Professional Development – Truss Design A Trick My Day Job Never Taught Me That GDI Did – Part 10

Professional Development – Truss Design A Trick My Day Job Never Taught Me That GDI Did – Part 10

One of the key factors in a successful organization is a training program for the development of human potential. That´s the sign telling me there is a growing plan, not only for the company but also for the staff and there is the understanding that the organization is linked to the development of the people.


I´ve had the good fortune to participate in several organizations with this kind of program, including my first experience in truss design from 2004 to 2008. In that time I discovered this was the field it suited for me and I was forced to leave it when the decline in construction begun in the middle of 2007.  I have since worked in other related areas as power tools and water pumping systems, to sustain my family. Yet I always felt truss design was “my thing” and I realized during my experience that this was job could be done remotely. With a good PC, a decent internet connection, a proper corner to settle your hardware, you can start working. I looked for a couple of years for company like that and as any frustrated task I abandoned its pursuit.

Fortunately the winds of change in our times are blowing in a direction where the remote working is becoming a common currency.  In fact, my brother found a position exactly as the one I was searching for since 2008 in a completely different field, so why not to try again? I started looking around and on this occasion I discovered Gould Design Inc. (GDI).


I can say now that GDI it was not only offering me the kind of position I was looking for, but it also adheres to a business philosophy that fits my personal and professional values (as integrity, commitment and team work). GDI has a training program and the main difference from my previous experiences is this program starts with the initial contact. It´s not only looking to develop your professional skills but also is concerned with your personal growing in the understanding that human being is an integral subject and you can´t separate on side from the other.

This led me to discover GDI has a “human” way of doing business. After the interview stages I took some evaluations to measure the state of the abilities I currently possessed such as:

  • Basic math knowledge
  • Plan reading and interpretation
  • Manual heel/loading calculations
  • 3D skills

During this process appeared the first setback: I didn´t have the hardware required! Well that´s it, good luck in your next endeavor. After reviewing my results, Christopher Gould saw the skill set was there and he wanted me on his team. He had the patience to wait until I acquired the equipment needed to perform and to sort out the other details. This took the better part of a year, during which we kept in contact and he guided me to prepare me for success. Was this a formal part of the training? Yes indeed, at least for me it was. My experience (and hearing that of others) has shown me that GDI encourages people not only to become the best designer you can be but also to become an entrepreneur. This has taught me to manage my own business because this way has the flexibility required for the remote working into the frame of a win/win environment and keep the costs down for the customer.


Once my assessments were complete and my hardware was intact, the Professional Development (PD) program of GDI guides you through a regimented process:

  • From the fundamentals of wood trusses
  • Code knowledge and application was provided
  • Hands-on, guided use of the MiTek software
  • Practical jobs were assigned with a specific focus of learning on each one
  • Team building skills were introduced
  • Time management application were initiated
  • Efficiency tools were provided
  • Company protocols were introduced
  • A mentor was assigned

How can anyone fail with this type of support? So the main objective is not only to become proficient in the handle of the technical tools, it is also to know the working procedure of GDI. This encourages you to refrain from the use of certain “sleeping skills” as ASKING FOR HELP. I was told that “The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.” Having been out of the industry for 5+ years, this was a relief to hear!

In a world where everybody must be self-proficient, GDI reminds you that you´re not alone. Here are a combined 250 years of experienced veterans to help you succeed (something you can get miss because of the nature of the job). Because there is a interdependence relationship, your success is the team’s success. Your failure is the team’s failure.

About the PD program, I can honestly say it has made me felt like I´m using new parts of my brain, and I had to empty my glass of previous knowledge to refill it. The idea of GDI’s PD is about getting you out of your comfort zone so you can reach your potential, with a scheme demanding you to be proactive, effective, curious and reliable not only in others but in yourself.

The GDI experience has made me discover new ways to approach design issues with every project. There is little space for “routine work”, every job in the PD pushes you to reach a new level of growth and reflect a creative contribution. The output of that contribution will suit the client’s requirements and GDI standard protocol, adding bits and pieces of information learned from every former job. That´s how you build, right? Set the foundation and let it cure, then build in a structured way above that solid foundation. In my case, I crafted my own unique box of tools.

So far it´s been a remarkable experienced that has shown me my improvements areas and my strengths. There are 3 main phases of PD. The first phase of PD has forced me to review all my prior knowledge of trusses and even basic grounds as geometry or trigonometry. The second phase of PD has provided me with tools and opportunities I never had before, such as handling my own business, the kind of things you wonder but never dare to try without support.

The fear of failure keeps many of us from trying new things. Gould Design Inc. has the tools and the opportunities, would you dare to try?

You can read Part 1 in this series here.

You can read Part 2 in this series here.

You can read Part 3 in this series here.

You can read Part 4 in this series here.

You can read Part 5 in this series here.

You can read Part 6 in this series here.

You can read Part 7 in this series here.

You can read Part 8 in this series here.

You can read Part 9 in this series here.

Stay tuned for Part 11.

Javier Dominguez – Design Trainee

Gould Design, Inc.

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