Power Users Preventing Needed Changes in Chief


KevinWaldron
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Power users are not preventing any needed changes in Chief.  They really have no more influence than any of our other customers.

 

The people that have the most influence are the ones that have figured out how to report bugs and feature requests properly and then do so regularly.  This is the best way to ensure that the things that you think are important will have the highest chance of getting addressed sooner rather than later. 

 

The people that also volunteer their valuable time to participate in the alpha and beta tests to make sure any problems that they find are fixed early have an added edge over everyone else.  You do not need to be a power user to participate in either one, you just need to be willing to work with us.

 

The people who discuss problems on this forum (especially the ones that just want to complain) and then never bother to report them to us are probably not going to have much influence at all.

 

A number of our power users have already figured this out, but not all of them.

 

We don't really need to have an architect on staff to figure out what to do.  As long as we have customers that are telling us what they want, then we will try to work on those things, regardless of their background.  The more people that ask for something the more likely it will move up on our priority list.  It's really pretty simple.

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Dermot,

I have searched for "how to lodge feature requests for Chief Architect" as noted below and can not find

an easy identifiable LINK or way to lodge a request.

 

Could you please post a LINK or simple way of lodging requests.

 

Regards,

 

 

SEARCH FOR THE FOLLOWING - COULD NOT FIND A LINK
 
SEARCH TEXT: how to lodge feature requests for Chief Architect
 
advance search in FORUMS: No results found for 'how lodge feature requests for chief architect'.
 
search in HELP FILES: No results found for 'how lodge feature requests for chief architect'.
 
SEARCHED:https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/    RESULT:could not find any LINK.
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Dermot,

I have searched for "how to lodge feature requests for Chief Architect" as noted below and can not find

an easy identifiable LINK or way to lodge a request.

 

Could you please post a LINK or simple way of lodging requests.

 

Regards,

 

 

SEARCH FOR THE FOLLOWING - COULD NOT FIND A LINK
 
SEARCH TEXT: how to lodge feature requests for Chief Architect
 
advance search in FORUMS: No results found for 'how lodge feature requests for chief architect'.
 
search in HELP FILES: No results found for 'how lodge feature requests for chief architect'.
 
SEARCHED:https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/    RESULT:could not find any LINK.

 

 

For starters, read this...

https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?/topic/4095-guidelines-for-posting-on-the-suggestions-forum/

 

And try visiting here...

https://support.chiefarchitect.com/home

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We don't really need to have an architect on staff to figure out what to do.  As long as we have customers that are telling us what they want, then we will try to work on those things, regardless of their background.  The more people that ask for something the more likely it will move up on our priority list.  It's really pretty simple.

 

I don't intend to be critical, Dermot, but this attitude probably comes across to most architects in your marketing, as well as in your feature set. And It's sort of a self-perpetuating issue. You aren't going to get many architects requesting features until you have the architects, and those architects won't show up until you have the features that architects really need. So what you hear primarily are the feature requests of non-architects. That may be your primary market, though, and you don't need to change unless you want to up your game with architects. From your statement, I'm guessing you may not.

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We don't really need to have an architect on staff to figure out what to do.  As long as we have customers that are telling us what they want, then we will try to work on those things, regardless of their background.  The more people that ask for something the more likely it will move up on our priority list.  It's really pretty simple.

 

Considering CA "customer" base includes DIY and other non-professionals id think there would be a better way to assess good additions to the application other than "proper procedure" in how a customer submits those ideas/requests.  I realize your point to us is learn the proper method of submittal of those ideas, but id again stress having someone like an architect on staff could provide you with solid suggestions on the future of this app.

 

I think the quality of the idea, and the experience/training/schooling/ability of the one making it,  should superseded "technical procedure".

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I don't intend to be critical, Dermot, but this attitude probably comes across to most architects in your marketing, as well as in your feature set. And It's sort of a self-perpetuating issue. You aren't going to get many architects requesting features until you have the architects, and those architects won't show up until you have the features that architects really need. So what you hear primarily are the feature requests of non-architects. That may be your primary market, though, and you don't need to change unless you want to up your game with architects. From your statement, I'm guessing you may not.

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Getting an Architect "on-board" may not help improve Chief Architect. (Chief)

 

What is need is someone within Chief to have the realization that design software is in a time of exponential change.

.

I am  referring to the very steep end of the exponential curve that is almost vertical, where change is very dramatic as anticipated over the next five years.

