Professional Development – Truss Design:  A Trick My Day Job Never Taught Me That GDI Did – Part 16

Being new to Truss Design, I’ve had a large amount of information thrown at me that I’m expected to learn. I came in with zero truss design experience. My brother turned me on to this opportunity and I was given a chance to learn a new career. At first it was alarmingly overwhelming. There was so much documentation to read and things to learn.

Person under crumpled pile of papers with hand holding a help sign

Person under crumpled pile of papers with hand holding a help sign

I had a general knowledge of construction and even less knowledge about trusses. You could say I had a very steep learning curve. Everyone I talked told me to ask questions and try not to rush it, that it’s a lot of information. During the first couple weeks of Professional Development (PD), I think I learned more about creating better habits and how to communicate better than I learned about designing trusses. The following lists are some of those things that I learned in my first few weeks of PD that I believe are important:

  • Organizing Information
  • Time Management
  • Attention to Detail
  • Communication

Organization

This was my first lesson I learned. I had always been kind of lacking in organization, but during my time working on my PD with GDI, I’m realizing how important being organized is. Even if you have your “own” way of organizing information in ways that are less than obvious, it’s best to make it obvious. It saves time and aggravation and the less time you spend looking for information on the plans, the more time you’re working on designs.

Time Management/Restraint

Being able to work from home is a great thing, but it comes with one major issue: work schedule. I’ve found out that it is not hard to get involved in your work so much so that the hours fly by and next thing you know it’s 3 A.M. and you’re still going strong, but on the other hand, it’s also easy to get distracted.

While working on PD, I’ve learned that it’s best to create a work schedule of sorts, instead of just working until I feel I’ve done enough or finished. One of the things that has worked for me is to set an alarm at 10 P.M. and when that alarm goes off, I stop working for the night. Also, I write on sticky notes a weekly schedule of what I need to finish by each day and I attach it to my computer. None of my previous jobs I’ve had to create, not only my own work hours but my own work schedule.

Attention to Detail

When I was still in college, those three words were thrown at me more then I’d care to admit to. Now I’m starting to see that I should have taken the advice more seriously. It is so easy to open up job plans and miss information just because you only see the big picture instead of all the small things that make that big picture come together.

I am now seeing how truly important it is to really take the time to learn how to be attentive to the smaller details. Although I still do make mistakes, I’m starting taking the time to really go through and seek out all the information, even if it seems unimportant and irrelevant.

Communication

“Ask Questions” is something that is constantly being told to me. That’s a vice of mine, I’m always wanting to try to figure things out for myself. Sometimes my stubbornness (ego) gets in the way of me asking for help, which, since I’ve been in PD, I’ve learned that I need to put my stubbornness behind me and just ask questions when I need help. I’m still working on this. I am improving and, out of everything, this is probably the most important thing of all. Even some of the most knowledgeable people I know are always asking questions.

I hope these 4 simple things can help you in your daily grind. They sure have helped me!

You can read Part 1 in this series here.

You can read Part 2 in this series here.

You can read Part 3 in this series here.

You can read Part 4 in this series here.

You can read Part 5 in this series here.

You can read Part 6 in this series here.

You can read Part 7 in this series here.

You can read Part 8 in this series here.

You can read Part 9 in this series here.

You can read Part 10 in this series here.

You can read Part 11 in this series here.

You can read Part 12 in this series here.

You can read Part 13 in this series here.

You can read Part 14 in this series here.

You can read Part 15 in this series here.

Stay tuned for Part 17.

Dominic Laporte – Design Trainee

Gould Design, Inc.