Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thank you, Automation Industry, for 30 years of employment

I gasp as I write this, but it's been 30 years since I was first employed by the automation industry.  I started out selling photoelectric controls (you know, same technology as garage door openers, with a light beam that you break, sending out an electrical signal) and from there progressing to vision and barcode systems, industrial controls, and finally, and thankfully, software.

It has been an interesting journey.  Just from a technology perspective, we've had to go from understanding the computing hardware, to software, to the more loftier philosophies and concepts of the cloud. "Drinking from a fire hose" comes to mind as this is one industry that definitely changes, and at a pace that is challenging.

The great part about being part of industrial automation is that you get to know how stuff is made. It is an industry that is completely relatable to life in general, because we all use stuff.  So whether it's food and beverage, or pulp and paper, or metals and mining, you understand what the final products are, and how they get to that state.  It's a fascinating aspect of the job.

Lastly, it's been sustainable.  I laugh when I say it's an industry where you can always find a job, but it's true. There aren't a lot of us out there (I happened to choose business development, sales and marketing) that have this knowledge. It's a rather small community and it's been a wonderful one. Friends go from one company to the other, so there's friendly rivalry for the most part.  There's an innate respect amongst us, and that keeps the industry healthy, and less "backstabby" than others I've encountered.

For those of you considering automation as a career--I'd encourage it, and I'm happy to speak with you!

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