(ref to article: The Artificial Intelligence Revolution: Part 1 - Wait But Why - Updated Feb 27th, 2016, waitbutwhy.com)

 

My guess is that Chief Architect's current market is mainly DIY, single practitioner's, small firms of under three staff.

These firms include design and build, building designers, interior designers, kitchen and bath designers and architects undertaking mainly residential work.

 

Their main geographic market is North America with the Pacific Coast being a dominate region.

From ChiefTalk postings, Facebook etc I get the impression that most are over 40 years plus old and have limited to medium levels of computer experience.

 

If the above is close to reality, and only Chief will know, they need to make some quick changes to attract the next wave of future clients.

These "new Chief users" will be computer natives having never known a time without a computer, i-phone, and now virtual reality and smart apps.

Artificial intelligence will allow design applications that we thought were decades away.  (A.I. I refer to is really smart programming that uses clever algorithms) 

 

So Chief has to do a SWOT evaluation (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and see their position clearly.

Then Chief needs people that can "think with a clarity few possess and see a path ahead". (ref: The Art of War by Sun Tzu)

These are the people to guide the development of Chief for the next five years. They may not have a title, or even trade experience.

 

As stated by myself and others in ChiefTalk adding bells and whistles although interesting will not attract the new breed of clients or Chief users

Rearranging the "the chairs on the Titanic" will not save the ship once the iceberg has been struck. That iceberg is AI and it is visible and approaching quickly.

 

For most of the current ChiefTalk participants our professional and or trade time is coming to end, say within 10 to 15 years.

We can survive using work around solutions and a mix of other programs to make up the short fall.

 

If Chief Architect continues on its current path it's market share will likely decline and it will slip behind the new kids on the block.

 

I hope Chief can find a fresh mind and new energy that will guide them to continuing success.

It would be "fun" to use a smart program that answered the core issues of design and documentation

while embracing all that AI has and will have to offer.
 
Here's to that person or persons that can guide Chief Architect to be a better software program
that the company's founder, Jack Simpson a physicist intended. (Physics PhD from Stanford University)
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Just to clarify...

 

I have almost zero input as to who Chief Architect hires outside of the development team, how Chief Architect markets it's products, or any other business decisions.  I trust the people making these decisions to do what's best for the company, it's employees, and it's customers.

 

I have very limited input over the features that we work on, probably not nearly as much as most of you assume.  I am only one member on a team of people that determine the prioritized list of features we work on for each new version. I give my input just like everyone else but ultimately this is a business decision.

 

In my opinion, there is no need for us to have an architect on staff (although we have had one in the past).  This is not because I don't think architects have valuable input.  It's because we pretty much already know what architects want.  We have lots of customers who are architects who have already given us this information.  We already use this information to help us determine our priorities.  We didn't improve the plan view display of stairs and railings in X8 to help builders, remodelers, K&B designers, DIY's, or any of our other customers.  We put this in specifically to address a long standing and important need for architects.  What we did was largely influenced by the architects who were on our X7 beta team (thanks to all those that participated, including you Richard).  We will continue to solicit more information from our current customers when we need to.

 

We currently have over 6000 open feature requests in our database.  Every year this number grows instead of shrinks.  We don't need to hire anyone to tell us what to work on.  I would much rather see us hire more software engineers so that we could do more.

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Those early and established tend to protect turf and not "tip the boat"... Even the long-term power users will tell you Chief can be a pain even for them... Imagine what it is for a new user, once they get into high end residential...? Is it too much to ask to move towards ease of use - i.e. consistency?? For 3d shapes to require you to remember which views in which this or that was created is an alien concept. It took me a while to figure this out because I ASSUMED it to BE view independent. If you can go from A to B in a straight line why in the world go through D first..? At some point you start to question your own IQ level.

 

So I started contracting out my Chief work out due to the difficulty in forecasting project completion time.

 

Ultimately Chief needs more resources to make greater enhancement every version.. Therefore a larger user base (Architects included) helps everyone here. So the question is "How do you attract more Users?"....

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Getting an Architect "on-board" may not help improve Chief Architect. (Chief)

 

What is need is someone within Chief to have the realization that design software is in a time of exponential change.

.

I am  referring to the very steep end of the exponential curve that is almost vertical, where change is very dramatic as anticipated over the next five years.

(ref to article: The Artificial Intelligence Revolution: Part 1 - Wait But Why - Updated Feb 27th, 2016, waitbutwhy.com)

 

My guess is that Chief Architect's current market is mainly DIY, single practitioner's, small firms of under three staff.

These firms include design and build, building designers, interior designers, kitchen and bath designers and architects undertaking mainly residential work.

