The Farm announced its continued commitment to attracting new talent to the AV industry by bringing in new-to-the-industry AV programmers and field engineers. Romeo Garcia and Dustin Gay are two of the latest additions to the FarmAssist technical services division straight out of school, the company states.
Per a statement, both Gay and Garcia have a background in audio engineering. While Gay has a bachelor’s in computer science, Garcia is currently finishing his degree at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Wash. Gay entered The Farm through an online job application, while Garcia fast-tracked through his contacts at PLU where he initially became familiar with Q-SYS on campus.
Gay is on the track to become a Q-SYS programmer and field engineer, says The Farm. Meanwhile, Garcia is specializing in the development of Q-SYS plugins. Each is going through a similar training pathway within The Farm.
Training Approach at The Farm
The Farm reveals that it takes a three-prong approach to training fresh FarmAssist programmers. This includes mentorship, specialized training, and onsite deployment and commissioning.
Gay and Garcia were paired up with mentors, the company proclaims. In Gay’s case, a local Seattle-based regional services engineer named Sean Murphy, mentored him. On the other hand Garcia had remote-based plugin, UCI and application developer, Aaron Hood, as a mentor. Each mentor offers guidance, fields questions and offers feedback and support, according to a statement.
In addition to mentorship, The Farm says it offers a combination of online and onsite training. The audiovisual industry is full of manufacturer, technology and association-based training. As a result, The Farm developed a catalog of recommended courses called Jedi Temple Curriculum. The online training begins as a Jedi Youngling that includes courses like How Sound Works – Acoustics 101 and Wireless Basics, all the way through a Padawan Learner to achieve Jedi Knight status. All the training comes complete with an AVIXA CTS Certification and Q-SYS Level 2.
Also Read: The Farm’s John Hood: AV Living Legends #17
Expanding Learning Experiences
While online training offers a high-level overview of a project and its components, it’s hard to imagine how it all goes together in a room, says The Farm. Thus, it is essential to get the newcomers out into the field. And this can take many shapes such as in-person training, like Q-SYS Level 2 and Control 201 classes that are currently offered by other FarmAssist team members. Or it can be in-the-field training on current project deployments. Both types of hands-on learning round out the FarmAssist curriculum, states the company.
“Even though it’s not perfect — and there’s always fires to put out; we try to train by mentorship, online training and in-the-field training,” says Andrew Stanley, VP of technical services. “We know they don’t know everything right off the bat. And that’s okay, because we’re growing them. We’re not only teaching them the technical skills, but the soft intangible skills. How to talk to people, how to communicate to contractors, customers and end users, all at the same time. It’s a grassroots organic start, but it seems to be working for us.”
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