa G.'s memory is better than mine)
Age as full-time specifier: 34 as CA-then specs. Half my career has been spent doing CA and half doing specs. Proportion has varied.
Gerard Sanchis (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, August 03, 2009 - 05:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 66
Higher education: Yes.
Major? Architecture.
Age when first prepared specs: 25
Have a mentor: Yes.
Mentor Relationship: Firm principal.
Age at first formal education: 22
Education provider: School, Mentors and CSI.
Age at CCS: N.A.
Age as full-time specifier: 27
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 11:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI here are progress results of the survey at both discussion forums after 50 responses (no significant changes):

Age:
High: 73
Low: 41
Average: 56
Median: 56

Age at writing first specs:
High: 49
Low: 17
Average: 31
Median: 30

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 34
Median: 33

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 57
Low: 27
Average: 39
Median: 37

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 38
Median: 38

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 56 years old with an architectural education (74%), wrote their first specs at about 30 years old, had a mentor (72%) in their office (83%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (74%) in their mid 30's, achieved CCS certification in late 30's, and became a full-time specifier in late 30's.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (12%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.

Again, we would like to expand the number of specifier responses to see if the above results are accurate.
Tony Wolf, AIA, CCS, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: tony_wolf

Post Number: 16
Registered: 11-2007


Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 01:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 58
Higher education: Yes
Major? M.Arch.
Age when first prepared specs: 32
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: chief specifier
Age at first formal education: 33
Education provider: CSI thru local construction association
Age at CCS: 40
Age as full-time specifier: 32
Chris Sawyer, CCS LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: csawyer

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 01:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 39
Higher education: Yes
Major? MFA Writing
Age when first prepared specs: 28
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship: N/A
Age at first formal education: 35
Education provider: CSI
Age at CCS: 38
Age as full-time specifier: 36
Chris Sawyer CCS LEED AP
Dale Hurttgam, NCARB, AIA,LEED AP, CSI
Senior Member
Username: dwhurttgam

Post Number: 43
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 05:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 60
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 51 (First formal preparation of Spec Sections at this age - had previously reviewed specs as an Architectural Department Leader and assisted with spec development via providing and coordinating spec criteria with spec writer as a Project Archtitect. Was placed in charge of specs at large A/E at this age - considered this area by "weak link" at the time).
Have a mentor: Yes, the two senior, well experienced spec writers that I worked with at that time).
Mentor Relationship: Spec writers that worked with and for me.
Age at first formal specification education: Have not had formal spec education - CSI meetings - Spec Round Table - group of local area spec writers that periodically get together to review specification process, products, systems, etc. to mutually assist each other.
Education provider: CSI thru monthlhy meetings.
Age at CCS: Have not achieved.
Age as full-time specifier: Not full time - but majority of time - 51.
Jonathan Miller, FCSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: jmma_specs

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 - 03:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 54
Higher education: Yes, B.S. Design; M.Arch
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 37
Have a mentor: No one person
Mentor Relationship: Many CSI friends
Age at first formal education: 36 for CDT/CCS
Education provider: Mpls-St. Paul Chapter CSI 11 week prep course
Age at CCS: 36
Age as full-time specifier: 49

Jonathan M. Miller
FCSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP, AIA, NCARB... EIEIO (a SCIP designation)
JMMa Specs
Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 698
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 06, 2009 - 11:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 17 years younger than Ralph - do the math, its good for your brain power...no calculators now!
Higher education: Yes, is this question really necessary?...ok - BD and MAA.
Major? Architectural Design
Age when first prepared specs: 31, I was too young to know better.
Have a mentor: a senior architect with the firm, promised me big money preparing specs and never a dull moment...well he was right about one thing.
Mentor Relationship: Partner in Charge of project working on at time.
Age at first formal education: who can remember that far back? Does that mean when I started college?
Education provider: CSI & Books
Age at CCS: 41
Age as full-time specifier: 45, though still practicing as an architect, maybe I will get it right one of these days.
Jerry Tims AIA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: jtims