 

Their main geographic market is North America with the Pacific Coast being a dominate region.

From ChiefTalk postings, Facebook etc I get the impression that most are over 40 years plus old and have limited to medium levels of computer experience.

 

If the above is close to reality, and only Chief will know, they need to make some quick changes to attract the next wave of future clients.

These "new Chief users" will be computer natives having never known a time without a computer, i-phone, and now virtual reality and smart apps.

Artificial intelligence will allow design applications that we thought were decades away.  (A.I. I refer to is really smart programming that uses clever algorithms) 

 

So Chief has to do a SWOT evaluation (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and see their position clearly.

Then Chief needs people that can "think with a clarity few possess and see a path ahead". (ref: The Art of War by Sun Tzu)

These are the people to guide the development of Chief for the next five years. They may not have a title, or even trade experience.

 

As stated by myself and others in ChiefTalk adding belles and whistles although interesting will not attract the new breed of clients or Chief users

Rearranging the "the chairs on the Titantic" will not save the ship once the iceberg has been struck. That iceberg is AI and it is visible and approaching quickly.

 

For most of the current ChiefTalk participants our professional and or trade time is coming to end, say within 10 to 15 years.

We can survive using work around solutions and a mix of other programs to make up the short fall.

 

If Chief Architect continues on its current path it's market share will likely decline and it will slip behind the new kids on the block.

 

I hope Chief can find a fresh mind and new energy that will guide them to continuing success.

It would be "fun" to use a smart program that answered the core issues of design and documentation

while embracing all that AI has and will have to offer.
 
Here's to that person or persons that can guide Chief Architect to be a better software program
that the company's founder, Jack Simpson a physicist intended. (Physics PhD from Stanford University)

 

Facer_03 - Sorry don't have a name. I'm certain your post will invite considerable comment. There's no doubt that there is a lot of advancements coming to the forefront and in such a rapidly changing (dynamic) market it has always been a major challenge for established businesses to predict, prepare and respond within the most opportunistic window of opportunity. One of the greatest difficulties is sifting through all of the hype with the intention of identifying opportunities that are realistic and achievable within a businesses available or attainable resources. Yes, there is a significant amount of talk about AI and 3D printing technology and yes these will come to fruition. The challenge is to identify specifically where they are most likely to be adopted and their rate of adoption. This of course will also be highly dependent upon the technologies capability at a given time and the cost of implementation in order to derive an attractive cost benefit.

 

One thing for sure is that the Construction/Building industry will likely be one of the most challenging of industries. From a Global perspective just about every structure is unique in style, materials used in it's construction, the degree of embodied technology, cost and required service life & conditions. Add to this the fact that existing structures far exceed the number of new structures and that much of this new technology may not be particularly well suited to this massive existing stock.

 

Just touching the tip of the iceberg.

 

Graham

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While all this talk goes on, what I want to know is "Any hints on X9". I starting to get very crazy wondering. Please, oh, and I'm not having any problems with Chief. What some people call workarounds, I call knowing how the program works. I know there are some things that need a little TLC and I'm sure Chief will fix it on their schedule, so I don't worry about it. Just bring on X9, I have never been disappointed yet.

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This reminds me of a good analogy... I am an avid car guy... Sports cars, and particularly Porsche.. When they started SUV development the outcry from the 911 core was deafening.. "They are diluting the brand".. "Dr. Ferry Porsche is spinning in his grave".. "What's next, trucks"??  Well time has passed and because of those SUVs the sports cars are better than ever due to SUV profits..

 

Generally new ideas are feared because of worry it will risk current productivity... Johnny has posted bits of his work and EVERYONE compliments him.. the feared architect. 

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Actually, Chief has a "whole bunch" of architects on staff via Chief Talk and many more that don't participate on the forum but still use the program.  Perhaps many of those communicate directly with CA via TS unbeknown to us who use the forum.  It would be interesting to see a statistical breakdown of users of CA Premier and see how many architects are on board and using CA for their business. 

