Glider’s Digital Delivery Managers Sarah Marshall and Rob Wood were thrilled to join as Stephen Drew’s guests on ‘The Architecture Social’ podcast on 14th March to explore the topic: ‘What it is like to work at a digital tech company within the built environment?’ The episode looked at how Glider is advancing asset information delivery with its approach to Building Information Management (BIM), careers in BIM, and what it’s like to work at an innovative technology company within the construction industry.
Architecture Social is an online platform which hosts content designed to support students and professionals in the architecture industry boost their careers. Presented by host Stephen Drew, the Architecture Social podcast discusses new and exciting industry topics such as the impact of tech and AI on the built environment and practical advice such as careers across construction and the architectural technology industries.
As Digital Delivery Managers, Sarah Marshall and Rob Wood are responsible for information management services and project delivery at Glider, focusing on BIM management and coordination, asset information delivery, verification of data, and BIM execution plans amongst other things. Sarah and Rob were delighted to share their insights on making the transition from architecture to tech, as well as their experience of working at Glider.
Pursuing a career in BIM
Given that BIM is a specialist sector that many people are not aware can be pursued as a career, Stephen Drew was interested to know Rob and Sarah’s path to becoming Digital Delivery Managers.
Commenting on his career progression, Rob said, “I joined a company called DLA Architecture. I worked there four days a week and studied Architectural Technology at university one day a week. I worked there for six years doing the standard architectural side of things and then I moved on to Arcadis, for the architectural side of the UK business. When I worked at DLA I had used Revit and had a big interest in BIM. So, when I moved to Arcadis I wanted to push Revit and BIM software in general, and really, I pushed myself in that direction because of my interest.” Rob’s interest in BIM led him to pursue a career in Glider, where he now has an increased focus on asset information management.
Similar to Rob, Sarah worked previously as an Architectural Technologist and had limited exposure to BIM. Once Sarah came across information management in her role at Ryder Architecture, she wanted to pursue an Information Management based role. Sarah noted, “What enticed me to Glider was learning about and working on things that I hadn’t worked on before. Prior to Glider, there was a lot of BIM Level 2, clash detection and coordination, COBie data, and the verification of that data. At Glider, they were focusing on the asset information management and that was something that was being talked about a lot on the projects that I worked on before. I really wanted to work on the asset information management rather than the initial design phase that I was used to working on.”
Offering his advice to people who are interested in BIM, Rob said, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. LinkedIn is a great tool, so don’t be afraid to make connections and talk to company directors at companies you’re interested in and see if you can attend BIM events.”
Working at a fully remote company
In addition to the specialist BIM roles at Glider, Stephen was also keen to discuss the progressive company culture, which appears unconventional compared to other firms within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries. Stephen remarked, “One of the things that’s radical to me is that you guys are fully remote. That blew my mind because pre-pandemic, people at traditional architecture firms were either on-site or in the office – you never had this kind of flexibility that Glider offers. What is it like?”
Sarah commented. “Working remotely is one of the things that drew me to the job. Glider were doing it before companies had to because of the pandemic. Glider made a conscious, proactive decision and has been succeeding in working remotely. Our entire team is remote, all the way from Glasgow down to London, and dotted everywhere in-between.” Despite working remotely, there is a strong emphasis on communication at Glider and the team remains connected through instant messaging.
Sarah also added that as the team are fully remote, they plan to meet in person several times a year to engage in recreational company activities to get to know each other personally. “Our first away day of the year will be in Birmingham! We’ve done the Bear Grylls adventure in Birmingham before, and the Squid Games in Sheffield. So we do fun activities too!”
As asset information management is a complex process, Glider aims to bring harmony to the digital approach, making it as simple as possible for its clients. Glider not only aims to be progressive in terms of its products, but in terms of its company culture.
To hear the full conversation where Glider’s Rob Wood and and Sarah Marshall discuss Glider’s pioneering technological approach to architecture, watch The Architecture Social livestream.
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