Post Number: 89
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 06, 2009 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 53
Higher education: Yes
Major? Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: Around 40
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Was one of our partners
Age at first formal education: Around 40
Education provider: CSI local chapter
Age at CCS: Still on the todo list
Age as full-time specifier: Around 40
Rich Gonser AIA CSI CCCA
Senior Member
Username: gonserarch

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 01:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 54
Higher education: Yes
Major? BS Arch
Age when first prepared specs: 34
Have a mentor: No
Mentor Relationship: Indirect through other Orange County(CA) Specifiers
Age at first formal education: 38
Education provider: CSI local chapter
Age at CCS: Have CCCA = 50
Age as full-time specifier: 45
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 30
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 08, 2009 - 05:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI here are progress results of the survey at both discussion forums after 58 responses (no significant changes):

Age:
High: 73
Low: 36
Average: 55
Median: 56

Age at writing first specs:
High: 51
Low: 17
Average: 31
Median: 31

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 34
Median: 35

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 57
Low: 27
Average: 39
Median: 37

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 38
Median: 38

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 55 years old with an architectural education (78%), wrote their first specs at about 30 years old, had a mentor (72%) in their office (83%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (82%) in their mid 30's, achieved CCS certification at about age 39, and became a full-time specifier at about age 38.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (12%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: doug_frank_ccs

Post Number: 243
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 08:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Bob, I was amazed to see that someone was only 17 years of age when they first prepared a spec. I wanted to know who that was and searched through the whole list. The youngest I could find was 27. Is it possible that the 17 in the summary should really be 27?
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
FKP Architects, Inc.
Houston, TX
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 31
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 10:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It was on CSI forum rather than here:

Kerin Dodd-Hansen:
Current age: 67
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 17
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Father (Practing Architect)
Age at first formal specification education: None
Education provider: CSI Manual of Practice (Self)
Age at CCS: 36 (took & passed test 1978)
Age as full-time specifier: 47

Believe it was because he worked in his fathter's architect's office as a teenager. Seems like a little stretch that he actually wrote specs at that age but it is certainly possible.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 32
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 02:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dane's comment in reaction on CSI forum:

Since there seems to be some discussion on other Forums about my post of having written specifications at the age of 17, I would like to clairify......
I started working in my fathers architectural office when I was 13 years old as an Office Boy. Although I had already learned to use all of the drafting instruments to help with school work, my father refused to allow me to do any drafting until I "Knew what I was doing.....". So he imposed the condition that I could draft when I had learned what the products used in construction were. To accomplish this he assigned me the job of reading ALL of Sweets Catalogs, and being able to write a specification before I could do any drafting. Sweets was then 39 volumes and it took me 9-1/2 months, but I read them.......and then produced (with his guidance) the specification for our house on Twin Peaks in San Francisco.....which he also let me help design.....and draft the construction drawings. I wrote my first unassisted specification for a house in Pacific Heights when I was 17. It was one hell of an education....and it remains the most significant educational element of my becoming an Architect.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 33
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 02:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Side comment to Dane's.

I started work in an architect's office at age 17 as a senior in high school - afternoons after school and Saturday mornings - standard 45 hour work week then - full time the following summers. I got to run errands, transfer submittal review notes, a little lettering on schedules on drawings, some simple drafting later, etc., and help proof read specs. Specs were hand typed by outside secretarial service. Combination female draftswomen and telephone answerer in our office and I would read out loud the draft or final to each other to proof read the typing job. So I got a little education about what specs were about, but certainly not the education that Dane got from his dad.

One of the other thing about that job I remember was the respect I got from that women in our office - she would always tell someone our "young man" is coming to pick something up - never referred to me as the "office boy." Amazing how some small things like that stick with you for many years and how they teach you how to treat others later in life.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1031
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 03:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wonder if those old specs were typed-back-carboned-onion-skins [then blueprinted!], dittos, or Gestetner mimeos with blue gel stencils [icky!!!]?
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 34
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 04:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I was thinking about that after making the post and actually I can't remember how those specs in the middle 50's were reproduced. I just remembers sitting there reading specs out loud to each other for hours. I know that they were not reproduced inside the office - this was a small office of about a half-dozen people. Prints of drawings prints were all done at the print shop - they had a delivery man going around downtown constantly and you ran them yourself when it was time emergency.

