AV Insider Spotlight : Mohamed Sadek – Training & Programming Manager (AMX) at Martin Professional Middle East

Every week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Mohamed Sadek.

Here is a brief intro about him.

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Mohamed Sadek has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 8 years.  He is currently the AMX training & programming manager at Martin Professional Middle East..

1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?

My journey in AV started in two phases, the first phase was with the computer world and programming, and the other one was with AV industry specifically.
The first phase of my journey started in 2000 when I started to work in summer while studying in a computer service company, we were providing services starting from typing services all the way to programming services, this time of my life gave me the ability to understand more about computer and programming aspects, which enabled me to consolidate my knowledge and experience during my graduation year, I had the chance at that time to build solutions that is very related to automation using my programming skills, ranging from an IR Analyzer to an automation controller that can be connected to PC to control devices using IR, Serial and IO.

In 2006 my second phase of my journey started when I joined a system integrator called EON in Dubai UAE, during that time I had the change to do everything in AV from design to installation and programming as well, for both automation system and software solutions that can be used in the automation system.

In 2010, I started to gradually switch from AV to smart phone application development when I started building an iPhone application to control the automation system (through AMX), I spent 3 years after that focusing only on software development for smart phones which gave me the chance to have more experience in software development aspects that are not widely used in the AV industry in terms of system programming.

In 2013 I decided to go back to the AV industry with a goal in mind, which is to apply what I learned from the software development aspects I learned in smart phones application development in the AV control system, specifically AMX, and I had the chance to spread the word and transfer this knowledge to some of the people in the industry when I was working with AMX-me as a technical trainer.

And finally, I am now trying to do both, transferring the knowledge and providing high quality programming services with Martin Pro ME, the current distributer of AMX and Harman products in the middle east, we believe that the AMX system has a very high potential that most of the people in the middle east are not fully exploiting it, and this is what we are trying to do now by doing it directly through programming services and/or teaching the system integrator how to do so.

2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?

I believe the biggest challenge in the industry is how to get the technical knowledge effectively, it doesn’t matter what is the new person qualification, they need to be prepared to seek for more information from different fields, like networking, software development, planning, etc. which will enable them to be more effective in their delivery.

3.What are the positives of working in this industry?

Challenges in the industry is a very good positive for the people who are working in the industry, you can learn a lot from the systems to be provided either in the design, installation or programming aspects, because AV is becoming more automated now, customers are expecting to have a very intelligent system to use, which I believe give us more opportunities to enhance the system capability and our knowledge as well.

4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent?

Hardware-wise I don’t think that we need to change anything, AV manufacturer are doing a great effort to provide a very high end products, but services, specially programming services, is the one that require huge change, at least in the middle east area, I believe that the people who are providing programming services should be more involved in software development than just programming, they need to learn more and more about software development to provide a good solution, specially that all the customers now are comparing touch panels to tablets, the people who are building apps for tablets are software developers and they are covering many aspects in their development than the people who are programming the AV system touch panels, which makes the customer disappointed sometimes because they were expecting more from the system.

[RELATED] : If you have missed any of the previous interviews, please click here.

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5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?

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I think the most important thing the client should know is what do they want the AV system to do for them, not in the technical level, but in the functionality level, and I strongly believe that this is the job of the people in the industry as well, we need to educate our customers of what they will get from their system. I don’t think that a customer will be ideal because of his pre-knowledge, because I strongly believe that the provided services by us will make him happy, and in that case, will be ideal, or not.

6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently?

I don’t think that I would do anything differently, all what I have been doing so far is beneficial to me, maybe the only thing to change is to start it earlier.

7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?

I prefer to reserve the early morning for learning more, typically what I do is to read a reference or watch some tutorials about anything that I might be able to use to enhance the service I provide, the rest of the day depends on the tasks I have for the day, if I have training, usually I spend the whole day with my trainees trying to unleash with them all the learning resources that can enable them to be more effective and productive, otherwise, if there is no training, I spend the day between doing my assigned tasks, and brain storming with my colleagues either from my department or the other departments to see together what can we give more with the AV system, sometimes I spent some of the time working on new solutions that can be addition to the AV system in the form of software modules integrators can use to deliver more capabilities to their clients.

8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?

Microsoft office is number 1, I use it a lot, specially Excel, to do some side calculations that help me in programming systems. Graphic design tools, like Photoshop is also one of the tools that I use all the time, this helps me to design UI for touch panels in a better way.

Other programming language and IDEs also one of the tools I use, sometimes I try to do some tasks using java for example and then translate it to Netlinx to make it applicable on the AMX system. One other very effective tool is discussion forums, the number 1 forum that I use, but it is not related to AV, is http://stackoverflow.com/, this is a very rich discussion forum for programming, I usually use it to find out how to do specific tasks in other languages (like C#, Java or Objective-C) and then translate that into Netlinx, and for most of the cases it works very effectively.

9. How many projects do you handle typically in a year and how complex do they get?

It depends on the project size, sometimes it might be only 2 projects that keeps me busy the whole year and sometimes it is more than this, but what I try to do all the time is to keep myself busy doing modules that can add more capabilities to the AV system.

For project complexity, most of the projects are straight forward, not very complicated, but some projects are too complicated, I remember in one project there was requirements for full AV system redundancy, even the controller should have a redundant controller in case the main one will fail, this required a lot of effort to do it in the proper way.

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Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that he sees them.

For more information about Mohamed Sadek , please find a few links.
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Next week we will be featuring another AV Insider so please stay tuned.

Ajish Raju

About Ajish Raju

Ajish Raju is co-founder and Chief Evangelist of Favante. He loves traveling, trying new cuisines and gadgets. Reach him at ajish@ajishraju.me