Manufacturing Hub Episode 2 Video Stream
This episode Dave & Vlad talk about breaking into Industrial Automation. How we did it, what we think the best skills are for Controls Engineers to work at in 2021 and more!
Vlad Romanov: So, I’ll kick it off with a quick introduction. So myself and Dave have be gone this, livestream venture slash podcast, depending on where you’re listening to this last year and this is installment number two of the, of the stream slash podcast. And so today the topic is going to be focused on careers in the manufacturing industry. And that includes education. That includes different paths, different, levels of careers, how to progress, how to apply to jobs. And of course, there’s going to be a lot of things that we can expand upon, but we’re going to try and keep it under the typical 45 minute limit Dave. And, you know, there’s for sure going to be a follow-up and we’ve got a guest speakers who are probably going to join in on this topic who are even more experienced in the industry, but we’re going to give you our perspective, with that being said, Dave, I want to kick it off with a very or somewhat question, which is education and background to get into manufacturing, you know, getting a degree versus learning on your own. But at the same time, I still want to hear a little bit on how you got into the industry. And we talked a little bit about that last episode, but you know, just give us a little summary and what are your thoughts on degree versus self thought
Dave Griffith: Yeah, so I think that that’s a really good question, Vlad and I kind of go back and forth on education and to give everyone the slightly more well-rounded version of education. I went to the, the normal four-year college that honestly, what was it w it was not right for me when I was 18. So I ended up going to tech school. I got my airframe and powerplant certifications, to be able to go work on airplanes, which is where a lot of my technical background and a lot of my troubleshooting skills come from. And then kind of based upon where the aviation industry was and the job options and what I wanted to do after a short period of time doing that, I ended up going back to school, getting an associates and then a bachelor’s degree. And I would say that, especially in this industry tech school for me will, provided some of the best value. I would say tech school provided some of the best value, some of the best hands-on experience. And, I’m going to let you go into it a little bit flat and we can kind of continue the conversation, but I would say kind of when you’re looking to break into the industry, getting kind of any sort of that hands-on experience in that real life environment is, is one of the hardest things to do and the hardest parts of actually getting a real paying job.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you hit it right on the head, especially towards the end there, by saying that real life experience I think is extremely important. And, you know, my perspective on the entire like education versus self-thought is, I guess I’ll premise that with kind of a bias that I have, I’ve also gone to a traditional university and I’ve gotten my bachelor’s in electrical engineering, but, in my experience, at least manufacturing was not as relevant as part of that degree. So I’ve gotten a very general electrical engineering, knowledge, but I’ve never actually, I didn’t even know what appeals to you was once I had graduated and I felt, but once I joined the industry and again, I didn’t specifically target manufacturing after graduation, I had very little, applicable skills, as I got my first job. So it’s, how to say it’s a bittersweet filling because had I known that that’s how the university was structured and if I really targeted manufacturing, I thought, I think I would have chosen a very different path, which could be either like one of the technical engineering programs that pair a lot of the, kind of in the field work, as well as, you know, in class learning.
Vlad Romanov: And then you have a lot of opportunities where you can become, let’s say a certified electrician while you work while you’re doing your hours, after your full-time job. And I think that’s, for me, at least like looking back, that would be a much better entryway into manufacturing. And again, like I’m only talking about controls, there’s a lot of different, there’s a broad array of, of jobs, but when it comes to controls and engineering, I think there were like better paths. And, I can, if I relate that back a little bit would be because of like, I guess financial gain, because you become a lot more financially stable quicker, and you can start earning as you pursue some of those other, learning opportunities. But that’s, that’s kind of how I feel. There’s definitely a lot of different angles to that. I think that traditional education still brings, an immense value.
Vlad Romanov: And, I guess there’s many aspects to that, but one of which is that employers in my mind are still looking for those degrees because if you look at it from, from the employer standpoint is just an easy way to, to filter people. And by no means, a self-taught person would ever be worse at a certain skill than the one that has a degree, but it’s just a very easy way to, you know, if you’ve got a hundreds or thousands of applicants to filter through them. And that’s the unfortunate, I think, reality of, screening candidates.
Dave Griffith: No, no, I would completely agree with that. And I think that brings up a really good point. I certainly thought a lot about this in the early two thousands when I was considering kind of the path of going to college and then going back to college and especially after like the 2008 crisis financial crisis, we see a lot of people have gone to college and many jobs are asking for a bare minimum of a bachelor’s degree. I I’ve got a good friend, Mike who went to work as a customer service representative at Yahoo, complete change in his career. He was a computer science engineer decided to do something different. And their bare minimum requirement was something like a bachelor’s degree with like a three, six GPA. And they were filtering all candidates based specifically off of those. And so I would agree with what you’re saying fled.
