Coding is Coming (to the AEC Industry)

12 Jun 2018, Posted by MME in BIM Services, News

Let’s do some quick math. Minecraft was released in 2009, has over 40 million players per month, and has an average player age of 15 years old. Assuming the average players were 15 in 2009, today these “Minecraftineers” are roughly 22 years old.

Prepare yourself Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) community, things are about to change.

The AEC community is no stranger to change. After all, we have seen this before in the transition from paper to CAD drawing, and then again from 2D to 3D drawing. With each transition, senior level employees were forced to ‘walk the plank’ and either get on board, or get left behind.

Well, it’s about to happen again and this time it will be using something affecting every industry in today’s market.


Fifty-one percent of all new jobs within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector are computing related. Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages within the United States. These jobs are in every industry, in every state, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

So right now you are having one of two trains of thought. Either a) “there is no way this ever going to reach into the AEC industry; there is no correlation between coding and building” or b) “coding is already here, haven’t you seen Dynamo?”

If you haven’t heard of it, Dynamo is Autodesk’s solution to creating a visual code. This visual code automates many processes that can be tedious to the everyday BIM user (i.e. creating 500 sheets for one project).

Alright, back to the Minecraftineers. This generation is about to enter the workforce and they are going to change it. They will be young, energetic and motivated (okay, maybe not all of them). And they will have one common mindset: that coding helps you ‘work lazy’. Don’t believe me? Read Michael Kilkelly’s 5 Reasons Architects Should Learn to Code.

While many are disgusted by the idea of ‘working lazy’, it is actually quite brilliant and ironically, more efficient. And what business doesn’t strive to be more efficient?

“Working lazy is really about working with maximum efficiency and minimum effort.”

Michael Kilkelly, ArchSmarter

I am not saying that in the summer of 2017 everyone will need to learn how to code or look for a new job, however; Revit was released in April of 2000 and many firms still have not adopted the idea of BIM. And now, coding is coming. If not with the first round of Minecraftineers, then the generations to follow will certainly begin changing the AEC landscape. Just look at what Minecraftineers are doing today:

  • Minecraft Coding Summer Camps
  • FastCompany’s Article: Forget Blueprints – For the Young Architects of Tomorrow, It’s All About “Minecraft”
  • Microsoft’s Initiative for Minecraft in Education
  • Even AEC tools are being built like Minecraft
  • If you have been thinking thought process b) this whole time, you are correct, coding is already here. Dynamo is a brilliant tool that few people know how to utilize well. What is even more amazing is how Dynamo can be used in unexpected ways.

    Darick Brokaw (@DarickBrokaw) tweeted how his 3rd grade daughter, Alexis, was able to use Dynamo to better understand and complete her homework.

    Imagine the teacher’s face when she learned her student used coding to help her with homework.

    We know this for sure: technology will continue to grow and senior level employees will continue to ‘walk the plank’, while businesses attempt to keep up with the changing times.

    As for me, today I am just going to be more efficient and ‘work lazy’.

    Educated and trained as an architect, Jacob D’Albora throughout his career has embraced and sought to maximize the use of Building Information Management (BIM). Jacob is an integral part of the team of McVeigh & Mangum Engineering (MME), a full service, multi-office engineering firm.

    Together Jacob and MME serve the AEC community with a passion to not only produce designs and drawings of superior quality in the BIM platform, but to also equip facilities professionals to more efficiently and effectively manage facilities once constructed. This is accomplished thru the application of BIM-FM (facility management) strategy. Jacob has established himself as an industry leader in the BIM-FM arena and thru the use of BIM-FM has provided the resources and training to facilities personnel necessary to facilitate the efficient execution of building maintenance duties and record keeping.

    Editor’s Note: Jacob initially released this article in 2016.