AMX ACE Certification Maintenance

VLCNCRZRVLCNCRZR Senior memberPosts: 216
As I am reading through AMX's recent training program changes,
I am growing more and more aggravated at how difficult manufacturers
are making it to maintain certifications.

Over the years, I have busted my (you know what) to obtain the AMX
ACE certfication (which was not an easy task) and now I am finding out
that I need take more classes and sessions to maintain what I worked
so hard for all ready.

I dont now how many times I have heard the phrase "AMX is improving
their training program".

The funny thing is this: Once you have taken all the courses to get
to the level that I am currently at, AMX does not have much more to
offer (other than PGM-3) that pertains to programming their systems.

With the condition of the economy, I cannot afford to contantly travel
for 2-3-5 day training sessions.

Originally, ACE certfication was supposed to set you apart from others.
We were supposed to be "beta testers" and get "special newsletters".

I dont think AMX even has separate column pricing for ACE dealers any more.
I never even received my ACE shirt when I passes the final test several years ago!

I am not picking on AMX. All this AV industry certfication garbage in the last few
years is just getting out of hand. I dont see it making a difference.

Well... now that I am done venting, I am curious what others think about
the new AMX training program.

Thanks in advance for your comments
«1

Comments

  • glr-ftiglr-fti Junior Member Posts: 286
    I am 100% behind being properly trained and have no problem taking refresher courses and learning about new things when they make sense. I think all manufacturers should require certification of some kind before anyone is allowed to sell product. Without it it gives us all a bad image when some yoyo does not know what they are doing and gets in over their head.

    With that said I completely agree with your opinions. To top it off many of us just found out that we need to take something this year to maintain this certification. Its almost June. Where is the communication? How the heck are we supposed to get 10 CEUs completed in 6 months? We have jobs to perform and companies to run. I don't see 10 CEU's worth of stuff I could or want to take even if I had the time. Programmer 3 is it and I can't go when they offer it. I already have 33 CEDIA credits for recertification there and I only need 30 by 9/2009 so its not that I don't want training.
  • Brad.OdegardBrad.Odegard Junior Member Posts: 40
    I have yet to receive a single communication from anyone at AMX regarding my ACE certifications. I'm assuming that I need to do something, but I haven't even seen an email explaining what the new "requirements" are for maintaining my certs.

    I spoke with Paul B. about this 2 years ago at CEDIA during the ACE reception and got the "were changing things, so you're fine, we'll let you know once we've got things revamped" line. I guess they'll let me know when my certs are expired.

    Brad
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,159
    I have yet to receive a single communication from anyone at AMX regarding my ACE certifications. I'm assuming that I need to do something, but I haven't even seen an email explaining what the new "requirements" are for maintaining my certs.

    I spoke with Paul B. about this 2 years ago at CEDIA during the ACE reception and got the "were changing things, so you're fine, we'll let you know once we've got things revamped" line. I guess they'll let me know when my certs are expired.

    Brad

    I too am growing a little concerned. It is already mid-May and we know we're staring down and coming up with 10 CEUs of some nature (7 from AMX and 3 from 'other places') I still have no idea what this means. However, I do know my schedule is rapidly booking up clear into 2008 and it'll will be difficult to carve out a week or (what ever it takes) to do whatever is eventually required; not to mention the costs associated...

    I have a degree that requires continuing ed and also am credentialed in other areas of my life. This is not how it's usually done. There are usually pretty clear guidelines as to what is required by each person who carries the credential and what constitutes continuing ed. If an organization cannot produce these kinds of things, they are typically in jeopardy of keeping thier standing as a professional organization.

    The whole process reminds me of unfunded mandates. The way it plays out is, "We're going to require you to have such-and-so by such-and-so date. We don't know what you're going to be required to do or how much it's going to cost or when you'll be able to do it, but you darn well better have it when the time does come around."

    I usually run on the wisdom of "Irresponsibility on your part does not consitute an emergency on my part" But, in this case, AMX holds all the cards.

    I have no doubt in m mind that if they cannot deliver the goods in a reasonable amount of time, that they'll move their dealine or give us an extension of some sort. (at least I hope they do...)
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I've seen guys that were certified to the hilt and couldn't fix anything in the real world. I agree however that any company that offers certification is a step above the rest but they also must realize that we can not spend several weeks a year to maintain our certifications. Perhaps the re-certification would be better if it was every 2 years unless there was huge change in the companies technology in that year.
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    AMX needs to have ONE test, for ACE certified programmers!!!!!!!
    I don't care if it is 100 pages long, or how difficult it is, make it accessible.
    I can NOT understand what, where, who, and how to get recertified... I know, we first need a course in how to get recertified :)
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    I'm with everyone on this as well. I especially agree with Thomas.