I can say that we used typed stencils and the the ditto machine to crank out specs into the late 60's and early 70's. I remember that you thought long and hard before going to the sectretary to make some changes on a spec where the stencil had already been typed. I remember trying to ditto on both sides of the sheet to save paper on a project at that time - that was a major mistake I didn't repeat. I can also remember having my wife and kids help collate the ditto produced specs around the conference room table on a weekend to meet a deadline. They thought that was fun!!!
Andrew Marolt
New member
Username: andrej

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 06:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What is your current age? 32

Did you receive education beyond high school? Yes

What was your your major? Wilderness Management

At what age did you first prepare some significant specifications? 24

Did you have a mentor in specifications? Yes

How was the mentor related to you (office, CSI chapter, etc.)? Director of Specifications

At what age did you first take a formal education seminar or course in specifications? 24

Who provided the education? Twin Cities Chapter CSI

At what age did you achieve CCS (will be later for many because of when the program started)? 29

At what age did you first become a full-time specifier? 27
Andrew Marolt, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Ellerbe Becket
www.ellerbebecket.com
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 341
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 06:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Here's an add-on to the Specifier's Survey -

How many of you type your own specs vs marking them up and having someone else type them?

I know that's how we did it before computers.

Also, if you could indicate whether you're in-house or an independent consultant.

The reason I'm asking is that I have some people who think we are still doing it the way we used to B.C. (before computers)

Thanks
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 07:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You have got to be kidding!!!

The last specs I did by markup and typing service was 1982 when I became a partner in a spec consulting business. That only lasted a few months until I got my own word processor and started processing myself. At the beginning I still used an administrative assistent to do heavy input typing of voluminous new material until I regained my keyboard skills. I must admit that doing that was probably not the norm during the 80's but it was changing rapidly and certainly became common by the 90's. When I moved to one of the largest A/E firms in the late 80's I believe it was still relatively revolutionary - at least in that firm - the word processing group in that firm wasn't too happy loosing their specifications work. I have done my own editing/processing on a computer ever since - that includes experience as specifier within several firms and back to consulting.
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: doug_frank_ccs

Post Number: 245
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 09:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The last time I marked up hard copy for keyboarding by others was around about 1990. I had just changed employers and the new one was still in the process of computerizing everything (they questioned my asking for a computer as a condition of hire). Prior to that I had been doing my own on-screen editing for a few years, first on a dedicated word processor system with those giant floppy discs, and then on a PC.

I sympathize with you Richard because I still occasionally run into Owners who ask for marked up hard copy to review at about 50% CD. Even when we’re required to use an Owner’s master specification, they are now providing it to us electronically. The added effort, and expense, of printing out their master and marking it up with red pencil prior to electronic keyboarding can easily double the spec hours on a project.
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
FKP Architects, Inc.
Houston, TX
Sheldon Wolfe
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Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 354
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 09:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My first project at my first job as a full-time specifier in 1986 was to write specifications for a word processing system for the office. As presented, it would have had four networked computers, one each for the architecture, civil, mechanical, and electrical typists. I had already had my own computer for a few years, and I was able to convince the boss to let me add one more computer for my own use, so I never had to do mark-ups.

