For decades, integrators, consultants, manufacturers, and technology managers have wrestled with the challenge of addressing programming for their AV projects. Some have hired programmers on staff, while others look to freelancers or subcontractors to satisfy or supplement their needs. In any case, programmers remain a scarce resource, and the demand for good programming can be a limiting factor for the success of AV integration, product adoption, and client investment. The challenge of attracting, developing, maintaining, and becoming skilled AV programmers presents an opportunity for growth and innovation for members of the AV industry.
AV programmers come in a variety of flavors. Some are engineers or technicians who either took on the responsibility of control system programming accidentally or aspired to become a programmer as a career path. Others have computer science or IT backgrounds and come to the industry with native programming education or experience. Both approaches have their merits and drawbacks.
Related: The Art of Standardization
Even though a technician or engineer without pure coding training may not have the background to approach a programming need with the perspective of software developer, they understand AV components, signal flow, use cases, and client expectations. On the other hand, a pure coder possesses the knowledge of leveraging software methodologies and constructs, architecting software solutions, writing efficient code, and developing applications that satisfy defined needs and specifications. However, they may wrestle with the challenge of learning the unique requirements and specialization of AV.
While the AV industry continues to be a specialized area of IT, the role of AV programmers is also under more influence of software development and modern programming languages; therefore, it would seem sensible that computer science or engineering students would provide an excellent resource for the demand for AV programmers. On paper, the skills may be a great