    This is all my personal opinion, but - being certified is like having a diploma. Companies and people say "ooh" and "aaah", but at the end of the day it doesn't matter, does it? If you know what you're doing - do you REALLY need a piece of paper that says you do? And what about those folks that Thomas has mentioned, that have the piece of paper and can't do their job properly?

    I'm also concerned about getting re-certified; I want to know what the EXACT requirements are. Would anyone mind posting them here? I've never even been to CEDIA, so if needing 10 CEDIA credits is required then, ummm . . . hmm . . . how am I gonna get those? Isn't needing the CEDIA credits about as insane as a university saying "in order to graduate you have to attend a community college for a semester first"?
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    jjames wrote: »
    This is all my personal opinion, but - being certified is like having a diploma. Companies and people say "ooh" and "aaah", but at the end of the day it doesn't matter, does it?
    I am the first to agree with you on the merit of any diplomas.
    People like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates... would be in real trouble. But I do see the need for the ACE program as many large companies are skeptical to hire an independent programming without any certification and most important, we would have never gotten t-shirts.
  • jweatherjweather Junior Member Posts: 320
    My understanding was that certification at a certain level was a requirement to retain dealer status... perhaps I misunderstood since I'm not the person who has to actually worry about things, I just go where I'm told... If this is true, though, then certification is not just for personal and career development, but actually a requirement.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    I should clarify. Obtaining the certification is important, that is true. If I were a new programmer or dealer to AMX, it would be my first priority to get certified. Knowledge is what sets us each apart. However, if I were to lose my certification tomorrow - after being certified since 2005 (I think?) - it is not going to make me any less of a programmer. It may make me less appealing to companies should I ever look for another job, but my point is - at the end of the day, losing a certification doesn't mean I lost my experience, passion or love for AMX - three things a certificate does not give a person. And if I owned a company, those are the three main things I would look for in a programmer, not whether or not he / she had a piece a paper that says they can do the job. I am not trying to water down the importance of being certified, because like I said - it is important, though not as important as the experience I have gained, the passion I have to do a good job, or the love of the AMX product (even though at times it can get under our skin. ;))

    Do I want to stay certified? Absolutely. Is it imperative that I keep my certification in order to keep programming systems? Not at all.
  • Brad.OdegardBrad.Odegard Junior Member Posts: 40
    According to the information on the training site, those of us with existing ACE certifications need to complete 10 CEU's (7 from AMX and 3 from another party). So, I've gone in and started to take the online classes that AMX offers, but here's the deal. I don't think they have enough classes available to grant me 7 CEU's given that many of the classes are .3 or .5 CEU credit. Also, the 3rd party CEUs list a very limited number of options at this time, and several are not items that will be available to all.

    Lastly, I haven't found any way on the training website to track how many CEU's I have been credited with so far so that I can assure that I'm making appropriate progress towards re-certification.

    It appears that these "requirements" will be on-going on a yearly basis.

    Brad
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I think it would be great if AMX would offer a short list of all of its new product released each year and the info about that product (not from a sales point but rather from a techs point) and make it available to all ACE members that require re-certification. This way we could review it and then write our re-certification exam. Just a quck overview is all that is needed for the new product since we should already be somewhat use to the older product or at least were to obtain the information concerning it. I also feel that all re-certifications exams should be done online without the need to attend any special trade fairs, courses etc. Just my thoughts on the subject.
  • AMXnewbieAMXnewbie Junior Member Posts: 8
    sounds familiar...

    I asked my trainer here in Tampa about this very thing...

    I was told that we are allowed to take any course which have taken in the past and re-gain the CEU's which we had been given previously... HOWEVER, I have yet to have anyone show me where it says that on the webpage...

    If that IS the case, then anyone with an ACE cert could go back and retake P2 and regain the 10 CEUs for the P2 class... again, I did not find anywhere where it says you are allowed to do this... it is just something the trainer said he thought would be allowed...

    AMXNewbie

    aka Mike A!
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    WOW! If that really is the case, can you imagine all the veteran programmers taking P2 again?!? That would be interesting to attend. :D

    I seriously think they need to have refresher courses, and if anything new comes out, put it into the refresher course or design a course specifically to that.

    The whole credits thing . . . bad idea in my opinion.
  • AMXnewbieAMXnewbie Junior Member Posts: 8
    I think that it is a good idea; however the way they implemented it... well that leaves alot to be desired...

    I think the amount of CEU's they put for outside vendors is correct, but teh remainder should have been much lower call it 7 total per year?

    I imagine they are trying to use this to get more P3 classes stood up... just a guess mind you...