Dave Griffith: I think that when you look at all of this, you have to look at where you are on your career. And sometimes the concept of going to school to get a degree that piece of paper is like the entry cost into a, into the career field. I would also agree with what you were saying. so kind of like the technical side of engineering, I hear them called co-ops a lot, at least in the United States. and those are typically like five or six year degrees and at least one of those degrees, one of those years is you’re out working in the field and, only heard good things from people who have gone down the process of, of getting their co-op degree. And then, when you were talking about the electrician and being able to go be an electrician, I would say that I have found that that varies and potentially vary widely, state to state and especially country to country and the way people, the people in the U S that are listening. It may be different from CA to Canada. And from what I understand, it’s, it’s very different across Europe, but I would agree that there is certainly a good opportunity to go. And if you decide you want to be in manufacturing, if you decide you want to be in controls, getting more of that hands-on experience, as I mentioned, that hands-on experience has served me well, even when I spend very little, if any part of my year, actually working on, on machinery at this point.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah, no, I mean, it’s, like I was saying, it’s a little bit bittersweet that I hadn’t known about all of these opportunities, you know, when I was younger and to be quite honest with you, I was fairly lost when it came to career planning. And of course, you know, universities offer and even colleges or high schools offer a wide arrange of services where they try and kind of direct you towards something and mentor you maybe, or explain certain things. But I had absolutely no idea, you know, what manufacturing had to offer. And I think if I would’ve known that and had maybe a mentor from the field, I would have been a lot better positioned to, to get in some of these jobs. But I mean, that being said, I think, like I said, like the education system is very different. I find for manufacturing, in general, like I said, my degree didn’t uncover any of the materials or gave me any exposure except the, just the general electrical engineering knowledge, which of course helps me in a certain way.
Vlad Romanov: You know, I notice certain things maybe a little bit differently, but I’ve never studied a ladder logic programming. I’ve never studied function blocks and all that was all completely new to me. I had never seen, like I was saying a, a control or anything of that sorts, but, that being said, I want to ask you what, what you believe maybe are some of the, so three key areas, you know, so moving forward, I guess if you are in manufacturing and if you want to focus on controls or just give us a general thoughts that you may have, what would be kind of like very hands-on applicable skills that you’re seeing in the next, you know, two to five years employers, heavily looking for, and it could be soft or hard skills, whatever.
Dave Griffith: Yeah. So I would say like, let me pick, let me pick a soft skill, let me pick a hard skill and a, and let me kind of continue to move on with that. I, I would say I eat everywhere, including manufacturing and maybe very specifically manufacturing, kind of the soft skill of communication and being able to communicate with different people. I, I think that’s becoming more and more necessary. And I think especially in now 2021, you know, we we’ve gone through this pandemic. Remote work is becoming such more prevalent, the opportunities to remote, to work remotely with various experts around the world and manufacturing is becoming more and more prevalent and readily accepted. And I would say that that is, and the ability to have communication across a variety of different platforms is important, whether you’re in person to face-to-face or you’re picking up the phone or you’re typing, it’s kind of that stretch that we all find ourselves having to go through.
Dave Griffith: I would say, you know, finding a way to communicate and work collaboratively with people. and then I would say kind of that, that second hard scale, or maybe less of a hard skill, but more of, the, the way you get to it as hard is kind of sitting down and figuring out where you are and where you want to be in kind of focusing in on one thing in particular, you know, if you want to work on PLCs and controls, you know, you could, as everyone can see behind you who are watching us live flagged, you know, you could work on, you know, the Ellen Bradley and you could be a absolute master in the Allen-Bradley suite, but you may not have any idea what code assist looks like. And you may not have any idea what Siemens looks like, because they’re all at least slightly different.
Dave Griffith: So if you want to work on controls and you want to work on PLCs, focus on expanding your skill. So it’s not just all Allen-Bradley or not all just Siemens are not all just codices because that variety of skill within your chosen niche is going to become more and more important. I think moving forward in the next series of years, we are certainly going to see more people willing to change platforms, more people willing to kind of expand, and you know, based upon all of the projections, you know, there, there should be a fair amount of growth in spend in this industry. And so figuring out what you want to do, and then finding a way to set yourself up for success, in that, and then I would say the third thing is, wow, that’s a good one. I would say the third thing is, is be flexible and understand kind of where you are and be willing to take some risks, especially if you’re new or in the middle of your career, if a good opportunity comes up, that looks like it’s a good opportunity. You shouldn’t limit yourself to just one facility or just one vertical. there are times one, you know, and gas may be up and the money is good and that, and there are other times where entered where we’re, you know, solar may be up or food and beverage, if you can kind of expand your verticals and your, your product knowledge, it will, you will be much less likely to be out of work in the future.
