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CEDIA 2017 Training Preview

The annual show in San Diego now features, at last count, more than 150 courses and labs. Here’s a preview of some training opportunities newly added or updated for 2017.

You’ve likely heard that CEDIA’s upped its education game of late. In fact, the annual show in San Diego now features, at last count, more than 150 courses and labs. Here’s a preview of some training opportunities newly added or updated for 2017.

Wireless Network Technologies

Joel Crane has rebuilt CEDIA’s wireless courses. “I pretty much ripped the whole thing apart,” he said.

Crane, a technical trainer at MetaGeek, a firm that creates wireless troubleshooting gear such as spectrum analyzers and packet analysis tools, is referring to one of two courses that he has revamped that focus on wireless technology. CEDIA’s Wireless Network Technologies Learning Lab (EST253) covers “all common types of Wi-Fi that are out there and some non-Wi-Fi technologies as well,” he explained. The other course that he helped rebuild–the Advanced Wireless Networking Learning Lab (EST353)–needed an update, but one that wasn’t quite as sweeping.

EST253 needed updating on a number of fronts. “They add improvements all the time,” Crane noted, “but the funny thing about Wi-Fi is that it all really goes back to the original 802.11 standard, which was ratified in 1997. That’s most of the core mechanics of Wi-Fi.”

And with that look backward, Crane realized that there was some ground that the old version of the course hadn’t sufficiently covered to begin with. “It’s kind of like algebra; you build on core concepts,” Crane said, and the three that need to be readdressed were half-duplex Wi-Fi, co-channel interference, and adjacent channel interference.”

Properly Securing a Residential Network

Bjorn Jensen is counting the Slack channels currently discussing IT issues in the CEDIA universe. “Let’s see, 12 … 14 … it’s 16 at last count.”

The networking brains are collaborating, as the parts of the connected home become ever more, well, connected, and the needs for design, troubleshooting, and security become more demanding.

Ed Pepitone, who’s been developing the content with Jensen, noted that this four-hour course won’t be a session for beginners. “You’ve got to know the fundamentals: what’s a VPN, what’s a DDoS attack, all of those things. Otherwise, it’s going to be a waste of a firm’s time and money.”

Jensen sends along the bullet points for the session, the learning objectives as they stand right now.

The challenges and solutions that’ll be addressed are proving ever more critical as residential networks become ever more labyrinthine.

Managing for Profitability with Quickbooks

Leslie Shiner, who’s been teaching courses for CEDIA since the 2003 trade show, this year adds a pair of workshops to the San Diego slate. The courses are two of a series, both dealing with various aspects of Quickbooks. Shiner learned how to wrangle the platform specifically for the unique needs of the user in the CEDIA channel.

“I’ve been using Quickbooks since it was introduced,” Shiner explained. “A lot of it was trial and error, but a lot of it was also working backward. What do you want to know, and how can we get it to give you that information?” After reverse-engineering numerous outcomes that would be of interest to a technology integration firm, Shiner split the classes into Part 1: Accounts, Items, Jobs, and Estimates; and Part 2: Invoicing and Job Cost Reports.

Being a Good Boss

Larry Heuvelman came up with a pretty slick acronym to define the different hats that members of an integration firm might wear, expressed as “MOPEDS:” Marketing, Ownership, Production, Education, Design, and Sales.

Wearing that owner’s hat correctly is key to good management, Heuvelman said. When he’s presented with the notion that no job is too small for the boss and that the act of picking up a broom and sweeping the shop floor might inspire loyalty, Heuvelman is contradictory.

“No. You wouldn’t see a CEO mopping up the lobby of his or her building, would you? That CEO won’t be CEO long,” he noted.

Instead, “owners need to be leaders,” Heuvelman said, “and to do that, they need to keep this checklist in mind.”