07/08 recession v experience
There is a difference between 5 years of experience, and one year of experience repeated 5 times.
The impact of the 2007/08 recession lives on today.
In design and construction, learning by doing creates the strongest most lasting lessons.
So, what are we to do with people whose formidable learning years in the profession occurred during the sharpest and longest decline in design and construction in decades?
Not much was built between 2007-2012, so what was learned about design, construction and the process? Very little we are finding out.
Those that started in the profession just prior to the recession, and somehow managed to stay employed during the recession, could, on paper, show 6-10 years of experience. Careful study of a resume and poignant questions in an interview can expose actual learning, if you know what you’re looking for. But the problem persists.
To make matters worse, the brain trust of experienced building officials, that understood how to interpret building code with construction physics and logic, has left an enormous gap. Building officials I have encountered never leave their office and have very little, if any, field experience.
As they say in yoga, the only way out, is through. We will need to endure this gap and jump to the next generation and teach them the profession. Not saying it’s too late for some of those people, but ego will not let them take a step back, even if they know they should.
It will be interesting to see how the next couple of years unfold.