Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Revit Add-ons Blog Turns One Year Old!

One year ago today I made my first post on this blog.

I had a couple of different reasons for creating the Revit Add-ons blog. One was that I wanted to see how easy or difficult it would be to create a blog that I would be satisfied with in terms of layout and appearance (it took three hours one evening, though I've made myriad tweaks since then, so it was quite fast and easy). The second was to get my name out there in the (very active) Revit community.

Some background: I'm a longtime user of Bentley Systems software, having started with MicroStation in 1991. I worked for a Bentley reseller, CorDax, from 1997 to 2005, providing training and consulting services to customers up and down the US west coast. You might say that I was a big fish in a small pond (though I never would).

Like many loyal MicroStation users, I despise AutoCAD with a passion, and avoid it as much as possible (don't get me wrong, ya gotta like this Revit thing).  My distaste for AutoCAD has led to me being a rather unknown commodity in the Autodesk community.

My personal journey with Revit (other than research with an eye towards "resisting the tide") began when the architecture firm that I worked for as Design Technology Manager from 2007-2011, LMN, began using Revit in mid-2010 on an isolated project because they needed to coordinate closely with another firm that was using Revit. From then on the writing was on the wall. LMN finally made the decision to fully transition from Bentley BIM to Revit in March 2011. Thankfully, I was able to get in some good experience before I was laid off seven months later (right around bonus time; funny how that works - but I'm not bitter).

The irony is that my resistance to Revit probably helped LMN due to the scope and complexity of the projects they work on. Revit 2011 was, IMHO, the first version that handled work sharing with big teams on large, complex projects really well (longtime Revit evangelists will likely disagree, as is to be expected).

Earlier this year I joined the Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers as BIM/CAD Manager. Although like LMN the Corps has been a longtime Bentley shop, my relatively limited Revit experience was equally as important as my extensive Bentley experience in landing this gig because, in our district at least, we're also transitioning away from Bentley BIM to Revit for most of our building projects (though we'll be dual platform based on client requirements and other factors). Again, ironic.

Speaking of irony, when I started this blog I was working for a private, progressive firm and I could've used many of the add-ins that I've posted about on this blog. In contrast, working for the US federal government, it is almost impossible to get new software authorized, ESPECIALLY the free stuff. (Boy, that word "irony" keeps springing up in this post doesn't it?)

I started this blog with the intention of it being an unbiased collection of commercial and free add-ins, free of preference or prejudice.  Later on I briefly considered doing product reviews, especially comparative ones such as for family browsers. I'm glad that I didn't go that route though because the federal government stresses vendor neutrality. While this blog site is in no way connected to my employer, it is still good to hold true to my employer's ideals.

As shown in the following chart, page views of the site are following a very healthy growth curve:

I'm happy to report that this trend is continuing; it's only halfway through April and the page views have already eclipsed the March total. It helps when others get the word out, and I'm especially thankful in that respect to Luke Johnson's What Revit Wants blog.

I'll keep this blog going, and hopefully before too long I'll be posting here about my own Revit add-ins. Having done a lot of development for Bentley (there's a free download for MicroStation and Bentley BIM on my Grimoire Tech website), Revit development is a major area of interest for me. As is often the case, I just have to find the time.

I hope that you've found the Revit Add-ons blog to be a useful resource during the past year and will continue to do so in the future. Cheers!



  1. Congratulations to you on your first anniversary! You certainly do a great job of finding interesting plug-ins and bringing them to the forefront.

    It's a pleasure to include Revit Add-ons in our weekly Autodesk round-up!

    - KFD -