Four Questions for Paul Eisenhauer

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CEDIA recently released the first edition of its Electronic Systems Technical Reference Manual, which is based on core courses in CEDIA University’s Electronic Systems Technician and Electronic Systems Designer colleges. It is recommended as a supplement to a CEDIA University education, as an inhouse reference guide, and as a preparation tool for CEDIA Certification exams. CEDIA certification council chair, Paul Eisenhauer, answered our questions about his important new publication.

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Paul Eisenhauer

It seems amazing that you could create one, comprehensive manual to represent the technical knowledge of the industry. How detailed does it get?
The content outline for the Electronic Systems Technical Reference Manual was created using our certification exam JTAs. JTA stands for Job Task Analysis and these documents are extremely detailed job descriptions that serve as the blueprints for all certification exams and CEDIA University courses. As a result, the EST Reference Manual is very detailed and covers topics from Basic Safety to Advanced System Verification and Calibration. We did our best to cover emerging technologies as well so the manual’s shelf life can be as long as possible. Further refinements will be handled through subsequent revisions and addendums to the manual as time goes on. All of this work has been and will continue to be handled through the continued collective and collaborative efforts of the Certification, Education and Technology Councils who work endlessly to ensure CEDIA is always putting out the very best products possible.

How long did the project take from start to finish?
Technically this has been a work in process for several years. As we’ve matured as an industry and refined the education and certification offerings CEDIA provides, we’ve managed to assemble a wealth of high-quality information and it is that information that is the cornerstone of the Electronic Systems Technical Reference Manual. The actual deconstruction of our Certification JTA’s (which was the initial step in the writing process) to final printed version available today took approximately 18 months with the tireless efforts of a very dedicated CEDIA staff and volunteers.

Even as a veteran of the industry is there something in the Manual that you were surprised to learn?
Years ago I was talking to a group of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) during the creation of our Designer Certification exam and distinctly remember saying that, “Someone should write a book that covers all of this information, because one just doesn’t exist.” It seemed an unreachable goal then but now here it is. And even though I have participated in virtually every certification offering CEDIA has ever created and been a long time instructor, I was still amazed at both the sheer volume and quality of the information we have assembled piece by piece, year by year. It was this information that was used to create the Electronic Systems Technical Reference Manual. It is incredible to see it all condensed down to a single source that is now available to anyone who desires a copy for their library.

Why is this a must-have for a CEDIA member?
Whether you are looking to sit for any of the certification exams offered by CEDIA or just want a thorough, well organized, one stop industry specific technical reference manual for your library, this book has everything you are looking for. The subjects covered are relevant to everyone from an entry-level technician to a system designer. It will become the first book you reach for every time you need to train someone, do research, or just refresh your memory on a subject you haven’t had to deal with in awhile. CEDIA’s members should be very proud of this project as it further cements CEDIA’s goal to be the premiere provider for industry education and certification.

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