It’s been a few weeks since Autodesk University and Jonathan Marsh wrote his piece Construction Technologists and Where to Find Them. Since then, some of my own thoughts have been rattling around in my head and left me wanting to add on to what Jonathan so eloquently said. Much of what he said is what I’ve been noodling about when I think of how to find and define a construction technologist (a.k.a. ConTechs, a.k.a. Construction Dorks). He said it so well that I really just want to highlight a point or two and offer some additional thoughts.
The primary point or theme I want to hit on is the concept that Prometheus (or a typical Construction Dork) is passionate about making things better for everyone. I know this seems grandiose, but the majority of the Dorks I’ve met really are thinking along these lines when we talk tech and when we look to apply it to our work. We are intensely passionate about it, as Jonathan points out. When I’m sitting around and talking with these peers, we are open, honest, and transparent, and traditional lines between competitors or roles in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner chain blur. We look around our projects, inside and outside of our own teams, and freely share where we think things might be done easier or more efficiently.
I keep going back to hearing Ricardo Khan talk about coopetition (defined by the Googles as “collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results”), a concept that made it’s way into my presentation at AU’s Connect & Construct event. I feel like many of us Dorks think along these lines. The overwhelming majority of us have no qualms sharing our tips, tricks, theories, and best practices with anyone who asks…or even those who don’t ask. Again, we want to make our entire industry better. That even includes our competition. If they get better, we get better.
Like I said, it sounds grandiose, but industry transformations are like that. They are big, but we also know that, for the most part, we can only change what we can touch. Each and every one of us only has a certain sphere of influence, but this group of passionate people is coming together, pushing and growing to shove our beloved construction industry headlong into its digital transformation.