Doug, I still have an 8-inch single-side, single-density disk, pinned to the tackboard at my desk. I like to show it to newbies and tell them it's a new high-capacity disk. As I recall, it held about 100K. You could have printed a couple of paragraphs from all the documents on the disk and put them on the envelope; no problem remembering what was on the disk! Now I have a pocket full of flash drives and no idea what's on them. ;-(
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: doug_frank_ccs

Post Number: 246
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I feel your pain Sheldon. I still remember using Wordperfect 5.1 (the best word processing program ever written IMHO) to do a “Print Directory” and then taping it to the disc envelope for future reference. With the flash drives now you’d need several pages just to list the files it contains
Doug Frank FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
FKP Architects, Inc.
Houston, TX
Margaret G. Chewning FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: presbspec

Post Number: 177
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 10:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Back in '82 I was hired to start my employer's first computerized spec system working with the big floppy disks also. Amazing how far we have come since then.
The next two employers provided a typist for me to work with,(which had mixed levels of success) but any moonlighting work I did I typed myself.
As an Independent all of the processing has been done by me, and I've learned quite a bit about Word, PDF docs and SpecsIntact as a result. I believe it has made me a better specifier because not only do I need to work through the "puzzle" of the construction products and how they relate to the project and each other, but the challenge of presenting the information in a comprehensive form understandable to all parties to the construction project.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 01:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When I started specifying in the early 80s, I had no choice but to have them done by the word processing pool since I didn't have a computer available. Then our department got one and I started typing my own reports and correspondence. (Still couldn't get at those specs, though.) I could touch-type from high school days. My boss chastised me for typing my own memos because he couldn't imagine that it was much quicker, more accurate, and spent fewer hours that way.

Interestingly, here in my office there are still a handful of engineers, some younger that I, who do the hard copy mark-up routine. They claim they're working on the train, but I'm suspicious.
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 197
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 02:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The modern day equivalent of marking up the specifications occurs when the consultants are asked/told to use the architects master and the architects specification writer wants it marked up so that he can personally make the changes. I electronically edited a copy of the master because otherwise the markups would have been too messy to interpret. My understanding is that the specification writer then updated his copy of the specification.

My experience in consultants offices is that the engineer will edit the specification for content and then hand it off to a secretary who will make sure that it is formatted per the project requirements.
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
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Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 919
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 12:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm an in-house specifier; I do my own word processing, but will use an admin. assist. to create PDF's (especially the entire manual PDF) and sometimes to update footers and things of that ilk. She's quicker at it than I am, and, perhaps more importantly, gives me another pair of eyes on the finished product. She catches errors in coordination between Table of Contents and contents and stuff like that. She's invaluable.
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 199
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 12:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Lynn

Your experience reinforces an observation in the literature that senior professionals spend significant amount of time time doing work that could be delegated to more junior staff.
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 920
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Since I am, I expect like most of us, a control freak, delegating is something I had to learn to do. And I'm still a work in process!
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 895
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 01:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

when I work with a good spec assistant, I can double my output -- the one I've been able to work with compiles all the project manuals, (including all contents from consultants); does the table of contents; turns the document into pdfs (or one pdf); and takes care of all distribution. Not to mention formatting issues, and the like. that leaves me able to meet with teams, travel (when I did that); and do first pass editing at the difficult stuff. However, it HAS to be someone who knows specs, and isn't a project administrator who has additional tasks, otherwise specs gets dumped to the side. If you have your own business, an assistant can make you considerably more productive..
Don Harris CSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA
Senior Member
Username: don_harris

Post Number: 227
Registered: 03-2003


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 01:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Will the specifier please raise your hand.
Will the typist please raise your hand.

Looks like the same hand to me.

Delegation? I'll need to look that up in the dictionary. Sounds interesting.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 348
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 01:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When I joined my current firm, an architect approached me and asked if I could format and print a spec section written by an engineer.

My response (said with a smile) was, and I quote
"I'm not your bitch and I'm not your typist"

We all type now-days even CAD operators type.
the definition of typist is a different conversation but I would assume that it is
1. information poor
2. style, grammer, syntax rich.

Something exactly the opposite of most professionals, excluding spec writers who have some knowledge of #2 as well as a lot of #1
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 194
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 01:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I took over for our previous spec writer when they retired about ten years ago. They were old school and did not have a computer on their desk (when everyone else had for some time) and worked through a dedicated word processing assistant with an elaborate code of colored pens and edit marks.

