How To Teach New Tricks To An Old Dog

How To Teach New Tricks To An Old Dog


The old dog:

My name is Martin Auger and I have worked in the roof truss industry since 1991 (25+ Years). I have worked in every capacity of a truss manufacturing faclility: the shop, yard, help on delivery and design, field visits and … you guessed it design! My design experience is in Roof Truss, Floor Truss, EWP Floors. I also do architectural plans for renovations, new houses, even some small commercial retail projects. I guess I know a thing or two about design. All this experience gave birth to an “old dog.”


Training is a must for most places in any industry. You need to learn how to do things properly, whether you are an engineer, architect, framer or truss designer. Usually the more time spent on the orientation the more productive one gets right?

At most truss companies, they advertise that they have “The latest Technology” or “The best workforce” and you would expect that there is lots of training required to become an efficient structural technician. I personally cumulated a total of around 15 days of training in the last 25 years. That’s right; a measly .6 days a year.

Since joining with Gould Design, Inc. a couple of months ago, I have received over 100 hours of training. In the few weeks I have been associate with GDI, I have received much more training than I had in the previous 25 years.

The ironic thing is, the gain I had is unexpected, as I surprisingly learned so much from them. Was training really worth it? Ummmm YES! I will save countless hours in design, re-design and efficiency. I have been exposed to so much in such a small amount of time, I can’t imagine what’s in store next!

All of this is because I come with an open mind and was accepting of the guidance. Therefore; training is an investment NOT an expense. Both parties benefit. It’s a win-win!

Which brings me to this simple fact: I would have brought in much more profit to my previous employers if I had known some simple tricks the GDI leadership has taught me.. If this helped me, just imagine what it could do to a less experienced technician.

The new tricks:

  • (Cladding) Getting the right wall location without heavy calculating, drawn in minutes
  • (Framing sets) I doubled my knowledge of framing sets, understanding the best options for different situations
  • (Connector) How to select connectors in the software, eliminating the omissions/miscounts
  • (Details) Learned about many more details, making my day more productive, and more accurate
  • (Time) Enhanced awareness of the time we have to perform, better use of every minutes in a day
  • (Communication) Using tools to get more information faster than ever before
  • And much more…but I already exceeded 500 words in this article, so you will just have to wait for the next one!


So, can you teach an old dog new tricks? You certainly can, as long as the dog is willing to learn and that there is a teacher with knowledge to pass it on.

Martin Auger – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.