Vlad Romanov: Oh, I agree. I agree. I think that’s a diversifying, right. As even a, they would call it on the financial terms is extremely important. while you were making your point, we got very interesting questions, from our YouTube channel. So I’m going to read them in order as they came in. Okay. And let’s see if we can elaborate a little bit. So below said that he’s graduated this year from automation information and, information industrial systems, and he’s got a similar problem with a practical, industrial experience. And I’m thinking that he’s probably wondering what could be, you know, our advice. And if I may kind of start answering that and feel free to chime in Dave, is that, if I was in, in those shoes and again, I was exactly there in 2013 where I had graduated, I had very little, practical experience.
Vlad Romanov: I had done one internship. So one single summer out of the, out of the three summers of my four year education that I got to work as an, as an electrical engineer intern. But, as I graduated, what I had done is I S I just started applying to every single opportunity, obviously within the field and close to related to electrical engineering. And, my first job, like, to be quite honest with you, I may have mentioned it in the previous episode was not extremely glamorous. I became a field engineer for a Mitsubishi electric, and I would go out and diagnose problems in elevator and escalator systems. And then I would, you know, spec out wire harnesses and figure out, you know, what kind of issues the mechanics and electricians would encounter during installation or service calls. And so what that allowed me to do is start gaining that industry experience.
Vlad Romanov: Again, it was not programming, it was not designing big systems. It was literally just troubleshooting and understanding what’s going on. But as I gained that knowledge, I was able to, you know, continue to apply and continue to understand everything. And once I got to the next interviews, I was able to speak a lot better to, do you know what I had done and some of the projects I had completed and, it allowed me to transition into a better job. So I think to summarize that at least in the, culture that I was in, you know, get something that you can start learning from. And then if you’re looking to move up, if it’s not something that you think is the end goal to start, you know, applying that experience, gain knowledge, and then just transitioned into something else.
Dave Griffith: Yeah, no, I would say that, that, that’s a really good, I would say that’s a really good piece of advice. and again, kind of that getting the ex once you have any experience in the industry, it’s much easier to move up. The hardest part is kind of getting that first piece of experience. And I see a lot of people like you were talking to applying to a variety of places. And I would say one thing that I commend kind of that initial push into was you didn’t come in saying, Hey, I am a degreed electrical engineer. I have to have, you know, Oh, electrical engineer in my title. You took a job as like a field service technician engineer out in the field, learning, learning the actual skills of the trade. And so, like kind of my advice along that is twofold.
Dave Griffith: Be honest with yourself and be willing to kind of take and look and accept a less than glamorous job title in order to help kind of kickstart your career. And in six months or a year, you can either move internally in that company, either up the ladder or a year from that point, you’re going to be much more, you’re going to be looked at much better than the next graduating class who doesn’t have any experience. And you’ve spent a year in the industry. the, the one other piece of advice that I like to give people is as opposed to just, you know, sending resumes, if there are systems integrators, if there are, you know, facilities that you’re interested in going to work, especially if you already live in that area, you know, go figure out who is in charge of that department, or who’s in charge of hiring and go and, and, you know, reach out to them and ask them what you need to do to get hired, say, Hey, I’m interested to get into the industry.
Dave Griffith: I am interested to, you know, work for this company in this type of position, what this is, where I’m at. Can you help me understand what I need to do to get hired And then you’ll at least have a path to get hired. And that is kind of like that best instantaneous feedback loop, where you should not expect all of these people are going to hire you, but if you can have a couple of conversations, they can at least help put you down the right path to what they actually look for to hire a new person.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah. And that’s a again, good point. And I think, I wish I would have taken your advice back in 2013 because, my process was very traditional. I’ve never, I guess the skill of networking was not as apparent to me at the time. So I purely apply it on the websites. I didn’t reach out to anyone. I just sent out resume after resume. And it took me a long time. I graduated if I remember correctly as of, mid to late April of that year. And I think I’ve actually started working in October if not in November. So it took me quite a bit of time, you know, to prep the CVS, go through the interview process. And of course there’s multiple stages and find my first placement. So I think that’s one thing that people are always nervous about. And I can assure you that you will be nervous, but you just have to persevere.
Vlad Romanov: You have to keep applying. like Dave was saying, you should definitely look in a broader scope, but at the same time, I would also say don’t necessarily pigeon hole yourself into doing something that’s not, that’s completely out of your field. Right. So you can certainly, if you have needs to finance, you know, your family, your living expenses, that’s like one thing. But if you’re able to hold on and kind of get, at least in the, in the industry, that’s extremely important because it takes a lot of time, to search for a job. It’s almost a full-time job to find a job. So it’s a, it’s certainly going to be much more difficult if you’re already working 60 hours a week and trying to look for something else. But again, it depends on your needs. It depends on your financial situation for sure.