I was able to keep the assistant and use him more like Ann notes above, for formatting, global edits, and producing copy ready for the printers.
Ronald L. Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 791
Registered: 03-2003


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 01:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Steven:

"spec writer" (singular)

"they retired" (plural)
"they were" (plural)
"their desk" (plural)

Did he have a multiple personality disorder? ;-)
Ron Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
www.specsandcodes.com
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 342
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 02:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Mark G. - I'm not sure what you meant, but the basic problem is handing things off to junior staff when they don't have the experience or knowledge.

I have to agree with Lynn, I have a similar assistant who is invaluable to me. However, she is also an office administration person who has other duties besides specifications.
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 33
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 02:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Once upon a time, when I had a hand injury, the A/E firm assigned me an admin assistant. I could hold a red pen, but I couldn't type. She was a recent college grad, just starting at the Boston Architectural Center (BAC), hired for her typing skills. I asked her to sit with me while I reviewed a small set of drawings; she'd never seen a set of drawings before. I talked her through it; she took notes for me. Shortly thereafter, she left the firm and dropped out of the BAC. I'm still not sure if I did her a favor or not....
Richard Baxter, AIA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rbaxter

Post Number: 95
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 02:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Personally, I enjoy doing the things that some of you have passed on to your assistants. I welcome an occasional break from spec editing to make some PDFs, e-mail some requests to the consultants, or compile a set of documents. Delegating those responsibilities would only give me a few extra hours per project, at most.

I try to delegate some responsibilities back to the project architects. I want them to understand that specs go with the drawings and are an important part of the contract document set. I push the project architects to take care of distribution of the whole set of contact documents.
Wayne Yancey
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Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 248
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 02:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Richard,

I am with you and I will even ride bitch for a consultant.

Wayne
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 195
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 02:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ron,

Steven:

"spec writer" (singular)

"they retired" (plural)
"they were" (plural)
"their desk" (plural)

No, I revised it on the fly to remove gender and did not proofread.
Dale Hurttgam, NCARB, AIA,LEED AP, CSI
Senior Member
Username: dwhurttgam

Post Number: 44
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 03:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am at the opposite end of the spectrum from most of you per recent posts in this thread. Although I am relatively new to the world of spec writing, I operate more as a "relic" with respect to many of you. Like Lynn and Anne, I work with an Administrative Spec Assistant who is invaluable. She handles word processing, pdf's, special formating, working with consultant and in-house engineer spec sections, assembling, and many other tasks as requested. She has 20 years or more experience in this area - I have been directly involved with specs for about 10 years. It has generally been our company's policy to have the word procesors process the specs rather than the spec writers. She also proofs specs and I am sometimes amazed at items that she catches that go beyond "simple proofing". So...I still mark-up hard copies for her to process. Although I have the capability of editing electronically, I find that I can work much faster just marking up the masters, adding inserts, etc. in the "traditional way" and letting her be concerned with processing an formating. Only major drawback to this is that this process utilizes "more trees" to accomplish the work. Ironically, when it comes to memo's, reports, and other types of writing - I work much better writing and word processing myself. So...this is what works best and most efficiently for me currently....although based on other posts, I believe that I may experiment more with processing Sections myself.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 353
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 03:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have always edited my own specifications (going back to the late 1970s). I have usually found that I know more of the tricks and tweaks especially when it comes to handling multiple file documents. I have had too many instances where the admin asst was supposed to be a good word processing operator, but was a crack typist instead (there is a difference). When I have had to mark up specs for someone else to do, I have been much less efficient.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1098
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 03:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ron, It is now considered acceptable grammatically by many word mavens to use "they" and "their" as a non-gender-specific singular pronoun.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1099
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 03:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I too have access to an assistant for the same kinds of things others mention. But I do all my own editing and typing of technical content. One crucial thing this allows me to do is provide continual simultaneous updating of our office masters as I research products, hear of problems on-site, and see language needing improvement. These edits may be simple editor's notes to check this or that, short-lists of vetted products, or alternate versions of paragraphs. With a hard-copy approach, I don't see how that happens so smoothly.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 897
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 06:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

