We were thrilled to have hosted our dear friends Bill and Karen from Australia for a week. It's fun playing tourist here in St. Louis, especially in the beautiful springtime.
While at Grant's Farm, we did get caught in a pretty heinous downpour. But, rather than run for the meager shelter with the rest of the human cattle, we stayed standing below the umbrellas on the dining tables. Offspring Alpha, having been placed standing on the table by Bill, stayed pretty dry with the exception of his feet. Alas, we adults were cursed with soaked backsides. But, at least we had some breathing room. I always love feeding the baby goats and watching the other animals on the farm (some animals from each continent, except Antarctica).
Their tour included the Arch, the floods, the St. Louis Zoo, the Science Center, Antonio Winery and Schlafly bottleworks as well as some of our favorite restaurants. We also spent some much-needed relaxation time at home with them. Gosh, what big kids we all are!
Mike and I got to see Offspring Beta for the first time via Ultrasound two weeks ago. MAN has that technology gotten even more impressive in the five years since I first saw Alpha in his! Oh, and of course, this means TWO BOYS! A girl would have been lovely, too, but, I have so much fun with our son that I'm really looking forward to another.
I recently started a new course in my Bachelor's studies at SLU (they're compressed classes, one four-hour course per week for nine weeks). It's technically a Biology course, but, with more of a medical slant, since most of my classmates are in the medical field. It's about how cultural and ethnic differences can affect the care medical workers give to patients and how patients communicate with their caregivers. Really thought-provoking. I'm in the midst of doing a group project with a couple of sharp women from the group. It's a challenging class, but, I really like it.
Mike has also been insanely busy with his work with the AUGI Board, and just returned yesterday from his tri-annual face-to-face meeting with the other volunteering BoDs. It's obviously good to have him back home helping to keep things running smoothly.
Oh, and thanks to those friends who saw my interview in the June issues of CADalyst Magazine about online networking in the design world and gave me positive feedback about it. Obviously it's an interesting subject that is changing the way that we work (especially how we find work).
Also, the Salary Survey is ending right now, so I'll be delving into that starting tomorrow and will be immersed in it for the next couple of months.
And, St. Louis is getting another CAD Camp this year (September 23rd), so keep an eye out to see when classes are posted and registration opens up (don't forget, in year's past, you could get the cost of your CAD Camp discounted off of your Autodesk University registration fee).
If you're interested in all of the little things going on in the CAD world, check out all of the announcements, press releases, favorite resources, etc that I post for the benefit of the Gateway AUG in their discussion group.
I'm also busy tackling some other things in my personal life, so it's really never a dull moment with us.
That's okay, evidently, that's the way that I like it.
I thought it might be fun to take a peek back at the participation numbers over the years:
Those are some pretty impressive numbers there, but I'm sure that, with your help, we can do even better here in 2008.
Remember that the results will be available in the September/October 2008 issue of AUGIWorld Magazine and additional results will be added soon after to the Survey channel of the AUGI site.
Which means that your peers need YOU to log in and report your views. We call this a survey because that's precisely what we're doing. We're collecting information from the members to compile and share back with the members. What a great idea! But, unfortunately, only about 10% of our membership takes part each year, which limits the amount of meaningful data that I've got to work with. Remember, every little bit helps. Speak for your industry!
Normally we do this survey in the fall and publish the results in the first issue of the following year. While each company may be slightly different, many will hand out raises and bonuses at the end of the year. So, in order that you can have as many resources as possible at your disposal before then, we're running this survey in June, so that it can be published in the fall.
Of course, if you have any concerns about participating in this anonymous survey or have questions about any of it, be sure to check out the updated FAQ. And the 'F' in FAQ, REALLY means FREQUENTLY. I receive emails about this survey all year round, and if folks would take the time to read the Frequently Asked Questions document, they wouldn't need to waste their time contacting me.
I did get more constructive suggestions than ever last year and, as usual, I have made changes based on the well thought out requests from our members who are interested in helping me improve what we're offering.
Many "Thanks" to those folks who truly appreciate all of my volunteer time on this and tell me about how our survey has benefited you. That's what AUGI is all about, users helping users.
Check out the results from the 2007 Survey which include: the Salary Survey article and charts from AUGIWorld Magazine, the FAQ document (which includes a listing of all questions asked on the survey, frequently asked questions and other salary sites), a Podcast (mp3 containing survey observations and tips on asking for a raise), a spreadsheet containing various comparisons and rankings between each discipline/industry as well as individual downloads providing more information on each industry/field by themselves.
Looks like Autodesk has posted a new site for the AIA Convention resources they've put together. Podcasts and webcasts on BIM and Sustainable Design. Sounds pretty interesting. See below for a snippet of what you can find:
Check out the “Voices of Architecture Podcast Library” where you’ll find a series of podcast interviews including:
Bob Berkebile, BNIM – Bob discuss the topic of Architecture and Public Identity and why it is a hot topic in the industry. Bob also describes one of the most interesting projects his firm is currently working on today, what he sees as a key trend in global architecture and the importance of BIM knowledge as a key factor when evaluating employee prospects.
Mark Dietrick, Burt Hill – Mark comments about the biggest new trends in the architecture industry, and what Burt Hill looks for in terms of BIM knowledge when searching for new employees.
John Moebes, Director of Construction for Crate & Barrel - Mark discusses how the Revit platform helps his company improve the design and build process, what Revit platform solutions they use, how Crate & Barrel has adopted integrated project management, and what he sees as the biggest new trend in architecture today.
Interviews with Jay Bhatt, senior VP of Autodesk AEC Solutions and Phil Bernstein, VP building industry & strategy relations for Autodesk posted at this site, along with a host of interviews with Autodesk BIM and Revit experts.