Vlad Romanov: we’ve got a next question. So from Brian, so he, he says, thank you guys. could you give us a, an opinion about the certification such as CCNA T V N the benefits so that’s a very, very good question because one of my actually three points was going to, well, two of the points was going to be networking and cybersecurity. And the reason for that is because the, the line or the metaphorical split between control systems and it is becoming much more blurred these years. And what I mean by that is once you start configuring your control systems, you need to understand networking because all of the devices, not only the PLC itself, but all of the motors, all of your IO cards that you can see behind me on this side or that side, they all go into the network. And so even a fundamental understanding of the network, I think, is going to be a requirement.
Vlad Romanov: And the it’s very typical that I go out to sites of, some of my clients and, you know, the technicians and or electricians that haven’t been trained or had zero exposure to something that’s covered in the CCNA. The, the two exams, I think they probably have changed that since, since I had studied for it, but I had the really thick books for CCNA. There’s like part one. I think it was icy and D one, and I seen D two exam, but I actually took only the first one. So technically I have the CC ENT, not the CCNA. but long story short, the certifications are extremely important. And I think it’s a very easy way to measure the knowledge of an individual. So if you come in and interview with, with me and you have an interest in PLCs, but you’ve got a certification from CCNA, I definitely know that you understand networking and you can apply those skills immediately.
Vlad Romanov: And I can essentially help you understand how to program PLCs, but on the networking side, it’s going to be really clear and you will have, things that you can do right away. So of course there’s a lot of value, I think in all certifications. And one may argue, you know, if there’s a platform that’s not necessarily on Cisco, then the CCNA apply. I still think it’s an industry standard. And I think it’s three applicable between whatever switches or whatever devices, if it’s HP, Cisco, or a, what does a Juniper, that might be in the field. But I think it’s extremely relevant. I think the, security certifications are extremely, extremely relevant that the, the PMP, I guess I still have somewhat of, some doubts, depending on obviously what job you’re looking to get. If you’re going for project manager in a, in the industry, that’s going to be very applicable. And, I’m not familiar, like I said, with all the certifications, but there are going to be some very, very valuable ones.
Dave Griffith: Yeah. And what do you think I would agree with that flat I think certifications are good. kind of, as I briefly had mentioned earlier, I think that if you pick an area that you want to work and look at getting some certifications in that, I think that makes a lot of sense. I think that if you go out and you get certified in networking and OT, cyber security, and, you know, your Microsoft service stack, and you also get a bunch of certifications and a bunch of PLCs, and you’re, you’re going and talking to an employer, the employer is going to ask, you know, what are you interested in You’ve got all of these certifications. And at some point, the question may be, could you just be really good at studying and taking tests And so I think that if you’re interested in those particular areas, the certifications are certainly a bonus.
Dave Griffith: And if you go to start work in those areas, the people are certainly going to understand what those certifications mean. And that is, that is definitely a good thing. similar like the, the, the PMP or potentially, you know, getting your professional engineering license. It’s one of those, like if you’re gonna work in the industry and that’s the particular area that you want to work in, I think that it makes sense to, you know, go down that route. just as like wide was saying, like, if you’re looking for a job, it’s a full-time job to get a job. And if you’re already working 60 hours a week at your job, then you know, you’re working a lot to kind of find the next thing. I think the question always becomes, do I want to push more time into studying for our certificate, while I’m going through all these processes, but generally I think certain certificates are good.
Dave Griffith: Vlad, I’m going to shout out solace PLC. I’m going to shout out, you know, the other, you to me and the other courses that exist out there, not necessarily at the level, of the networking, not cybersecurity certificates, but going through the course and showing that you’ve done some of these things, especially if you want to learn controls, being able to show projects and other things, also a big bonus, as you’re going to look to either break into the industry, or you’re looking to go from like an electrician to a controls PLC program or something along those. Yeah.
Vlad Romanov: I think, you know, to your point, I really wish that there was maybe a much more structured certification path in manufacturing and in control specifically, I think that there’s a missed opportunity that, you know, even Cisco and Amazon with their AWS certification platform recognized, and they’re providing that, not free of charge, of course, but I think the lessons are free of charge, but then you have to pay for the tests. but what that creates is a lot of opportunities for those individuals. And they allow to essentially the AWS model is that you need to have a certain number of texts that are certified at a certain level in order to work in AWS because of the same time that strengthens the community, right So that provides value to the certification. But at the same time, you get people who are knowledgeable with the system that are implementing some of these applications.
