Speaker Q&A: Don Childers, Alarm South
Don Childers, Director of Technical Training and IT Operations Manager for Alarm South, is a longtime instructor with ESA's National Training School (NTS), having been named the 2010 ESA NTS Instructor of the Year. He is also a two-time NCESA President’s Award winner for supporting the educational advancement of the association.
We recently caught up with Don, who in addtion to leading two seminars at ESX — Preparing Tech Support for Next Generation Technology and Signal Transmission Technology Roadmap — is chairman of the ESX Program Advisory Committee.
The industry is seeing so much new technology enter the market, from networking and automation to IT and even robotics. As a long-time instructor and trainer, what are you finding that industry members need to learn now more than ever?
I think that we need to focus on learning and becoming sufficient in multiple disciplines. When I first started in the industry, you were generally associated within your company with one aspect of installations.
Now, to install a CCTV system for instance, you must know IT (TCP/IP, PoE, network topography), media architecture (cable, fiber, wireless), and display medium.
So if I had to pick one … I will take IT for $500!
Watching the maturation and growth of network based access control and CCTV.
I have seen more companies entering this arena than ever before. The ESA/NTS students that I have met over the past several years have not been your “traditional” alarm technicians. Most have a very extensive IT backgrounds because access and CCTV are the only technologies that their companies install. Then you throw in the “Cloud” - well, the ball game changes again (and that's a topic for another time).
First, I am honored to have been chosen education chair for ESX 2013. Many thanks to the people that made this happen, especially George De Marco. George has been a mentor and wonderful friend.
John Galante, Nancy Franco, George and I, as well as all the other sub-committee members, have worked very hard on putting together classes and panel discussions that range from business development to social media.
They're very diverse classes that we believe can reach every aspect of what a business needs. What a truly remarkable group of professionals to work with and I am a very lucky person.
You will need to come to the classes for the answers to this one!
This April, I will be going to Key West, getting on a boat, and going out on an island to an exclusive resort owned by the Westins. Plenty of fly-fishing for bonefish, permit, and if I am lucky, tarpon.
I do want to extend my heartfelt thank you to the entire Ralph Brown family for this wonderful gift. The love, kindness, and especially patience that they have had with me for over twenty years have been remarkable. My family and I love them.