AUGI Survey 2014

I've been so busy recently that I've completely spaced on blogging about the annual survey! (Though I'm sure you've relished the silence.)

Luckily, I HAVE remembered to repeatedly harass the membership with some emailed reminders. ;)

At any rate, I'm giving you one last chance to increase the accuracy and data for your industry (yeah, I'm looking at you FM folks, there's more than 85 of you out there...).


I'm closing this survey as soon as I get home from work tomorrow, roughly 5pm central time.

Here are some charts and resources I put together for those emails I mentioned:

Thank you, once again, to everyone who has participated in the Annual AUGI Survey! Members everywhere love seeing this annual report on the state of our industries, and you are the ones who make this happen year after year. Thank you.

To those who have not participated yet, this is one final reminder that you can chime in with some data to represent your industry. Voice your company's experiences with business expansion or contraction, or your own gauge of job security and satisfaction. Which markets does your company serve and how has education affected wages?

And, of course, the (anonymous) salary component. Reporting on your wages gives all users a fair chance to gauge the value of specialties and experience (and all employers a reminder to evaluate the salaries they attach to job titles).

In the last email, I shared advice on requesting a raise, but, don't just take it from me, Forbes and other publications have plenty of advice on when and how to ask for a pay (or benefits) increase:
How To Ask For A Raise -- And Get It
How to Ask for a Raise
If you are more interested in 'Finding a Design Job' in the first place, how about listening to some advice from CAD Manager Mark Kiker on networking, personal branding and job searching, in this six-part podcast series? (mp3 format)

In closing, here is a look back over past survey results, at the average salary for Designers (our most popular job title) from 2003-2013:

We have the expected questions about pay and benefits, but, there is also a chance to share information on what markets your company serves or what specialty services they offer. Do you use the cloud? Why or why not? Have you increased or decreased outsourcing, opened or closed offices, hired or fired staff this year?

So that this year's review can provide measurable and meaningful data, it is important that all AUGI members volunteer a couple of minutes of their time and a little bit of information (which is not in any way connected to your user account and will only be reported in broad groups), so that everyone can get an idea of the current state of their industry.

Even if you've been recently laid off, please take the time to participate (with your most recent job details), and indicate your change in employment because we'd like to know that, too.

If you have any questions, please first refer to the FAQ.

Watch for the results in the September Issue of AUGIWorld.

I wanted to say Thank You! to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to the AUGI Annual Survey, and to remind those who have not, that they still have a couple more weeks to take part. Our responses are looking pretty good, but, we could still use your help to increase the accuracy of the results.



The survey closes on August 6th, so be sure to chime in before then. Results will appear in the September issue of AUGIWorld Magazine.


I hope you caught my HotNews column this month, where the results of our current homepage poll, on annual survey participation, are discussed. Oh, you didn’t? Check it out here:http://www.augi.com/library/salary-survey-participation In addition to discussing the length and anonymity of the survey, there is also a chart of industry participation thus far. Is your discipline underrepresented? Please share the survey link with your coworkers and other colleagues and urge them to help flesh out the dataset, which will increase the accuracy of the results.


If you are logged in, you can download results of past surveys here:



Here are some highlights from the 2013 Annual Survey:


And, finally, after you have taken this year’s survey, you might want to get ready to request a raise from your employer, so here are some tips to help you prepare:http://www.augi.com/library/poll-what-data-have-you-gathered-for-your-end-of-year-review


Thank you, once again, to the members of our community, for always being so willing to share with one another, for the benefit of all.


Archibus Task Highlighting in the Process Navigator

I've started rolling out new processes in our Lease module, after upgrading to Archibus v21.2. I have kept the newer items separated from the familiar, in an effort not to confuse or cold bath my users. However, there is one form which is replacing some antiquated (read: effective but unsupported) custom work and it needs more urgent attention. So, once again my friend, James Castruccio, to the rescue with seasoned advice.
He suggested that I slip the new form in with the other most-used ones, but, subtly highlighted, so that the team (who are all VERY busy right now with active projects) might be nudged to check it out more often and suggest any necessary changes.

So, he asks me, do you know HTML?
Sure, took a class on it in high school and have used it over the years in my work with www.augi.com . Turns out, you can very easily apply basic formatting to our tasks (see my post here for a rundown of how Archibus WebCentral is organized: http://mistressofthedorkness.blogspot.com/2014/03/archibus-processes-users-and-roles.html ) to highlight a new or important item.

As the System Administrator, I drill down into Archibus System Administration > System Integrator > Process Dictionary > View Task by Process and Activity. 
From there, I select the necessary Application, then my Process, so I can see the associated Tasks. 
Press Edit to get the above dialog, then, in the Task* field, I just bracket my Task title with the applicable html tags.
In this case: 
<font color="yellow">Lease Details Form</font>

So their new form shows up in the Process Navigator thusly:

This has worked well, I've gotten more direct feedback in the past two days than I had in the prior three weeks of written and verbal requests to check out the new stuff.

