Truss Design Training Perspective

Truss Design Training Perspective

Most, if not all people are not born with a full set of professional skills. Sure, some folks have natural talents that help guide their career path into certain lines of work. However, the true tool chest of workplace skills are learned. This can be achieved through guided education, progressive on the job accumulation of knowledge and various forms of training.

In every career path there is a beginning, middle and potential end. The beginning is often a combination of choice and happenstance. Quite often people will “work their way up” in a company by establishing goals and gathering knowledge as their level of responsibility increases. Others are happy with their current position and prosper while staying on intermittent rungs of the career ladder. Doing so is fine. In today’s economy, having reliable personnel in the trenches of the day-to-day business operations are both critical and equally important.

In contrast, the workers who strive for the next challenge are a breed all their own. It is easy to sugar coat these staffers as ambitious, driven and open to new challenges. But there is one other thing that they often have in common:

On their way to becoming an expert in their given professional…. they were bad at it, really bad.

We’ve all been the “new guy” or the “under-qualified-too many questions-doesn’t know jack” person on the team. Harsh? Yes. True? Horribly!


More people than not do NOT make it out of this stigma; especially in the world of truss design. I remember being told early on in my career, “you’re in over your head” and “we’re not sure if you’re going to make it”. The writing was on the wall. In respect to being a brand new truss designer, I was bad at it, really bad.

At this point a choice must be made by the prospective designer. Fight or flight. The professionals who go forward at this juncture must accept the fact that they are not good at what they are being paid to do. It is a tough pill to swallow. Accept it, embrace it and no matter what, learn from it.

I have shared this theory with many design trainees assigned to me over the years. Countless times I have explained that by designing something a certain way will most definitely fail resulting in grief to themselves and everyone else involved with the project. The trainee will often ask how I can be sure of what was bound to happen. Easy. I’ve done it and chances are, they will too until they have a big taste of their self prepared feast of defeat.

So here is what can be said to aspiring designers out there looking to become top-notch professionals:

  • If you’re not making a mistake or two from time to time, you’re probably not working hard enough to be challenged by your work to learn from your mistakes
  • If you keep making repetitive mistakes, you better understand why
  • In order to be really good at truss design, you must first be comfortable with being bad at it, really bad

These lessons are just a few that the staff of Gould Design, Inc. has endured to become proven experts in the field of component design for manufacturers in the United States and Canada. Let us know how we can help your business achieve the goals envisioned on your path of continued success.

Jake Caufield – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.

One thought on “Truss Design Training Perspective

  1. Excellent, post. So many times I´ve fell like a dumb after struggling 30 min with a truss and later discover could be solved in 1 min. But knowing that´s the path of the regular truss designer tells me I´m in the right track. Thanks.