Vlad Romanov: And so that creates maybe a, I would say like a synergy between the two that, combined the technical knowledge and, you know, AWS certification path that being said in controls. I just, I just feel like there’s not enough, not enough materials. And I think people are slowly creating them on their own. I think one good example of what I’ve seen done is from, from ignition, right So ignition has a pretty good like university, that gives you like videos and it walks you through steps. and then the certification is actually quite challenging. I don’t know if you’ve watched some of those videos, but at the end you have to create like a full application. You have to troubleshoot applications. And, that’s, I guess, like one of my plans on the longterm with a solar spiel, see for sure it’s to get something that’s a little bit more tangible that resembles you know, what Cisco and Amazon have created through their platforms. But the other example, opto 22, I think they also have a really good university and I hope that they create, and I think they’re probably going to work on something similar, but when they certify people on their systems, right, because they have an extensive library of programming tools that they’ve showcased with their hardware and software, but they haven’t there. I don’t believe that they have a certification path at this point.
Dave Griffith: I’m not familiar with the certification path for those guys, but I think that that’s a really good goal. and, and I do say that the inductive university, from the, inductive automation folks is kind of like the gold standard, if you’re looking to have and teach someone your platform. I know a lot of people that, that I have certainly suggested to that in the past, you know, just basics, you know, of SCADA of, of kind of programming in this area. So, so completely agree with that.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah. Speaking of speaking of which, by the way, SCADA was going to be on my list of things to, to know as well for the next five years, because I think that, just feel seasoned general, you know, standalone PLCs in a, in a machine are becoming a thing of the past. So there’s going to be a lot more data that’s being passed for your, from your machinery or from your plant floor in general, up to a concentrated system, that’s going to be processing all the data and ultimately displaying a full, a full array of different information, not only for the technical folks, but also those who are making in operations, upper management, so on and so forth. So I think that’s going to be all fully integrated with all of your MES ERP systems and allow you to get a much better view of your manufacturing process, because I think ultimately manufacturing is all about, you know, producing something at the lowest price at the best rate and best quality.
Vlad Romanov: And so if you’ve got most data that you can actually use to make decisions, that’s going to give you an advantage over someone who does not. so yeah, so SCADA and not necessarily, you know, ignition, I think has a good learning platform, but a whatever skater, just be very familiar with how to integrate those systems, not only standalone, machines as we’ve seen in the past. So we’ve got a next question. Hello guys. Thank you for the space. One question, actually I skipped one of the questions, sorry about that. what kind of a book do you recommend for us and the best course to take at the moment So, Marcel, I think, Dave kind of mentioned a couple of things that you should be looking at. I think ignition, if you want to look at solar SPLC, I think you, to me has a lot of different resources as well in terms of books.
Vlad Romanov: so we actually have Frank alarm in the common section on LinkedIn. I believe he wrote a very extensive book if not several books. And I think, that would be something to, to take a look at to be quite honest with you. I haven’t necessarily gone through any books, but the manuals that Rockwell has given me during, you know, the time that I went to, to the Rocco HQ and took their programming course. So I wouldn’t necessarily know, what books would be the best at this time, but, there’s definitely, there’s definitely some options. If you look on Amazon, if you’re, if you’re specific on PLC or HMI development, there’s going to be a couple of books, but I, I couldn’t give you titles off the top of my head like that. I don’t know Dave, if you’ve got any comments on that question,
Speaker 5: I would say kind of a lot of it depends, as to, as to what you’re looking for. as you mentioned, Frank in the comments has, has certainly written some books, and you should check those out. he, I would say that there is a pretty good book. It is fairly expensive of high-performance HMI, talking about like the theoretical development of HMI screens, and kind of getting rid of, you know, a lot of, not necessarily color and allowing people to, to better look and understand, as to what that, as to kind of like what an ideal HMI screen can look like. The last time I looked at, it was more than a hundred dollars on Amazon. but it was a, it’s always looked pretty good. I’ve read a bunch of ex excerpts from it over the years. I think it’s a really good starting point, for HMI also like SCADA and other screens, along those lines.
Speaker 5: And then if you’re big into like ICS cybersecurity, there are of course, you know, a couple of books there, Clinton Bogin and Pascal Ackerman has literally written the two books on, an ICS cybersecurity. And so, a lot of it is kind of taking a look as to, as to what you want to look at. there are certainly a lot of good options out there if you, if you want to look at books again, I find that a lot of them seem to get very expensive, I think because they’re generally printed if you’re buying them printed in low quantity.
Speaker 1: Yes.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah. It looks like on Amazon. If I got this correctly, the high-performance issue, my handbook, a comprehensive guide to designing, implementing, and maintaining effective HMI is for industrial plant applications currently $82. Okay. I think that’s the ebook edition. Hardcover is 80 on special, right Not 39%. So if anyone’s interested in that, I’m going to post a link on YouTube where this question was asked and we’ll probably put it in the comments. I mean, in the description once the, once the stream is posted next, we’ve got a question.
