The Salt Lake City Bluebeam User Group is transforming their local scene
“The old mentality is that people hold information to themselves and their knowledge is power, but that’s not power, really. You’re just superficially making it more advantageous for you,” explains Jacobsen VDC Director and Salt Lake City BUG co-founder Mark Decker. As an organizer of the region’s Bluebeam User Group, alongside fellow organizer, CCI Project Manager Ian Goduti, the group’s work is meant to empower the area’s AEC professionals with workflow knowledge, process ideas, and information sharing to better the industry.
Bluebeam Blog: How did you hear about the Bluebeam User Groups and what made you want to start the SLCBUG?
Decker: I heard about it directly from Bluebeam. They were announcing these user groups and wanted to know if anyone was interested. We felt like it was perfect for Salt Lake City to get involved in the BUG community.
Bluebeam Blog: Had you two known each other prior to the SLCBUG or really interacted much?
Decker: I met Ian because we have a local VDC group in which Jacobsen and CCI were engaged, but we didn’t know how much they were using Bluebeam until our BUG meetings.
Goduti: I think we both knew that our companies were doing some things within Bluebeam. There was a lot of opportunity there. I think we were just two different worlds trying to work through some items, so we kind of connected.
Bluebeam Blog: How have relationships grown in the Salt Lake City scene as a result of SLCBUG?
Decker: I think we’ve got a pretty good mix. We’ve got a small group of architects, not as big as other BUGs, I hear. We’re definitely heavy with general contractors, and we also have a good number of subcontractors. It’s a nice core group.
Bluebeam Blog: What value do you see in working with other BUGs across the world?
Decker: Everybody has these pockets of really great information, so the more that we can bring them together or communicate, the better. We can all teach each other. For instance, we have reached out and had New Orleans BUG do a Periscope presentation, where they presented live from New Orleans to Salt Lake City. It also helps build relationships. Folks like DJ Phipps (BayAreaBUG), Myles Morton (PhxBUG), Luke Brown (PdxBUG); we are all pretty good buddies outside of Bluebeam, so we like to talk shop together. The good thing about the Bluebeam User Groups is that we’re getting different points of view. You’re not going to see the same thing in Salt Lake that you’d maybe see in Portland.
Goduti: Agreed, anything you do; you’re just seeing how people are doing it. Not only do you pick up new tricks, but it reminds you of things. I went back after a dashboard presentation with three things, two of which were implemented at CCI. It’s great to be doing some networking with other BUGs and sharing information and presentations.
“Not only do you want to learn some things yourself, you want to learn what’s happening in the next department over in your company. You want to learn what is happening with other companies you’re working with. Or with the clients working for you. Also, as an owner, if you’re wondering ‘How can I get all this great info and have these same contractors or cohorts bring it together?’ Here it is─ the Bluebeam User Group.” – SLC Bug co-founder Mark Decker, VDC Director, Jacobsen
Bluebeam Blog: How do you go about figuring out what each meeting is going to be about and what content to present?
Bluebeam Blog: If you each had a goal for SLCBUG, ideally what would it be?
Decker: The access to information should not even be a problem in our industry. I think that the more that we, as a BUG or as a community, or as an industry work together, we can make that a non-issue. That to me is the biggest thing that we can do as a group.
Goduti: I was at a design build meeting for a project, and I see [the GC Project Manager] pull his computer out, and he’s immediately on Bluebeam. It made me think, “Here’s a newer company that’s here, that’s obviously heard about or somehow was using Bluebeam.” Let’s find people like him, or owners or other potential users within our companies or peer groups that really want to start connecting information sharing and Bluebeam workflows and concepts. Just wait until we can show them through the BUG how we can help them.
Bluebeam Blog: What’s the most valuable thing about being a BUG member?
Goduti: It gives you a nice, third-party group that allows you to kind of step back from your role, your department, your office, or trade and remind yourself what you can do and see what other people are doing. It gives you that different vantage point. I want to learn as much as I can, and the meetings do a good job at keeping the energy up as we’re learning.
Decker: I’d say one of the best things is that you’re meeting people in the industry that have a passion for Bluebeam. In that, you find resources. Now, if I go to work with a client, I’ve got that resource and it’s great to be able to go and know a couple people from a different company. I think you see people use the same tools that you’ve used every day, but in a different way and It sparks some things that can really change how you work. I love it.