Happy New Year to all of our readers. We hope you had a great 2013 and await an even better 2014.
First we want to thank all of you for stopping by throughout the year to check out the site. We are also very appreciative for those who offer their thoughts and ideas and for people who have emailed us information to share with our readers.
A quick look back at 2013
Next we want to share with you a quick look back on 2013. For us here at the Public Works Group, 2013 was a year of some fairly drastic changes in our professional lives. In April, I changed jobs moving from one level of government to another while my partner had to say good bye to many long time co-workers who chose to retire at the end of the year. These changes have kept us fairly busy in our offline lives leaving less time than we had hoped to devote to the Public Works Group. However, the good news is that they have also driven us to learn new information and increase our professional skills which can help us provide even better information here for all of you.
As for meeting our goals last year, both of us attended, assisted, and presented at several industry events including those held by APWA, ISAWWA, and IPSI along with a few others. I continue to write for Public Works Magazine (you can check them out here in case you aren’t subscribed – and by the way if you’re not, make sure you sign up here to get the magazine because it’s free and filled with great information and it’s what all the cool kids are reading!). As for learning resources, along with the information we post on the blog, we set up a Stormwater Beta Class through 3DGameLab. And finally we created our first mobile app for Android which offers information about the 1991 ADA Requirements.
Plans for 2014
We are writing a book! So what can we look forward to in 2014? The biggest news is that we have been kicking around the idea of a major project for some time now which involves writing a book. And it looks like we will focus on getting that at least started if not done this year. At this time, the plan is to self-publish. However, because we want to get the information out to all of you as soon as possible, we are planning to work with a major industry publication to release excerpts from the book as they become available. Once we have the first one ready, we’ll let everyone know through a blog post. Then when we finally complete the entire book, we’ll let everyone know where we will offer it for sale. (If you are a municipal engineer and would be interested in being a reviewer, let us know! We would also like to feature in each chapter a few short bits of wisdom and advice from other engineers, particularly those who work in local agencies, so let us know if you are interested in being interviewed.)
We will be attending and promoting WATERCON2014! Yes, you read that right – fortunately this year, I will again have the opportunity to attend and promote WATERCON 2014 – the most awesome annual, water-related event held in Illinois. Every year the place is always packed with attendees and exhibitors – everyone who is anyone in water is there. So if water is your thing, this is definitely the place you want to be in March. Make sure if you are going or if you are exhibiting, let me know, particularly if you’d like us to share information about you or your product on the WATERCON social media sites.
We are developing in Unity3D! One of our other major focus areas will be on exploring and developing a few resources in Unity3D. As I’ve shared in several past posts, we’ve been working a lot more with Unity3D, and finally it looks like we have our skills down to the point where we can offer at least some simple beta projects. In the first half of the year, our goal is to create three of these. One will be a simulation of a design project, one will be an exhibit space for an organization, and one will be training on a specific engineering-related topic. I’m not sure at this time if we will be able to share all of them publicly, but we’ll post what we can.
We are writing at least one more Android App! We want to follow up with another Android Mobile App that focuses on PROWAG requirements. We do realize PROWAG has not yet been adopted, but many agencies are already following those requirements so we figured an app might be helpful for inspectors in the field.
While we could have just repeated the same general goals we set in 2013, this year we wanted to share more specific details about exactly what we were trying to accomplish. We do acknowledge with not knowing everything that awaits us in 2014 and with working other full-time jobs, successfully completing all of this will definitely be a challenge. But that’s what New Year resolutions are for – pushing yourself to grow and better yourself and help others while working towards something that isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve.
Disclosure notes: I do receive payment from Public Works Magazine for articles of mine that are published on their site and in the magazine. I also am offered free registration to WATERCON in exchange for attending and promoting the conference.