John McNally: MEP software is nothing to fear
My late father knew how computers were going to play an important role in my life. In 1987, I got to play and work on a Commodore 64. A couple years later he got me one of the first laptops, which had to weigh 50 pounds, to work on my word processing and enhance my computer skills.
Each summer I spent with my dad in Boston there was new technology to play around with. We graduated to desktops and every year he would let me purchase the latest computer game I desired. Naturally, I gravitated toward sports games such as “Earl Weaver Baseball” and “Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3.”
I found myself trying to better understand how computers worked. When home internet access became more commonplace in the mid 1990s, I spent plenty of time wandering the early years of the internet. Remember the search engine WebCrawler? I certainly do.
I would come home to Milwaukee after my summers with dad and have to show my mom, in agonizing minutiae, how to operate my Acer Aspire desktop. It was as if I was talking to a brick wall. I couldn’t believe how much of a Luddite she was.
This preamble isn’t me trying to sell you on how great I am with computers. In fact, it’s just the opposite because around 2000 when I got to college, computers passed me by. I had my more tech-savvy friends show me how to use Napster. Setting up my first home network with my three college roommates? That was done by a friend for a case of Miller Lite.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t keep up with the latest trends in technology. I admit to becoming less interested in computers over the years other than using them for writing, designing pages or whatever work function I need them to accomplish. I knew I did not have the next billion-dollar idea in my head so computers had reached a plateau in my life.
This happens in the MEP industry as well. A confluence of facts starting with a workforce set in its ways, the overwhelming growth of software enhancements and a lack of training, leads to MEP engineers failing to best utilize tools created to alleviate problems.
But, there’s still time to make sure you are up to speed and using these tools to make your workday more streamlined and productive. Check out our cover story on software trends that starts on page 50. Plenty of manufacturers and software developers are committing major resources to provide specifying engineers with the tools, especially within Revit, they desire for project design.
There’s no reason why we should allow our understanding of computers to plateau or recess because they still are going to take over so much of our daily lives. Here at pme, Facebook Live is playing a critical part of our trade-show coverage. We’re still leveraging these tools to best reach you, our readers, and to further grow our brand’s reach.
These MEP software tools are there for you to leverage. If you topple your trepidations about them, they’ll grow your business, too.
Let’s grow together.