the issue is: if you do your own word processing, you are limited by the number of hours in a day. if you have help with the mechanics of production, then your limitations have more to do with how much work you can do, rather than how many hours there are. when I was working for multiple offices, I simply wasn't at my desk enough to do the production work, and I came to realize that the actual production was the least important part of what I did for the office. I don't always get the choice of having an assistant, but I am certainly more productive, and more executive in the office when that is the case.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 354
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Anne makes a good point about productivity. I was rarely given the opportunity to supervise production and when I was, the turnover made getting to the point of having a good system nearly impossible. I never knew when some rookie was going to be foisted off on me and then laid off just about the time we had reached a good level of productivity.

I have always thought that dictation was the most efficient way to go. It is paperless and lends itelf to a virtual relationship, but that it does take some skill to dictate properly. Those who dictate poorly will often create more drafts than some one who is used to the process.

Very early on (before word processing), I became pretty good at composing at the keyboard. Word processing became a tool to assist me to write more efficiently. If I could compose and then have someone polish and format, that would probably be optimal. If I could effeciently compose in dictation and have someone polish and format, that would probably be even better.

Bottom line is productivity which is related not only to efficiency (quantity/time) but also to quality. Different people will use various means to be productive in different settings. Organizations may believe that there is an optimal means to the most productive process, it is up to the individual to either adapt to this environment or identify what does and doesn't work and modify the procedures to increase productivity. (This doesn't mean adapting to procedures to fit an individual eccentricities.)
James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 56
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What is a "maven?" Merriam-Webster indicates that the word derives from the Yiddish for "one who is experienced or knowledgeable." The definition also points to "Freak: an ardent enthusiast."

One would think that an enthusiast would be enthusiastic about being correct. Absence of pronoun agreement is just wrong. I will continue to use "his" to mean persons of both sexes (yes, sex not gender is the appropriate word here) in a mixed group and "her" when talking or writing about a group understood to be made up of only females.

If everyONE wrote or spoke the way he/she/they(?) felt like writing or speaking it would not be long before we went from "their" to "there." Trust me. I HERE it often.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Uh oh! A strict-constructionist! I believe that language constantly evolves, right before our eyes. Many who study it agree. Some of the stuff I was taught as a youth was posited as if it was "always so," yet it often turns out that fifty years ago some crank wrote a book and invented a rule that didn't exist until then. When a need arises in a language, definitions of words do change, and I'll go with the flow!
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 921
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

James, I've seen (s)he written quite often in an effort to be inclusive. And that's fine, but I'm not sure how to speak that. I've also seen the masculine pronoun and the feminine pronoun used alternately in a paragraph. Again, that's OK, but I don't think it would work well in speaking.

As one of the sex who often gets overlooked in this type of thing, I'm usually more upset by those who refer to a person in the non-animate fashion...a person "that" is doing something instead of a person "who" is doing something.

Isn't language fun?
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1044
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For books [not Project Manuals or whatever we call them now] I've found that this works, at least to degree.

This book uses established, standard construction vocabulary, which is replete with words of masculine gender [manhole, journeyman, manpower, for example] This reflects a traditional use of the words. As far as practicable, the use of gender-specific words has been avoided throughout this book, or both genders have been used. Since the English language does not include neuter personal pronouns, where masculine pronouns are used, it is the author’s intention that they apply equally to women. Also, female readers are advised that many construction associations now address and facilitate the interests of women in this industry. In many cases, inquiries can be made to local chapters of national/regional organizations.