    AMX Newbie...

    aka Mike A!
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    We try to make out touchpanels easy to navigate and understand, AMX needs to do the same for re- certification.
    I don't need/want to waste time trying to figure out what AMX doesn't even know... how to get re-certified!
  • jazzwyldjazzwyld Registered User Posts: 199
    Consolation Prize

    I did forward this forum to one of AMX's Sales Engineers and quite a few people higher up are looking at this. So in a way at least we are being heard. With no action it really is a consolation prize, but going away with a wine of the month gift on the Price Is Right isn't as good as the Brand New Car, but something is better than nothing

    We all have concerns some large and small about re-certification. I just hope AMX figures this out. We need to know what we need to know. I think another good idea would be to have more trainings available locally for each dealer(there's another post about Programmer 3 that discussed just that).
  • a_riot42a_riot42 AMX Wizard Posts: 1,619
    I've seen guys that were certified to the hilt and couldn't fix anything in the real world.

    I would agree. I would sooner hire someone with a comp-sci degree and no AMX experience than someone with only ACE certification. Some of the ACE code I have seen from certified former colleagues is atrocious and shows very little knowledge of programming or how processors work. My company wants me to go to certification training in June but I am thinking its going to be a waste of time. I don't want to learn how to program the AMX way. I much prefer the software engineering approach. The only thing I think would be of value is learning all the compiler and software tools bugs, but I have a feeling they won't be covering that.
    Paul
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,353
    a_riot42 wrote:
    I would sooner hire someone with a comp-sci degree and no AMX experience than someone with only ACE certification.
    On the other hand I've seen many folks with degrees that didin't have enough common sense to know how to apply their knowledge and were completely useless. So if I were to hire someone to program a Netlinxs system I would want someone intelligent, with common sense, the ability to logically evaluate a problem and a desire to work hard with a passion for excellence. Colleges aren't pumping out to many of these guys lately so I would take the Ace certified person w/o any college experience becasue they haven't been brain washed by academia and have attained their certification by hard work not 4 years of partying, beer, bongs and the occasional class. :)
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    vining wrote: »
    a_riot42 wrote:
    On the other hand I've seen many folks with degrees that didin't have enough common sense to know how to apply their knowledge and were completely useless. So if I were to hire someone to program a Netlinxs system I would want someone intelligent, with common sense, the ability to logically evaluate a problem and a desire to work hard with a passion for excellence. Colleges aren't pumping out to many of these guys lately so I would take the Ace certified person w/o any college experience becasue they haven't been brain washed by academia and have attained their certification by hard work not 4 years of partying, beer, bongs and the occasional class. :)
    Well said and I could not agree more!
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    To be honest and a bit hypothetical, The college degree and the ACE certifications are really only one piece of a puzzle that gets a person in the door with a chance to talk to me about a job. I also look at the other information contained in the resume (such as spelling errors, grammar errors, weird dates and time lines, ...) After I read the resume, I have a general idea about the person (be it good or bad :) ) and then I decide if there is any chance they will fit in our organization based on qualification. If there is any chance, I will set up an interview. The decision to hire is based mainly on the interview. I ask questions that help me evaluate how a person approaches and attempts to solve a problem, since that is a VERY big portion of our jobs. I also try to understand why the person is looking for a job... Are they looking because they have to do so many interviews in a set period of time (to please Mom and Dad, or someone else)? Are they interested in the least in AV, or are they after some perceived easy money (yeah right! :) )? Are they willing to do all of the work necessary, or do they want a job where they only have to do one thing (generally the easiest thing) without having to help in anything else?

    In short, as a man who has obtained a few certifications (CPhT, MCP, MSCE, A+, Network+,C4 Programmer, PADI AoW, PADI PSD, to name a few), I know that most of the certifications are not really a good gauge of a persons ability to perform the job. All they really demonstrate is a basic knowledge of the principles and/or theories behind the product/activity. Or, in other words, the person is familiar with the tools of the trade. But, just because I know what a hammer and nails are, it doesn't mean I can build a bird house that looks good :) .

    so, in even shorter.... I agree with what has been said :P

    Jeff
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    I wouldn't hire anyone, and do it all myself. At least I know what I'm getting for sure!! :D

    Just kidding . . . ;)

    But seriously - I'd much rather know anyone has found anything out regarding the maintenance thing-a-ma-bob.
  • a_riot42a_riot42 AMX Wizard Posts: 1,619
    vining wrote: »
    a_riot42 wrote:
    On the other hand I've seen many folks with degrees that didin't have enough common sense to know how to apply their knowledge and were completely useless.

