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The Value of Continuing Education for a Programmer

Oct 18, 2012 4:24 PM, By Patrick Barron

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A control systems programmer is much more than simply a person that understands computer logic and standard software. The task of a programmer is to make AV equipment operate in a desired manner. Even if the syntax of a program is perfect, a strong understanding of the equipment itself and how it works is required to program the system properly. Audio digital signal processors (DSPs) require a different type of programming to set up the audio parameters and controls in a system, but these pieces of equipment still need to be programmed. Many audio DSP manufacturers such as Biamp, BSS, Peavey, ClearOne, Polycom, and Symetrix offer multiday training courses culminating in certifications for their various product lines.

Programmers are also routinely called upon to control switchers, lighting, videoconferencing, and other subsystems. Many of the component manufacturers offer training on the individual product lines, and training is available to programmers as well as the system integrators to better understand how the product works. A programmer that understands how an AV system works and how the individual components function is much more likely to use that knowledge to program an efficient and easy to use system because they know how the equipment operates.


General, good working knowledge of the AV industry is important to complete an integrated system. InfoComm has become the industry leader in training that is not manufacturer-specific, but is instead well rounded and broad reaching in its range of topics.

One of the most prestigious certifications available in the AV industry is the Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) offered through InfoComm. InfoComm offers CTS and two advanced CTS certifications specifically for system designers (CTS-D) and installers (CTS-I). According to InfoComm, “[Our] certifications are the only AV credentials to achieve accreditation through the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ISO/IEC 17024 certification of personnel as administered in the United States by ANSI. InfoComm has offered its certification program for more than 30 years and every year certifies more qualified AV professionals than anyone else in the industry. Individuals, companies, and customers have always recognized the CTS certification for its credibility and integrity.”

A programmer with the dedication and desire to obtain the CTS certification shows the highest level of commitment to excellence. While CTS certification is not required to be a competent programmer, it does show a higher level of understanding about how the systems work together, which translate into the ability to write a program that uses the equipment properly. Many excellent computer programmers have failed as control system programmers because they do not understand AV and how the components work together. It matters little if a program compiles properly without errors if the purpose of the AV components is not understood.

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