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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1022
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 07:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Cincinnati, OH

You never know what’s going to happen when you kick up a little dust, and say something! A few weeks ago we did REMINISCENCES in this series and Lord, has the dust flown!! Great!

The e-mails back, the deeply held thoughts, the very good ideas, and the continuing discussion on 4specs is very gratifying-- although I'm not sure that all was what I was looking for; I was just sort of looking back at things done that are not about us today. Responses varied, as they should with developments, but still how did we get here? Then too, a deep bow and sincere apology to those esteemed folks “under 50” who have come to the light early, and do write specs.

I don’t mean to put this in a personal manner, but several thing s come through to me, and are maybe worth discussion:
1. Young budding professionals simply do not know about specs and what they are!
2. Young budding professionals simply do not know and understand contract documents!
3. Young budding professionals are woefully short on construction knowledge-- materials, systems, methods, detailing, putting building together, etc.!
4. Young budding professionals are overly-trained and too immersed in computers and other electronic gadgetry!
5. Young budding professionals simply do not understand that they MUST communicate in the field and how and where that communication takes place!
6. Young budding professionals simply do not understand or know how to write effectively and especially in a technical context!
7. Young budding professionals are subjected to only sporadic and inadequate mentoring!

My list—maybe you have more. But this is intended to summarize where we all, budding and experienced professionals, are. Look, to fish first you need a pond; then it's best to stock it or know there are fish in it; then you must have your gear; then you have to know how to use your gear; then you need to know to adjust for conditions [sort of communication between you and the fish]; it just might be good to have an experienced fisherperson with you! See-- the same scenario even in a simpler task!!!

We need to reach out and show what specs are and what they do. We need to be active in producing understanding of contract documents. We, somehow, have to get construction knowledge in a wider venue. We need to place electronic tools in their correct and productive context and not as answer boxes. We need to communicate to foster communications. We need to mentor not only uno-uno, but on a grander scale with the prestige, expertise and programs of our organizations made available in their correct context to further refine, focus and hone developing skills.

We need a carrot before the horse! And a plan with a steady hand to lead the horse along the prescribed path!
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 884
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 06:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

One of the reasons I went into architecture (ie, specs) is that its one of the few professions where a lot of experience is a benefit, not a hindrance. that's sometimes a hard sell when you see stockbrokers making 6 figure bonuses at the age of 27. in this business, having 200 jobs behind you gives you better judgement than having 5 jobs behind you. it almost doesn't matter what type of jobs they are -- its the process that is valuable and the process proceeds with each project.

very good designers need very good construction administrators. I don't think there is very good design out there these days, either.

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