I shook my head and peeled my sore body off the mat. "Good," the instructor said, "Now try it again but with more force." My partner grabbed my arm, twisted his hips, and threw me to the mat again.
Fortunately, I remembered to tuck in my chin so my head didn't slam against the mat. "Alright, a little better that time," the instructor commented. "Do it another ten times, then take a break. You both need to master this throw for your upcoming belt test." Just as I started to groan, thinking about how sore I was going to be tomorrow, my partner grabbed my wrist again and tossed me over his hip.
I was a couple of months into judo training at the local YMCA. My oldest son started taking judo. I thought it looked like fun, so I joined the class too. One of the things about martial arts is that there's a clear path to mastery. You start as a white belt, and as you master the skills, you progress up the ranks. Eventually, after much sweat and effort, you're considered a master and get your black belt.
In judo, the path to becoming a black belt is apparent. There are five sets of five throws. At each belt, you need to demonstrate your mastery of those throws. The advanced throws build on the basic throws, so there's a logical progression.
My dojo had a poster listing the skills you needed to know at each step. Follow the path, listen to your instructors, and, most importantly, put in the work, and you'll become a master. It might take years, but you'll get there.
The Path to Revit Mastery
Unfortunately, things aren't so clear when you're out working in the profession. The skills are not always clearly defined, and we only sometimes get opportunities to practice them.
With that in mind, I wanted to create a path to mastering one aspect of the profession - using Revit software. Sure, it's a small part, but it is essential to producing our work.
The Revit mastery path is a collection of 150+ skills grouped into five skill levels: newbie, beginner, intermediate, advanced, and power user. The skills are further grouped within each skill level into categories corresponding to Revit's categories.
A Newbie user needs to gain practical experience with Revit. They're the equivalent of a white belt in martial arts and are working toward their yellow belt. These users are developing the basic skills required to contribute to a Revit project. Once a user has completed basic Revit training and demonstrated mastery of these skills, they can move on to the skills in the next category.
A Beginner user has been through initial training and completed one Revit project. They are comfortable with the principles of Revit and can model most elements.
An Intermediate user has completed 2 to 4 Revit projects. They are comfortable editing and creating new system types. Intermediate users can also create schedules and demonstrate how to work collaboratively in a work-shared environment.
An Advanced user has completed 4+ projects in Revit. Advanced users can create advanced system families like stairs and compound walls. They can also create their own Revit families. Advanced users have also used Dynamo to automate simple tasks in Revit.
5. Power User
A power user is an advanced user of Revit who demonstrates competence with the more powerful features of the software, including family creation and automation using Dynamo or macros. A power user typically acts as the BIM lead on their projects. Power Users also act as trainers, helping less experienced users develop their skills.
6. BIM Manager
I didn't include BIM Manager in this version of the Revit Mastery Path, though I will likely add specific skills for this role. In essence, a BIM Manager has all the skills of a Power User but operates across all projects in an office. If a Power User is a black belt, the BIM Manager runs the dojo.
So what's missing?
Note that the mastery path is in no way complete. I missed some skills, and the skill-level groupings could use fine-tuning. Also, I'm an architect, so my skills correspond to Revit in general and Revit Architecture in particular. I don't consider myself qualified to add skills for Revit MEP or Revit Structure. If you think I'm totally off the mark or missed something completely, click here to send me a message. I will update the lists accordingly.
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