I agree with Lynn, when speaking you do have to "dance around" a little to be correct, proper, and inclusive.
Richard Baxter, AIA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rbaxter

Post Number: 96
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 04:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I researched this gender-neutrality issue recently when I was considering changing our CSI chapter bylaws to eliminate the use of the word “Chairman” in favor of “Chair”. I discovered that long ago, the word “man” was intended to be a gender neutral term for any human being. Hence, “mankind” merely meant “humankind”. A male was a “werman” and a female was “wivman”. “Wivman” evolved into “woman” and “werman” evolved into just “man”.

Thus, it is at least partly the uncontrollable evolution of language that has gotten us into this mess. We don’t need to stop referring to women as men. We need to start referring to males as wermen.

I know. Not gonna happen.
Lynn Javoroski CSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 922
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 05:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I love it! (I can also see the relationship to "werewolf" (man/wolf)) I am going to start using werman and wivman whenever I can...
Tim Werbstein, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: tim_werbstein

Post Number: 14
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 08:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Long a proponent of gender-neutral language, I was the first in my group of professionals to have a first edition of Val Dumond's "Elements of Nonsexist Usage." Yet, the practice needs finesse, and I was taken aback when a writer replaced "workmanship" with "workpersonship"!
James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 58
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 08:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

John, I accept that language evolves. The other day I almost used the pharse "hew to" but decided I would sound less anachronistic, and in fact more correct, if I used "conform to." By the way, I did not end the sentence with a preposition. Also, rules are meant to be bent - in fact doubled over on themselves - but that belongs more to poetry than prose and definitely has no place in technical writing.

Yes I am a strict constructionist and I make no apologies. Someone needs to maintain the standard. The junior high and senior high schools I attended were in a rural area that was rapidly becoming suburban at that time. The leadership was determined that the schools in that district would have a good reputation in this burgeoning area north of the city. To that end the students had rigorous instruction in grammar from the seventh grade on. I thougth I had been sufficiently tortured until I enrolled in a freshman honors composition class in college (the final circle of "Grammar Hell" as it turned out). I came by my compulsion honestly.

Though I am highly in favor of gender neutrality (more so in deed than in reference) it does seem to be at odds with proper grammar most of the time. Most English speaking people have enough common sense to realize that "him" and "his" often include "her" and "hers" and, like I wrote before, only a real jackass would address the 1963 class of Vassar College by saying,"would everyone take his seat." For those who are not sure Vassar did not become coeducational until 1969.

I also agree with Lynn that I would rather be a grammatically incorrect "who" than a "what" though "what" in that case is just as incorrect. The improper substitution of the words "that" and "which" are also a source of minor aggravation.

How does this recent digression relate to the subject of this thread? Perhaps Mr. Johnson should add this question to the survey: "Who believes he or she (not they) was (not were) adequately prepared for the role of specification writer with regard to the technical aspects of writing?"
Tony Wolf, AIA, CCS, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: tony_wolf

Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2007


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 09:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The goal is clear communication. I began college as an English major, but I long ago replaced my concern for perfect grammar with a satisfactory answer to the question: Does the reader know what I mean?

The first rule of communication is to consider the audience. If I was writing theses for academics, I'd certainly use the prescribed style guide. But I'm writing for normal people ;-) whose language is that of the various media. As long as I effectively communicate the intent to the contractors, attorneys, judges and jurors, etc., I move on.

I've also discovered that "most English speaking people have enough common sense to realize that if I use" 'her' and 'hers' that I am including 'him' and 'his' as well. So I often use the former as well as the latter, as long as clarity is not sacrificed. I've also used 's/he' upon occasion, with no problem.

[I hope I haven't made too many grammatical faux pas in this post.]
James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 59
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 09:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Why has no one pointed out the error in my last post: "from the seventh grade on."?