You could change a few things, Font style, height, etc. This type of formatting can also be done through the desktop client. 
I'll be checking out the Help file for more ideas when I have some time.


Action Required: Job Title Poll

This month's www.augi.com homepage poll is asking for your official job title.
Not the many roles you take on, but, what HR actually titles you, since that is what pay is usually based upon.
Over the past 12 or so years, I have been looking at every industry survey or article mentioning job names and industries I could find. I've also requested data from conference organizers... they are helpful, but, always apologize because so few attendees fill out the entire registration form. 

So, I thought, what better way to establish job titles, than by asking the users directly.

Now is your chance to influence the AUGI Annual Survey! 
Pop over to AUGI.com and take two seconds to share your title. Even better? Ask your colleagues to take part, too.
The poll will be there for another two weeks, but, please go ahead and just do it now while you're thinking about it.

I'll also be summarizing the findings in next month's issue of HotNews.

Thus far, here are the top 10 for the replies:


Identifying your Archibus view file

I gave some tips recently on editing Archibus views (.axvw), but, let's back up a step... how do you find the source file for the exact task you want to edit?

In WebCentral, left-clicking on a task obviously opens up the page for use, as on any webpage... but, if you right-click, you can find the details of the specific view file. 

If you like, you can copy/paste the Task File name to aide in your search.

In this particular case (noted above tabs), the AXVW is actually comprised of multiple tasks, so, open it up in a program like Notepad++ and locate the lines pointing to the part you need.


Autocad 2015 from the Dork Side

I was actually asked to blog and tweet on behalf of both myself and AUGI during yesterday's blogger event in San Francisco, so, you can find my notes on the 2015 release over on BLAUGI:

As you know, I don't work on the design side, I work post-construction and often don't use many new features "in production" because I am not actually producing new drawings often. So, I tend to really appreciate the little tools that make consuming and reusing data easier for me and my users. This release has a few of those.

See the above BLAUGI post for a long list, but, here are my personal favorite top 3:
  • Help's Find command button tool
  • Command preview
  • Lasso selection

There are others in that vein as well, check out the list to see which might be your favorites.
A 'bigger' feature would be the continuing refinement of the point cloud support in AutoCAD is something that excites me as an owner. Reality capture (of existing conditions) is a process that has become drastically more affordable and accessible to a much wider audience in the past few years, very exciting.

AutoCAD 2015 wasn't the only thing we discussed, I am planning another blog post later this week to fill you in on the rest of the stuff we went over.


Notepad++ formatting tip

I've used the Notepad++ application to edit before, usually HTML. But, now, I'm using it to edit Archibus views.

When chatting with my friend, James Castruccio, he mentioned I should be able to tweak a setting in Notepad++ that would automatically apply the XML formatting to the AXVW files when I opened them, rather than manually selecting it from the Language menu every time.

I poked around a little and couldn't see an obvious setting, so, I did what any self-respecting cad geek would do, and posted a question on the AUGI Forums. 



Richard Lawrence provided the solution I used.


Under the Settings menu, click the Style Configurator

In the Language list, scroll down to select XML (or whatever applicable format you need) from the list. The Default Ext textbox will populate, then you can add what you would like to add in the User Ext field (in my case, AXVW).

This will save a few clicks and picks for me per day.

Although, on occasion, I'll still manually toggle, such as when accessing SQL components.


Archibus View Field Size Tip

One of our lease specialists asked me to add a comments field to our Taxes and Insurance form (aka task) in Archibus, which would allow space for notes on some of the more obscure situations they run across. In addition to wanting to display all of the text at once, the notes field will serve as a visual break between the current and historic data being displayed.



From the Archibus Help File:

colspan – When the field is presented in a form containing multiple columns of label – value pairs, this attribute allows a field to cover more than one column.

Valid Values: a ‘small’ number between one (the default) and the number of columns used as the panel attribute.

Optional: yes

Since this panel is formatted to have two columns, I set the colspan control to 2.

Editing the .axvw file, I modify the entry for the applicable field.

" <field name="cmts_cam" table="operating_expense" colspan="2" /> "

Also note that each field is paired up with another (either another data field or a placeholder), so I had to remember to remove the second line in this pair, so that the pairs below it in the form were not shifted.



The first change basically did the job, but, I wanted a bit more control over the appearance of the textbox, so I decided to use the style control and input the size in pixels. It did take a couple of tries to get it to line up just how I wanted, but, once you’ve got those numbers handy, you’re gravy for the next time you edit that form, or another using the same panel with the same attributes.

(I am sure there are apps out there that will allow you to measure screen pixels to find the number faster, if I run across one, I will post about it.)


" <field name="cmts_cam" table="operating_expense" colspan="2" style="height:40px; width:743px;"/> "


Remember, you still need to keep the colspan set to 2, otherwise, the style width will push the whole first column wider.


And with that final tweak, the view receives the users’ seal of approval, which means my first of many .axvw edits is completed!