Speaker 5: Oh, can we hold on one sec, Frankish dropped a couple of, of book names. So Frank says his is advanced PLC hardware and programming, Siemens and Ellen Bradley. And then he also says Tom Mayer, and a ton son’s book on structured text.
Speaker 1: Okay. Let me say, thank you for those Frank.
Vlad Romanov: I may not be able to find all the links. I see actually Frank’s book right now on Amazon looks like $43 in a paperback and that’s, that’s again, that’s the U S price. Of course, if you’re somewhere else, that’s going to be a little bit different. I’m going to post that link in, on YouTube as well, if you want to check it out. But, there’s for sure. A couple of options there’s, you know, like, like I was saying, I haven’t read them all, so I can’t necessarily give a personal recommendation, but there’s a lot of, decent books out there. And if it is of interest, like I said, I will be posting some other links once, once we put up this video. So
Speaker 5: Yeah, sure. We can certainly do that. And then before we move on flat, Seth Johnson on LinkedIn was asking, if the CCNA is applicable for in-house control guys who don’t need to necessarily take care of large enterprise networks,
Vlad Romanov: I can, I can take that one.
Speaker 5: Yeah, I would say that’s certainly a you question.
Vlad Romanov: It looks, the truth is, is that, regardless what the enterprise network looks like, even if you’re in the field on stroke, installing a brand new controller, you should be able to configure some of the basic things. And again, that could be just giving it an IP address, a subnet mask and a gateway, but, just understanding what those things even mean, is covered by the CCNA. And I think it’s even covered by just the first half of the CCNA. And so to your question, it may not be important to have the certification in itself. As Dave had mentioned, the, the important thing is not to just have the paperwork, if you’re already, happily employed and work out a facility, but what’s important is understanding those topics and understanding how packets are being sad, how you can ping devices, how you can reconfigure your switches.
Vlad Romanov: Again, if you’re not connected to the enterprise, you’re still connected between devices. You still have to set up your switches. The, the Stratix switch, that’s sitting on top of me here. So that’s the managed switch. So you need to be able to recognize some of the keywords once you log on to that switch and you look at the port settings. So that’s, it, it’s nothing that’s overly complicated, but the CCNA covers the basics of it. And I think, again, just reading through that book that you can buy again on Amazon or from Cisco directly, is going to be extremely valuable. And, for sure you’re not going to be using all the, all the concepts that are covered in there, but it will, allow you to be a better control systems, tech engineer. And, and what have you. So again, like, I guess, like my job is more on the, on the global engineering side and I would call my clients and kind of ask, you know, we were putting in this new processor or even doing an upgrade from us like five Oh four to a five Oh five, can you guys plug this into the switch
Vlad Romanov: And they have almost like, no idea what I’m talking about. And that’s just the very basic configuration that comes in CCNA. And a course, if you can do it on your own already, then perhaps there’s not as much value to, for you to have CCNA, but that’s something that’s important in my eyes, at least then for you to have the knowledge of those concepts, you will be an invaluable asset for the plant.
Speaker 5: No. Perfect. And we’ve also got some other, book, ideas rolling through, if you guys are watching live or after on stream, please feel free to keep dropping those. we fled and I we’ll, we’ll put them together, in w w we’ll put those books together, at the end of all of this.
Vlad Romanov: We’ve got an interesting question, Dave. I think that’s a segue back to, you know, careers. Not that we haven’t touched on that, but Hey guys, thanks for the space. One question, do you think I can get into maintenance as a technician with a high school degree, or should I get an associates degree in, in food and beverage by the way So that’s a very pertinent. What do you, what are your thoughts, Dave high school versus associate’s degree
Speaker 5: So I would say that that’s a great question. and before I completely jumped onto that, I am actually going to, to shout out Tim Wilburn. I was listening to his first podcast, which is great. He answers a lot of questions for a lot of people, kind of learning to get into the industry and increasing their skills. And on the first podcast that he did, he said, one of his best suggestions is if you’re looking to get experience, go take a job in maintenance, because you’re going to get a ton of hands-on experience. And then once you have that experience, you’re going to be able to get in. So, I needed to do that. And then on the other side, I would say that a lot of it’s probably going to be very dependent upon the facility and, and, and where you’re currently living.