 

Here's an interesting article on residences designed by architects: 

 

http://buildingadvisor.com/your-team/architects/ 

 

If this information is reasonably accurate, then can we really expect CA to want/need an architect on board to make the program better?  I agree with Larry, an experienced builder may be more valuable.  Chief used to have an experienced former builder on their staff but he has retired (Mont Stevenson).  I am not sure if they presently have someone else on staff with a construction (hands on) background ... but it wouldn't surprise me if they don't.  Given all that CA presently does, I find it hard to believe a bunch of computer dudes came up with all that functionality without have someone on board who knew a little something about construction.  Chief probably has some super savvy construction and design contacts they rely on from time to time.  It would be nice if maybe Greg or Dermot or Scott just told us one way or another about where the expertise comes from .... but that has never been something CA has ever said much about so I don't be surprised if they keep us guessing.  [by attending CA Users' Meetings, all these questions we are having would likely be addressed directly by the company leadership if one prefers to go that route - I have found Greg and the rest of the crew to be quite open about the direction CA is going in ones I have attended.  Same goes for the breakfast they host at the IBS].

 

Many users don't know the history of the development or what is now called Chief Architect.  The company's name use to be ART (Advanced Relational Technology, Inc.) if you didn't know.  Here's a little piece from an older ChiefTalk forum thread about Chief's infancy:

 

The Beginning
Source: Dermott Dempsey ~ Started working for Chief Architect, Inc (ART, Inc.) in 1998

"Chief Architect Inc. was originally called Advanced Relational Technology Inc. because it started out as a database software company. Jack Simpson the owner and founder of the company used to joke that the only reason he started writting home design software is because Oracle basically put him out of business. He started writing Chief while he was looking for a job and if he would have found one, the company probably wouldn't exist.

Actually, there was a lot more to it then that. He was in the process of designing and building a house in California at the time and he saw the need for an easy to use home design program. He was also trying to teach himself C++ and Windows because it was just around that time that both were becoming popular in the PC world. Through the right combination of vision, hard work, and a little bit of luck, Chief Architect was born. Chief Archtitect eventually moved to Idaho because Jack grew up here and still had family in the area.

I started working for Chief Architect back in 1998. At the time, the development team consisted of Jack, myself, and one other programer and we worked out of Jack's attic. It was a very nice attic and we had a great view of the lake, but it was still just an attic. The rest of the company was in a small office across town. This led to all kinds of communication problems.

It was a very different company back then. Everything was done very ad-lib and the company seemed more like a start-up then a mature business. The company was in the process of putting out version 6 and I remember having a hard time believing that they had actually done this 5 times before. The bug database was a stack of papers and notes on Jack's desk. If someone wanted to raise the priority of a bug, they would come by Jack's desk and find the bug report and move it to the top of the pile because he never managed to get to the ones at the bottom."

 

Maybe CA's name should be changed back to the original as many newer users of the program seem to be getting the wrong impression .... that CA is a program designed for professional architects.  The more I think about it, I am surprised the lawyers even let Chief market a program called CA without everyone in the organization being a certified, licensed, insured, whatever else architect.  No, I don't think we need to get into a discussion about the lawyer stuff .... that would really get emotional.

 

I am reminded of former clients I had that gave me some pretty specific drawings as to how they wanted their new home designed and built.  When I put it on paper (in a Chief plan) and showed them how in many areas things didn't fit well and needed some modification, they got a little dismayed and eventually thought they were better off hiring an architect who they were sure was going to get them "what they wanted" .... and boy, did they get that.  A friend in another line of work who was dealing with this same couple got to see the new plans and design from the architect.  I eventually got to see the architects plans and his design didn't even remotely resemble what I was given by the clients.  My friend quoted the gal as telling him that "I didn't even know this is what I wanted" when talking about the architect's new design ... and apparently that design wasn't quite what was wanted after all as the couple has never built their retirement home based upon the architects plans. 

 

It was my fault that I lost that job ... I should have done a better job of working with these clients and presenting them with other ideas etc.  What was about a $2,500.00 job for me became a $30,000 + job for the architect and not sure what to say about what the customers got out of all of that.  They're still living in a little apartment in the corner of a pole barn they initially built on their property which has a lovely view of the Snake River canyon south of Lewiston, ID.  This job causes me to get a little emotional when discussions about architects come up .... left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth .... but life goes on.

 

I am not here to bash architects, I think many of them do wonderful work.  We have many excellent ones participating on ChiefTalk who are very knowledgeable and have been instrumental in some of the improvements I have seen in the program.  Similarly, we have some great designers on ChiefTalk who also have had a hand in providing ideas to improve CA.  Just as there are many bad contractors out there, so to are there many not so good architects - it's really the nature of the beast ... a people problem thing.  FLW wasn't an architect (per the lawyers) and many are fond of his work and contributions to architecture .... and many are not.  He did have a brain and was able to use it.  I think that is the customers that CA is after, regardless of their training, ... people who can take their product and make it work for their businesses or for their personal use.  I think that's what Jack Simpson had in mind way back when CA was conceived in his mind.

