Forum Replies Created
October 18, 2014 at 5:50 am #152398
I am currently using a Mac book pro and have a mix bag of programs since I transitioned from a dell tower. I am using f/x cad with land f/x with parallels on windows 7. Land f/x is great for rendered plans for client presentation as well as full construction plans. I haven’t used Vectorworks so I’m no help there. Do note that regardless of the computers os autocad crashes and will always crash no matter how many versions they make (aka job security)!
For graphics I am using adobe cs6 Mac version without any issues
This is my first time with a Mac and I love it. System start up time is extremely fast and parallels works well on the Mac.
For hand graphics go with a nice good sized Wacom tablet. The bigger the better is my preference.
If budget is an issue, Mac will be more expensive. Either way get a good graphics card and processor. Hard drive size around 500gb will work. Get a 2tb portable hard drive especially if you’re going mobile. Also a good carvcargerbwith ac adapter comes in handy if he’s in the field a lot (home depot sells good ones).
Good luck!July 11, 2014 at 5:57 am #168367
Laith ifyour stillinterested in opinions I’ve used On Screen Takeoff for very accurate quantities takeoffs only. It has a worksheet tab but it is not exportable. This program is also favored by contractors here in Phoenix (I learned the program while working at ValleyCrest). I’m going to give Land FX a try.January 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm #158860
For watering trees in the southwest region we are using drip irrigation with deep root watering tubes (see Rain Bird RWS tubes). For shrubs in planting areas and in parking islands, it is typically point source drip irrigation as well (1 gallon per hour emission rate). For turf the norm is spray and rotor irrigation though a new item to the market for turf irrigation is subsurface in line drip tubing. It hasn’t caught on yet but with watering restrictions it will be a popular option.February 21, 2011 at 1:15 am #164891
Now there’s a way to turn a negative into a positive! In order to survive you have to be creative and I thing the Dora mats are a seller to kids from 3 to 5 years old. My daughter would love one but you have to include Boots or it’s a deal breaker! If they are already in production, market it as Ivan the Operative with a small characature of Putin and the Rubles will be pouring in!February 2, 2011 at 5:03 am #165281
Definitely do it in sketch up. Easy program to learn and mixing it with photoshop creates a nice composition.January 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm #165378
I like Jason’s advice. I’ve had people come into our office and meet me in person and hand me their resume along with a hard copy small portfolio/ sampler. Depending on time, we’ll chat for 10-15 minutes and then I’ll head back to my office and go through their work. If they have a web site address, I’ll surf that too.
It’s best to have a hard copy and web site. The hard copy ensures that employers can review your work and you aren’t cconstrained by downed websites, browser issues or filters that do not allow viewing. At our company, we have several filters in place that restrict viweing of videos, etc.December 28, 2010 at 5:47 am #166121
10 to 12 hour days can be the norm if the firm is busy. I oversaw a seven person LA department and my team worked 40 to 45 hours a week. I myself worked 45-50 hours depending on how much admin stuff piled up (reviewing billings, time cards, meetings with staff and the boss, etc.) Every now and then a couple of us would work till 10-11 pm getting ready for the next days presentations or if we recieved a last minute base file update and the project was due in the morning. As everyone was salary, we paid out our bonuses based on overtime worked. Wen it was crunch time we always picked up dinner and drinks and if everything got done that night those that stayed usually came in the next day around 9-10am versus our standard 7am. We believed in creating a great environment where people enjoyed coming to work.
Right now, our LA department is down to just two of us and I do a lot of work at home since budgets are extremly tight (or non-existent!). To get through these times we’ve joined up with a corporate firm which watches the numbers very closely and once you go over budget you must work on it on your own time.
With all that said, if you are entering the job market now and you are successful in landing a job, you may have to work some O.T. but it’ll depend on what’s coming up. Just be glad to get hired! Once the economy picks up (please be soon!) we will return to a steady 40-45 hours a week of “billable time” and will hire people once we start hitting 55 hours a week of pure billable time. I think you might find that most firms now will be slow to hire as they don’t want to take on employees unless they know for sure that they can keep them. Laying people off is not pleasant and makes for real crappy day.