Speaker 5: my best suggestion is to go reach out to the people who are at the, who are at the facility. They’re probably going to be able to give you a really strong answer as to if they accept candidates, without a diploma, or I guess, with just a high school diploma and no advanced degree. beyond that, I would say that if you have the ability and are close to, you know, go to school and get an associates degree while you’re working in the maintenance shift, as Vlad kinda mentioned at the beginning of the screen, it’s a stream that is going to be, you know, your best kind of path forward. You’re going to kind of almost future-proof yourself, if you want to continue, if, if you want to transition your career out of maintenance, at that food and beverage facility.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah, I think that’s excellent points. If I may add a few tidbits of, you know, my personal experience, I can tell you that when I was, when I was hiring into maintenance. So I worked as a maintenance supervisor at a plant for Kraft Heinz in the LA area until a plant, unfortunately closed down. And when we were looking for people, whether it is mechanics, electricians, or engineers, it was always coming down to how much was that person willing to learn versus how much they actually knew Because we, we, we certainly knew that you could train someone to be a competent mechanic. If they at least knew how to work around tools, they weren’t obviously completely unexposed to things, but, I can tell you that we certainly had people that we hired on board with, just a high school degree that were not any worse than anyone with an associates degree.
Vlad Romanov: And of course, again, you might have a slightly different learning curve, but, I don’t think that that would stop you from, like I said, becoming some of the top performers in the company. And again, to kind of like, maybe bring that back a little bit, you know, I think that the best path forward to get your education is through hands-on experience. And if you can combine the two, again, we will do that with certain people is, you would work with us, let’s say for three to five years, but during that time, you will have two days that you would go to technical school where you would get your associates degree, but you would still get the hands-on experience and be able to help out quite a bit around the plan during that time. So I think that would be the best opportunity, and not just, you know, going two, three years into an associate’s degree, without any experience, but typically they, I think they do have that component regardless. So to answer your question, I think it really depends on where you’re at, but I think it’s definitely possible to get into maintenance in those jobs with just the whole high school degree, because I I’ve seen it myself happen. I’ve hired people with just the high school experience.
Speaker 5: Perfect. let’s see. Do we want to answer more questions Do we have any other, highlighted items that we want to hit, on this, I know we’re running close to, to the 45 minute, time.
Vlad Romanov: Well I think, I mean, there’s still a lot that we can cover when it comes to careers. Maybe, you know, what if we kind of switch it a little bit from the technical side and get your thoughts, maybe Dave, because you interact a lot more with the dot side of things, but what about on the business side What about, you know, the marketing, the branding, or even, you know, management getting into operations, as opposed to, you know, a technical field Like, what are your thoughts on, getting into that now and maybe kind of make it a, even more concrete question, how do you get them to operations can you just, you know, go through operator then supervisor, then operations manager, like, what are your recommendations on that side of things
Speaker 5: So I think a lot of it is dependent upon what you do, which is probably a really terrible answer for most people out there. So let me, let me be a little bit more specific. I think that there are a couple of ways that you can go about it. If you want to go into we’ll call it operations at a facility and you start as an operator, kind of, at some point, you’re going to be a shift supervisor. Then you might be an area manager. And at some point, you know, you’re going to, again, you are going to continue to get pushed up just by the fact that you’re, assumably doing a good job in continuing to stay there. if you are looking to make a career change or want to move higher up into the, higher up into the organization, and that’s where you may have to make some decisions, you’re going to have to have some conversations.
Speaker 5: most of the time in a lot of facilities, you know, you’ve got the operate, you’ve got the operators and kind of that side, but you also have the engineers that kind of generally sit at top of them. And then you kind of have like the, the, you know, operations team, if you will, that kind of sits over that that may be some engineers that may be people from the plant side. And generally a lot of that is, you know, looking at what you want to do in the next three to five years, and then kind of setting yourself up for that. If you really want to be on that engineering side, figuring out a lot of that. You may have to go back to school to, to get an engineering degree, because that is the only way that, we can go and, and kind of make that move.
Speaker 5: I would say that almost always those moves are going to be very much planned, as you’re going through the process of doing those. and, and we, we talked a little bit about branding. We talked a little bit about business. Let me give like a really good example. specifically on the systems integrator side, we probably have a lot of systems integrators, Oh, who are listening to this who are considered going and a, and B becoming a systems integrator. And that’s kind of the side that I see a much more of a mix of kind of business and marketing and branding and all of those, as you mentioned, and you know, honestly there are a lot of systems integrators and I see that there are a lot of systems integrators because it generally seems like at some point, you know, you go and you take a job at NSI, and if you can put in the hours and put in the work and do pretty good, you know, you’re going to continue to kind of move up through the ranks because there’s a lot of attrition at any large sized systems integration company.