 

I don't think that it is the intent of the CA ownership and staff to compete head-to-head with all the other CAD design programs out there by matching all their various tool sets and functionality.  That's not to say that they won't make improvements in the program based on things other CAD companies are doing or coming up with, providing such changes are a fit for way Chief is programmed to operate.  I don't think CA is at a place where they are pressed to keep up with the other CAD companies  ... but, competition (so to speak) being what it is, that may happen some day.  There's been some great discussion here but I think that it's pretty much gone full circle now and I personally think it is time to move on come up with some other great topics for discussion.  If we want improvements in CA, we know we should post them on the Suggestion Forum or email them in to Tech Support ... be specific in what we want and give examples where possible.

 

I will leave you with what Chief says about their products on the website and from this you should be able to get a good idea as to who they are marketing their products to:

 

Chief Architect Software is a leading developer and publisher of 3D Architectural home design software for builders, designers, architects and home DIY enthusiasts. For professionals, we publish the Chief Architect® software product line; the most popular product for residential home design. And, for the consumer DIY home design market, we publish the top-selling and best-rated Home Designer® product line. With these compatible product lines, professionals and consumers can share ideas with ease.

 

Edit:  I see Dermot and several others have posted while I was typing this .... but will post anyway.

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This reminds me of a good analogy... I am an avid car guy... Sports cars, and particularly Porsche.. When they started SUV development the outcry from the 911 core was deafening.. "They are diluting the brand".. "Dr. Ferry Porsche is spinning in his grave".. "What's next, trucks"??  Well time has passed and because of those SUVs the sports cars are better than ever due to SUV profits..

 

Generally new ideas are feared because of worry it will risk current productivity... Johnny has posted bits of his work and EVERYONE compliments him.. the feared architect. 

 

You may wish to read this article. Not to say this is 100% accurate but you may need to change your analogy in the near future.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/porsche-suv-sales-game-2016-3

 

Graham

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While all this talk goes on, what I want to know is "Any hints on X9". I starting to get very crazy wondering. Please, oh, and I'm not having any problems with Chief. What some people call workarounds, I call knowing how the program works. I know there are some things that need a little TLC and I'm sure Chief will fix it on their schedule, so I don't worry about it. Just bring on X9, I have never been disappointed yet.

Perry, So true, Knowing is half the battle...

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I would actually prefer an experienced builder over an 'architect' on staff. I never liked building from an 'Architects' set of drawings. I'm putting 'quotes' around the word 'architect' because I've met many who have never driven a nail or cut a 2 x 4 and draw details that can't be built, or can't be built efficiently, and draw plans that don't match any real world construction. I would want them no where near the plans I want to actually build from. Builders like to build from my plans because I actually 'built' and I can draw a detail that really works in the field.

 

Now all you 'Architects' out there don't get your panties in a bunch. I imagine there are a few good ones that actually know how a building goes together - maybe Chief could hire one of those.

lol

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I would actually prefer an experienced builder over an 'architect' on staff. I never liked building from an 'Architects' set of drawings. I'm putting 'quotes' around the word 'architect' because I've met many who have never driven a nail or cut a 2 x 4 and draw details that can't be built, or can't be built efficiently, and draw plans that don't match any real world construction. I would want them no where near the plans I want to actually build from. Builders like to build from my plans because I actually 'built' and I can draw a detail that really works in the field.

 

Now all you 'Architects' out there don't get your panties in a bunch. I imagine there are a few good ones that actually know how a building goes together - maybe Chief could hire one of those.

Larry............

 

You know better than to post this. 

 

Most Architects know how buildings are built and produce accurate plans.  The term Architect comes from the Latin meaning "Chief Builder" or "Master Builder".  I will admit that there are some Architects who don't have the expertise they should but I've seen more "Builders" and "Designers" who fit that category. 

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Over the years Chief has employed several experienced builders. Some have moved on, retired, or gone back into construction. Some are still with us.

 

We have mechanical engineers, software engineers and internet application engineers.

 

We have designers and and certified NKBA members.

 

While we don't have any architects on staff. We have, over the years, reached out to many of our users who are architects to get feedback.

 

We will continue to solicit input from our entire user base including architects to determine the best strategies to improve the application.

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  • 4 months later...

Joe, you probably already know this but Architects where the General Contractors for their designs from the great Pyramids in Egypt (and most likely before) to the ealry nintienth century. They had to convey their vision to the people actually doing the work. They had a really good program on the History Channel on the history of Architecture.

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