To Script, or Not to Script? On Coding Skills in BIM

To script, or not to script, that is the question.

To script, or not to script, that is the question.

Much like the dilemma faced by Shakespeare's Hamlet, this question is popular in the ever-evolving world of BIM, where mountains of data await their dramatic transformation.

Coding for Automation

Primary reason for a an architect, engineer or BIM manager to start learning Python, JavaScript or C# is to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, such as manipulating numerous model objects or repetitive data entry, which can lead to errors when done manually. Copy pasting a value hundreds of times is a boring task, and most likely will lead to mistakes. It is also utilized for geometric computations and data manipulation through CSV imports and exports. BIM managers specifically appreciate scripts for their ability to automate workflows, allowing them to delegate routine tasks to the software, thereby optimizing their workday.

It is especially lucrative to learn this black magic trick, since the beloved Revit is not perfect and requires additional tools to cover the extensive scope of various needs in different projects. Many believe that embracing coding tools, acquiring coding skills represents the future of Revit. Users are eager for automation since repetition underpins many tasks in BIM work, just as leveraging data for analysis and optimizing the use of Revit add-ins are crucial.

Leaning Curve is Steep and Long

While programming in BIM sounds like a solution to solve all the problems, a few questions arise.

Is it difficult to learn?

It is not easy and depends on how much you are comfortable with the concept of programming, understand coding languages, have time to dedicate to learning and practicing. It is a skill on its own. New users must be prepared for a steep learning curve, including spending personal time and encountering frequent failures. Expect yourself investing in learning during nights and weekends, and for things to go wrong - either due to a user error, platform quirks or Revit API limitations.

Levels of Difficulty in BIM Programming
  • Basic: Familiarity with basic Revit’s GUI operations.
  • Intermediate: Proficiency in using visual programming tools.
  • Advanced: Expertise in direct coding through the Revit API.

It is recommended to start with simple scripts and gradually understand the back-end processes.

Is it for everyone?

"Just use Dynamo, bro". Sounds familiar? Shifting from a humble beginner to a script guru may take anywhere from six months to a year, or possibly longer. On the bright side, finally getting a solution that works is worth the effort. Not everyone has the time to master these skills thoroughly. Those few who do become indispensable to their firms. However, relying heavily on just a handful of experts carries its own risks, as it can leave a company vulnerable should these key individuals leave.

Is it efficient and scalable?

Scripting in BIM is most effective when you clearly understand the specific problem you need to solve. Typically, scripts are developed to address unique challenges that may not be present in other projects. If you're seeking a robust, scalable BIM automation tool, scripting might not be the best fit. Often, using popular visual coding tools can run into problems due to the reliance on third-party components that may become outdated or require installation by all stakeholders to utilize the results, which compromises stability and user-friendliness. Additionally, there is the risk of excessive tweaking of data and fiddling with script versions before achieving the desired outcome (given that your model is designed correctly).

Is it a competitive advantage?

While some design-centric firms value programming skills in BIM, the salary increase for having this skill can be not that substantial. Traditionalists often view it as mere technological sorcery. However, any tech-savvy director will recognize its significance. It's also unlikely for small to medium-sized firms to fall behind without having such skills in the team. Medium to large firms will almost certainly require BIM software to stay competitive, where coding to automate BIM processes will be applicable.

Click, Click, Automate

The no-code movement is revolutionizing how industries approach task automation and technology integration, allowing professionals who lack traditional programming skills to create complex systems and workflows. This trend has seen substantial adoption across various sectors such as finance, healthcare, and retail, where it accelerates digital transformation, reduces costs, and democratizes innovation. In industries like finance, no-code platforms enable non-technical staff to build financial models, automate data entry, and manage client interactions without writing a single line of code.

The AEC industry stands to benefit significantly from embracing no-code automation, following the lead of these other sectors. The growing need for efficiency within AECO sector is strong after a decade of slow technology adoption. A call for simplicity rather than complexity emerges as a key solution.

Simplification, not complication

The no-code automation in BIM simplifies processes, allowing the workforce to concentrate on their primary tasks without the need to learn programming languages or engage in script writing. No-code automation is a more intuitive and user-friendly approach. The learning curve is significantly shorter, enabling even non-technical staff to understand and implement automated BIM workflows quickly enough after the first interaction.


The no-code automation enhances transparency in how BIM data is managed and manipulated. This clarity is crucial for effective project management, ensuring that data streamlining and handover processes are not solely dependent on the knowledge or presence of a few super users. By democratizing the ability to manage and understand BIM workflows, no-code tools empower a broader segment of the workforce, facilitating better collaboration and efficiency across projects.


No-code approach offers rigorously tested, standardized tools that ensure uniform workflows across projects, reducing errors and discrepancies common in individually written scripts, which can vary in quality and efficiency. Maintaining and updating individually written scripts can be complex and costly, particularly if the original creator is not around. No-code platforms, however, automatically update features and maintain compatibility.

Responding to the "To script, or not to script" dilemma, the best approach is to choose what suits your needs best. Becoming a scripting expert can certainly turn you into an office hero, but for firms lacking a technically skilled workforce, no-code automation platforms present a more accessible alternative.

We recommend starting with a free trial of Anker, a powerful SaaS management platform for automating, populating, and validating BIM data.

Interested in Anker?

We serve all data needs in every BIM project.