Speaker 5: And then at some point, you know, you’re going to be towards the top. Maybe you’re running a team and you kind of come to the realization of, Hey, I’m doing all this work. I’m bringing all of this business in, you know, what if I do this for myself And so I see kind of at that point, a lot of top guys breaking off from systems, integration companies kind of making that jump. And, and the reason I bring all that up is because as Vlad had mentioned, you know, you, you make the jump into business and marketing and all of that, you know, that’s when you’re a, now a business owner, you’re an entrepreneur. You now have made the jump into kind of figuring out all of the accounting. You’ve made the jump to figuring out all of the marketing, all of the branding, if you’re going to do that, or who do you bring in to do that And so a lot of that, in my experience is kind of like a trial by fire. and so me personally, I started out, you know, working some technical jobs. my, my bachelor’s degree was in business operations and supply chains management. so I, I was, at one point I was running a supply chain for a relatively small a manufacturers rep distributor. I took a promotion into applications engineering. So I was like completely that technical guy. And at some point it’s
Dave Griffith: Like, Hey, this marketing stuff kind of looks interesting. What if I push myself into a meeting that I shouldn’t be and start helping to write a newsletter because I have the technical understanding of what we’re talking about. And so then I kind of started writing newsletters, and then I started kind of writing newsletters for other people, which kind of led me to the path of being, you know, running a systems integration company, for a period of time. So all of the sales and all of the marketing, and again, a lot of that is trial by fire. And especially for small companies, it’s a, Hey, let’s try this. If it works great, that’s fantastic. If, if it doesn’t work well, let’s make a move, let’s try something else. And so it’s, it’s a lot of being mobile, mobile, and agile through this whole process.
Vlad Romanov: Yeah. Completely agree with you, Dave. And I mean, at the end of the day, as they say, it’s a, it’s a journey, not a destination, right. And there’s going to be a lot of, not necessarily always upwards movements in your career. You’re always gonna jump ladders or figure out like different areas of before you can move up to a, you know, maybe more rewarding or higher paying job. So for sure, don’t be afraid to, to look at different opportunities. Don’t be afraid to kind of explore, because again, I think manufacturing is such a vast like area and like you’ve mentioned like supply chain, like that’s a whole, like in the, that you could probably spend your entire career in, but at the same time, you know, it’s so much to learn and so much to kind of, it takes a lot of time to kind of master, there’s always this very steep.
Vlad Romanov: I find learning curve at the beginning, but once you spend enough time, then you can spend, speak intelligently to the subject. but, yeah, I think, I think we want to wrap this up, but at this point, what are your, what are your, maybe some final thoughts, some final shout outs to some of the people that came and checked out the stream, certainly want to thank the, the viewers from YouTube for all the questions that we’ve received. I think very, very irrelevant, really appreciate the interaction guys. And hopefully next time it’s going to be even, even bigger.
Dave Griffith: Yeah, no, I, I agree with that. thank you guys, everyone. who has shown up once again, if you’re still listening, please, you know, connect with fled. I, please subscribe to whatever channel you’re listening to. I feel like we’re podcasters now. So we’ve got to do that thing where we ask for everyone to give us, you know, five stars on iTunes or Apple podcast or whatever we’re calling it. And by saying that, I feel like we’re, we’re honest to goodness, our real true podcasters, at this point, but no. So please go ahead and, and do all of those things. thank you to everyone in the community who has, who has shown up and continue to show up. I know Chris Lukey and manufacturing happy hour. he had a, he had given us
Dave Griffith: A shot at earlier in the week. Thank you to him. And kind of a lot of what he has done to help make manufacturing, podcasting a, a, a thing, right Like, yeah, we can say thank you to Chris for helping to make manufacturing, podcasting a thing. we, we are happy to be here and kind of continue to, to share some of our experiences if anyone is listening to this live. I am planning to actually have a tangential conversation about this, with Jordan Humphreys, who is a recruiter, Jordan and I are going to talk at some point, on Monday the, the 18th where they’re going to do it at lunchtime or around the same time, please feel free to, to drop by. We’re going to look at job postings and we’re going to do it, through the lens of him as a recruiter and what it means to him and me looking at it as I was, you know, talent, looking at a job, listening, saying, Hey, this is a, this is what I think it looks like. And then maybe we’ll even talk about writing, good job listings versus bad job listings.
Vlad Romanov: a few final comments. We’re getting questions about the, your channel. Someone’s asking how to, to reach you. I posted the link in the chat on YouTube, but all the links will be ultimately posted. Once this goes live on the YouTube page, it’s going to be in the description underneath. And then someone said, thank you for the advice I’ve learned. I’ve done. Keep up the great work. And then of Latin Dave, when will be the next life podcast. So we’re going to be announcing that dates are closer to the date again. Well, you don’t have a very solid schedule yet. And I think that’s something me and Dave really needs to, work out between the two of us, but we will have something a lot more consistent, but typically we’ve, I think we’ve discussed that and it’s going to be once every two weeks or so to a month, but we’re, we’re going to, like I said, release the, the next podcast before it comes in. So really appreciate the support. And, like I said, we’ll share all the links in the appropriate media and hope to see you guys next time.
Dave Griffith: Yes. Perfect. Thank you everyone. We’ll we’ll talk to you guys soon. Take care. Bye.