CEDIA volunteer Ian Bryant, owner of Indianapolis-based Simplified Concepts, recently attended Crestron’s Masters Training, a three-day training event that drew more than 500 elite Crestron programmers to Palisades, N.Y., last month.
Bryant, a proponent of ongoing professional development, took a moment to share with CEDIA the value of attending in-person training events put on by manufacturers such as Crestron as well as CEDIA Training
. CEDIA: Why did you decide to take time away from your day-to-day work to attend this training?
Ian Bryant: My business partner, a fellow programmer, and I take the time to get to this every year because it is very important for us to keep up to speed on the newest technologies, software, and techniques of Crestron. It is also a good way for us to connect with other programming firms in the industry. CEDIA: What do you get out of this kind of immersive training that’s hard to get through other types of learning?
IB: It is focused directly on what we work with day-to-day. All of the things we call into tech support for, all of the issues we post to the Crestron Learning Labs, all get addressed here. Some classes are more basic for the newly certified, some are for the most advanced, and most cover all bases. They also allow us to connect directly with the software developers, hardware engineers, and support staff one-on-one to ask questions and voice concerns and new ideas.
CEDIA: What do you see as the value of ongoing professional development?
IB: For us, it’s more than just a value; it’s necessary. With the rapid changes and advancements in our industry, ongoing training/development is a key to keeping our programmers and technicians up to date. We feel that in order for us to give our clients the best support and for us to do our best work, we need to consistently stay involved in industry trainings like this.
Case in point: if you haven’t been to any training in the past five years regarding video distribution, you are in the Stone Age. How can someone say they are an expert in our industry if they aren’t keeping up with the industry? I’m not saying everyone has to be on the cutting edge of what is out, but if it’s being sold, installed, and used, we need to know about it. CEDIA: What are the benefits of attending this training alongside peers?
IB: It allows us to talk to people we normally might not get to chat with. We get to share recent horror stories, success stories, what issues they have encountered, and how they overcame them. We also chat about what is working and not working with our businesses, and where we think the industry is going in our respective markets. And we occasionally make deeper connections with future business partnerships.
The people that get the most out of this aspect of the training are definitely the ones that keep an open mind and think of their competitors as their buddies. There is enough business to go around so why not share, learn from each other’s mistakes and all give our clients the best product possible.
If you get the opportunity to get to in-person training like this event or CEDIA EXPO
, it is in your best interest to take advantage and keep up with your education. It will make you more valuable to your company and your company more valuable to the client. Everyone wins!