Tony is right. Communication of all kinds needs to be clear and understandable whether it is grammatically correct or not but I continue to believe that one should try to maintain a standard in all things. If the mechanics of my communication are sloppy one might think the content is as well.
Tony Wolf, AIA, CCS, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: tony_wolf

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2007


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Jim: maybe because everyone knew what you meant?
;-}
Don Harris CSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA
Senior Member
Username: don_harris

Post Number: 228
Registered: 03-2003


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

http://www.yiddishdictionaryonline.com/
meyven
expert

The "freak" part of the definition is one that I would consider fits into John Bunzick's evolving language paradigm. It is certainly a reasonable definition in this era. However, the strict-constructionist meaning(and by the way the historically correct usage)is "expert".
Ronald L. Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 792
Registered: 03-2003


Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My apologies for taking this thread on a different path...it wasn't my intent.

Although gender neutrality is considered acceptable among "word mavens," it is a higher probability that most people with a smidgen of grammar education will probably still say, "Huh?", when a plural pronoun is used with a singular subject. But, in this world of text messaging, tweets, etc., the English language is obviously a free-for-all.
Ron Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP
www.specsandcodes.com
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1102
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"Expert" is the meaning I intended when I used the word "maven."
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 314
Registered: 10-2002


Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 01:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In regard to the word processing topic, I experimented with the voice recognition software Naturally Speaking shortly after it came out [mid-1980's ?]. I found it to have a very large learning curve where the program had to "learn" the nuances of one’s voice. It worked reasonably well of inputting lots of bulk text but was very cumbersome when final editing [multiple tweaks typical of most spec editing].
Konrad Hee
Senior Member
Username: khee

Post Number: 6
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 01:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 41
Higher education: Yes
Major: Architecture & Construction Management
Age when first prepared specs: 37
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: Colleague
Age at first formal specification education: N/A
Education provider: N/A
Age at CCS: 41
Age as full-time specifier: 37
Melisa Sharpe (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009 - 11:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 36
Higher education: Yes
Major: Bachelor of Architecture
Age when first prepared specs: 24
Have a mentor: Not specifically related to specification writing.
Mentor Relationship:
Age at first formal specification education: none
Education provider:
Age at CCS: not yet
Age as full-time specifier: 34
Bob Bailey
New member
Username: bailey

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 03:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Current age: 49
Higher education: YesMajor?
Age when first prepared specs: 25
Have a mentor: Yes
Mentor Relationship: supervisor
Age at first formal education: 25
Education provider: local CSI chapter
Age at CCS: 26
Age as full-time specifier: 29
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 42
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 08:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI here are results of the survey at both discussion forums (4Specs & CSI) after 69 responses:

Age:
High: 73
Low: 32
Average: 55
Median: 56

Age at writing first specs:
High: 51
Low: 17
Average: 32
Median: 30

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 41
Median: 35

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 57
Low: 27
Average: 45
Median: 38

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 60
Low: 20
Average: 46
Median: 38

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 55 years old with an architectural education (70%), wrote their first specs at about 32 years old, had a mentor (72%) in their office (84%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (76%) at about age 41, achieved CCS certification at about age 45, and became a full-time specifier at about age 46.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (13%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.

The latest additions to the survey have slightly increased the age at first formal specification education, at achieving CCS, and at becoming a full-time specifier.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 182
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 12:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI here are update of results of the survey at both discussion forums (4Specs & CSI) after 82 responses:

Age:
High: 76
Low: 32
Average: 55
Median: 56

Age at writing first specs:
High: 56
Low: 17
Average: 32
Median: 30

Age at first formal specification education:
High: 56
Low: 20
Average: 33
Median: 34

Age at achieving CCS:
High: 57
Low: 26
Average: 39
Median: 40

Age at becomming full-time specifier:
High: 62
Low: 20
Average: 39
Median: 40

So based on this limited survey, today's "average specifier" would be 55 years old with an architectural education (70%), wrote their first specs at about 32 years old, had a mentor (72%) in their office (82%), got their first formal specification education from CSI (65%) at about age 33, achieved CCS certification at about age 39, and became a full-time specifier at about age 39.

There are a few that started in their early 20's, but not many (10%). This would seem to indicate that lack of young specifiers in today's world is not a new story and that most people do not become specifiers until they have been around the "professional block" a few times and discovered where their talents lie and what part of the profession they are most interested in.

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