    That will always be true.
    vining wrote: »
    So if I were to hire someone to program a Netlinxs system I would want someone intelligent, with common sense, the ability to logically evaluate a problem and a desire to work hard with a passion for excellence. Colleges aren't pumping out to many of these guys lately so I would take the Ace certified person w/o any college experience becasue they haven't been brain washed by academia and have attained their certification by hard work not 4 years of partying, beer, bongs and the occasional class. :)

    I would want someone who could at least spell Netlinx correctly :)

    I don't see too much brain-washing in CS as there is in medicine or other faculties. What kind of brain-washing would a CS student receive? Everything you are taught is based on logic/math. I don't think many people would survive a CS program from a good school with no hard work, and lots of beers/bongs, certainly I couldn't. But if they could then they would likely be smarter than the average bear :)
    Paul
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    Spire_Jeff wrote: »
    To be honest and a bit hypothetical, The college degree and the ACE certifications are really only one piece of a puzzle that gets a person in the door with a chance to talk to me about a job. I also look at the other information contained in the resume (such as spelling errors, grammar errors, weird dates and time lines, ...) After I read the resume, I have a general idea about the person (be it good or bad :) ) Jeff

    What do speling eerors, dates and timeline have to do with progreming??? :) just kidding!
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    vining wrote: »
    a_riot42 wrote:

    On the other hand I've seen many folks with degrees that didin't have enough common sense to know how to apply their knowledge and were completely useless. So if I were to hire someone to program a Netlinxs system I would want someone intelligent, with common sense, the ability to logically evaluate a problem and a desire to work hard with a passion for excellence. Colleges aren't pumping out to many of these guys lately so I would take the Ace certified person w/o any college experience becasue they haven't been brain washed by academia and have attained their certification by hard work not 4 years of partying, beer, bongs and the occasional class. :)

    I have to agree to some point with this. Some years back when I was still a private contractor I was onsite talking with a University prof who taught Computer Science just after one of his classes. He stated that 95% of his class had no idea about computer programming nor did they care. They were only there because they knew that programming was were the big $$ was. Only 1% should be there and the remainer fell somewhere in between. Sad but a true statement. I'd take a person who had common sense and was willing to work any day.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    I'd take a person who had common sense and was willing to work any day.
    What's that saying? Common sense isn't that common. Which again, is a sad but true statement - it's not like you can teach it either. *Sigh*
  • a_riot42a_riot42 AMX Wizard Posts: 1,619
    I have to agree to some point with this. Some years back when I was still a private contractor I was onsite talking with a University prof who taught Computer Science just after one of his classes. He stated that 95% of his class had no idea about computer programming nor did they care. They were only there because they knew that programming was were the big $$ was. Only 1% should be there and the remainer fell somewhere in between. Sad but a true statement. I'd take a person who had common sense and was willing to work any day.

    I would agree with that to some extent but the same can be said for almost any of the faculties. How many medical or dental students are really concerned about health and how many are only concerned about how much money they can make? How many start out with money as the motivator but then get interested in people's health? How many start out with interest in health but then get bored and just keep going for the money?

    There were some students in my program that just wanted the degree so they could command a high salary with the least effort, but no way was it 99%. Those people were usually weeded out after first year anyway as they couldn't take the amount of work required since they didn't enjoy it. I am sure there are many CS programs that just pump out useless but degreed people.

    A solid foundation in computer science will always be of value to programmers given the same common sense and willingness to work. I don't think you can get a solid foundation in computer science without hard work though, as it really requires it. The math alone is rather daunting and requires alot of work unless you are mathematically blessed, which I am not. Common sense and willingness to work are good qualifications, but I think it would take someone a long time to figure out how some algorithms work just through common sense and hard work alone. If you know the mathematics, you can actually prove your code works without any functional testing at all. You can also write algorithms based strictly on mathematical formulas so you know they will work all the time. I was asked to write a function at a job interview that, given an integer, calculated its Fibonacci number. You can do this easily but naively but for any number greater than 50 your algorithm will take hours to run since the numbers get large exponentially. But if you know about recurrence relations you can calculate the Fibonacci number in a few seconds. Besides, common sense is a misnomer as I haven't found it to be that common at all.
    Paul
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Very true 'common sense' is very un-common now a days. I guess what really matters is how AMX plans on addressing some of the issues being expressed in regards to how they wish to keep us certified and what time frame. Like I mentioned before, any company that does offer certification is a step ahead of the others. It says they want its clients to take the time to know their product and how it is to be used.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    It says they want its clients to take the time to know their product and how it is to be used.
    With the utmost respect, allow me to correct you: "how it CAN be used." ;)
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    jjames wrote: »
    With the utmost respect, allow me to correct you: "how it CAN be used." ;)

    Or, one could argue, how it is DESIGNED to be used. Altho, rereading your post, that may have been what you were implying :)

    Jeff
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Spire_Jeff wrote: »
    Or, one could argue, how it is DESIGNED to be used. Altho, rereading your post, that may have been what you were implying :)

    Jeff
    jjames wrote: »
    With the utmost respect, allow me to correct you: "how it CAN be used." ;)

    LOL, design, can, how, should be, will do, is able, we recommend, etc........and the list goes onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Sry, I think faster than I type and the message gets lost sometimes.
Sign In or Register to comment.