If you are still in school, I’m recommending students to stay in for a bit longer, if possible, to hold out the storm. Get another degree that compliments Landscape Architecture that will enhance your skills and will put you above the rest. Graphic Arts, a minor in biology or ecology…something that can offer other avenues of work.
Ask other LA’s what they think could help someone entering this field at this time.December 28, 2010 at 5:21 am #166205
Juan I have seen a lot of job postings on the ASLA job links and other sites as well. Is the market getting stronger in that area in regards to landscape architecure? I’m working with a civil firm that does a lot of power and energy and that team dabbles a bit in Califirnia but nothing has materialized for landscape architecture services yet. I’m curious to see what the CA firms are doing???December 23, 2010 at 5:48 am #166211
Seems like this is getting to a be a lively thread!
To anyone who cares, the job market here in Arizona is very slow, but not yet dead. Here’s my take on the following markets, from my point of view!
Home Builders – We’ve been able to hold onto our existing home builder clients and continue to provide planning and landscape work, albiet very slowly. We’ve been able to capture some contracts with new builder clients though we’ve been working on these relationships for at least two years. Most builders that we work with are looking for infill property that can get a higher density yield and is easy to re-zone. 2011 outlook: More of the same. A slow and steady roller-coaster of small jobs that come in the door but nothing of the 1,000 plus acres yet.
New Commercial design – If you’re not in with a developer or an established architect…good luck! Most architects that I’ve talked to are doing a lot of TI work or free site planning in order to get a foot in the door. It’s been slow for them, and therefore slow for us. 2011 outlook: We may get a handfull if we’re lucky. We have to get more competitive on fees and basically count for a negative profit. We look at it as thirty $1,000 contracts versus one $30,000 contract per month.
Existing Commercial (revamp/ remodel) – I know of a couple of firms that are working on some remodeling jobs for commercial developers who maintain there own properties. This area of work is very tight and there aren’t many jobs in this area, especially if you’re not in with the developers from the start. 2011 outlook: Most of these jobs will take a couple of years to construct as rents are still down. Probably nothing coming our way in this arena.
Multi-family….what’s that? I haven’t done a multi-family job in three years. 2011 outlook: ??
Residential: We’ve been able to land one job this year. Most jobs go to design/build/maintenance companies. 2011 outlook: We’ll finish up the one job we’re working on, and hope for one more.
Public Sector: If you’re not in it, forget it! We spent a ton of cash when the economy was giong south learning this as it got rediculous sitting in a room with 100 plus other firms for one small 5 acre park. 2011 outlook: saving money and not bothering with this one!
Land Planning: It’s been stop and go as most land developers took a break from entitling dirt and selling it off to builders. We did a couple of small land planning jobs but not a bunch. We have a couple forcasted for next year but will be relying on LA design services more so than planning. 2011 outlook: Maintain marketing and try to get a couple more.
International: We’ve tried but haven’t landed anything yet. 2011 outlook: Still trying!
Overall, 2011 looks the same as this year. Our main goal is to keep the company going and keep people employed, granted we went from 13 to 3. We’re always looking for positive turn around but we know that the forcast is always “in a couple more years”. New careers paths have been tossed around but most of us have been in this field too long to start over.
Good luck to all of my friends that are still looking and if you’re still in school, stay in school and get that other degree. You can always pay off the student loan some other time!January 12, 2010 at 5:29 am #171719
Grammar is good as long as spell check can find it!
Humor is subjective as it’s sure to tick someone off!
Ideas are easy to come by in this day and age of debate and sarcasm
Action depends on if the piece sturs someone up enough to do something… or justs sends them back to the couch to watch Dr. Phil.
