Generational AV/IT – Security Matters

InfoComm_University-0314This week my daughter and I have been working on our presentations for InfoComm. That’s right. This year we get to present together for the first time ever. Some of you met my daughter when she was about 8 or 9 when I first came into AV and now she is teaching in AV and IT. This is a big deal for both of us. WOW — time flies. We are presenting about secure AV. Our portion of the topic is about AV/IT conversations and the generational difference in AV/IT technologists of today and the ones of my day (old dogs).

I was an IT manager back in the day, more years ago than I care to admit. Back when I was an IT manager our favorite phrase was “not on MY network.” And, back then I could do that. It was MY network. The users of MY network had privileges on MY network, but I was in complete control and most of the technologies and protocols were a “black art” to my users. If a user had a problem, I could go to the server room and “reverse the polarity of a tachyon beam and recharge the dilithium crystals” and all was fixed. All that usually meant was that I rebooted something, but they didn’t need to know that. Not to say I didn’t have it rough. C’mon, I was a network manager on December 31, 1999 and stayed one through January 1, 2000. I had my trials. But, there was beauty in that my customers had no idea what I did.

Today my daughter and son are both working in the IT world. As much as they both tried to get as far away from IT as they could, they got sucked in. I couldn’t be more proud. My son is a NOC engineer for a large email marketing company and my daughter is a security analyst and network/communications specialist for the United States Marine Corps. As a Corporal in the Marines and a network security specialist, her job has its challenges, but add the fact that her customers build their own high-speed networks at home so they can game, stream, video chat and countless other bandwidth and network intensive tasks amazes me. Those same customers come to work every day and demand that they be allowed to BYOD or access their files from home on some of the world’s most secure networks.

So if you ask me if there is a generational divide in AV/IT from today and yesteryear, I say, heck yes! And I sure do miss the good old days, but I am glad I kept my certifications (CCNA and CCNA Security) up to date and that I kept learning. I recommend all my peers (you old IT/AV folks) do the same. Times are changing… security, security, security.