I’ll follow your directions and will send you an email!January 11, 2010 at 6:06 am #171704
Mark, in all I don’t see that there will be a tremindous change or shift in the types of services we provide or to whom they are offered to, here in the valley. In my opinion, I think the change will be in which firms perform certain types of work. What I mean by that is we will see an increase in the amount of small design firms due to the increase in the amount of newly unemployed licensed landscape architects. Small 1-2 person firms have emerged and will now be competing with the firms that are surviving this mess. They will capture some of the market share as their fees will be substantially lower than other firms due to their low overhead and that their current needs are that of pure self-sustainability. Unfortunately it puts a stress on the once larger but now mid or small-sized firms to capture those projects, which in turms may or may not (depending on that firms overall goal and balance sheet) create further layoffs within the now mid to small-sized firm. It’s a large domino effect really. Overall, firms will be looking to capture any type of work available as they try to make ends meet. I’ve talked to other principals and they’ve told me that they are now working on projects that they wouldn’t have considered three yerars ago. It’s rough overall. Firms that have been in the valley for 25 years are haning on by their fingernails hoping that their clients may have a project coming up.
I haven’t seen an increase or shift in any particular market sector. I don’t think that public projects have increased due to any stimulus money but there may be a slow down due to loss of income that municipalities have receaved due to development fees and other means of revenue. From my understanding, there have been layoffs in many municipalites and some Capital Improvement Projects have been pushed back 1-2 years.
Project wise, firms that have tradidtionally captured public work are still capturing those projects, while firms that are solely based on private sector clients are still feeling the slow down. Private development is still going forward, but very slowly.
One thing that can be guaranteed is that it’s not giong to be the same as it was in terms of “baptism by fire” and “learning on the fly”. I came to the Phoenix valley in 1999 and it was “hit the floor running” from then until 2007. Now that the construction industry has stalled here in Phoenix, it will take some time for it to pick back up. As we are seeing, the commercial design side is very slow to stagnant but the residential side is starting to look a bit better as finished lots are being purchased and builders are buying property or purchasing land that have approved platted and engineered (P&E) plans and are ready for construction.
I don’t know if I’m preaching to the choir as I don’t know your background. But if there is a change in our profession, I think the change will be that we will all have to have our “A game” on no matter what. Hiring standards will be a lot tougher, candidates will be screened more thoroughly and employers will be very particular on who they hire. On the client side, I think that clients will be looking for solid firms with a great track record and that their project fees are trimmed of any overages and padding. The word “Change order” or “Additioanl Service” could turn an existing client into an ex-client. Always communicate with your client and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Communication is key.
I hope all is giong well.January 11, 2010 at 5:20 am #171722
Alec I’d be interested. Do you have any examples of articles so that I can get an idea of what you are looking for? If so, email me at email@example.comJanuary 7, 2010 at 5:42 am #174457
Good question! I haven’t even heard from the board if my application has been processed so i can sit for the state section.
The only study material I gathered was from their recommended list. It was a list of books and web site articles that has filled a 3″ 3 ring binder and has put me to sleep many a night! I purchased around 4 books on plants, ecosystems, dunes and coastal plantings but that’s about it.
If you don’t have the list, let me know and I think I can dig it up from their site or I may have saved a copy. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like.
Good luck!January 7, 2010 at 5:38 am #171799
To my knowledge things here in Phoenix haven’t picked up enough to bring on more staff. Most places are barely squeaking by and are choosing to bring on any new employees on a contract basis only. I know of many offices that are down to the principals/ directors and even they wonder how things will turn out. Projects are coming in but not as fast as we’d like. Firms that are national or international have had a better ride through the storm but even they’ve unfortunately had to reduce staff.
If going back to school to get a master’s degree of PHD is an option, I’d go for it. It never hurts and it does open up more opportunities, especially in the teaching sector.
The word on the street here is maybe the second quarter of this year is when things will pick up. Let’s hope that’s true!January 7, 2010 at 5:30 am #171808
Zach our student chapter at UNLV was and still is very involved with the local Southern Nevada ASLA Chapter. Many of us established great relationships with our future coleagues and bosses and I believe that it helped in finding a job with the right firm. The chapter meetings continue to be a great place to meet and discuss projects and what’s going on outside of the office.
Unfortunately I haven’t been too involved with the local Phoenix chapter as I should have been and this year I’m making it a point to get more involved. Not only to get to know more LA’s in the valley but to see where we are heading as a group and to see how we can help in shaping our own destiny in Arizona and elsewhere as well as to see where our services could be used outside of the typical design realm that we’ve gotten comfortable in.
I’m hoping that with the ASLA convention coming to Phoenix in 2012, the convention may spawn a new interest in attendence and help bring more of us together.