June 2017

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The Skills Gap & Autodidactic Open Source Education

Some speculate that there are 1,000,000 IT jobs and 500,000 facility jobs currently vacant due to a skills gap.

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The Skills Gap & Autodidactic Open Education

We are presently preparing for our session for Realcomm/IBcon San Diego next week "The Skills Gap."

This event is about the Intersection of Commercial and Corporate Real Estate, Technology, Automation, and Innovation

The Skills Gap – How Do We Find, Train and Retain Our Future Smart Building Professionals

We have all heard the stories: math and science skills are declining, millennials need work incentives, the next generation is not interested in buildings and the schools are not training for our industry. The bottom line is that there is a skilled workforce shortage and it is only getting worse. Some speculate that there are 1,000,000 IT jobs and 500,000 facility jobs currently vacant due to a skills gap. There is an even greater shortage when you combine the need for both traditional building automation and IT skill sets. There have been creative attempts to find, train and retain industry professionals, but these are not scalable or sustainable. This instructive segment will focus on the growing talent problem in the smart building industry and what it will take to fill the skills gap.

More details here in this preview of our involvement in event

One of the topics discussed was open source education and the potential of online open source formal learning by Autodidactic folks which is evolving from the valuable work being done by

This reminded me of some of the editorials I had written in the past on this subject which I have listed below but also this article from Haystack event in which a new bridge is now been created by the "Millenium Makers and Hobbyist" who are poised to enter our industry depicted in this article demonstrating how when we open everything this leads to open education.

Hobbyist Computers – Is Control and Data Modeling Now Free?

The performance and low-cost of hobbyist computers such as Raspberry Pi and Beagleboard are truly amazing, and they are already finding their way into commercial products. Coupled with open source software such as Sedona Framework and Project Haystack can we now achieve low or no-cost control and data modeling for our buildings?

Some of my thoughts from the past on how to grow our only assets and bridge the skills gaps

To achieve the ability to grow our assets, our people we need to create a self-learning culture within our companies and communities. For the last several years, I have been exploring ideas in my editorials on how we might achieve this. Some of these editorials are; Autodidacticism,  Creating Your Collaboration,  The "I of Me" of IoT, and Education for Your Vocation  Plus this one Creating Self-Learning Cultures  How do we create them? How do we use them to increase the value of our only assets — our people?

We are constantly striving to grow our industry younger, yet we fall short of quantity, quality, and connection of the young folks who are attracted to our industry.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Could we be the problem? Do we all give of ourselves and seek opportunities to mentor those around us?  When I reflect on my five decades in the control industry, I sometimes think about how did this happen?  How did I get from being a kid on a small farm to mentoring and penning this plea?   What were some of the key things that put me in this industry?

Just got this article published in BACnet journal and will pull some thoughts from it for the session.  Be the Mentor to Grow BACnet Younger  Only you can grow BACnet younger. It is your turn to reach out and become the mentor. I am pleased to have this article in the journal, but it points to the fact that us old mentors need to be retreaded as we are losing our grip. :)   Check out page 4. It is our turn to reach out and become the mentor. You can find it on the site here:

A new learning environment providing is provided in the example a 360-degree BACnet experience

McMillan:  The BACnet Institute, or TBI, is an online learning environment that serves as a central location for educational course offerings, active community interaction and a curated library of multimedia resources. The intent is to serve as a comprehensive online source of information and education related to BACnet system implementation, as well as promote the successful, global use of the BACnet protocol. It operates under the administration of BACnet International in collaboration with the BACnet Interest Group – Europe (BIG-EU) and other BACnet industry groups. 

The above is just a primer to all the work being done to bridge the skill gaps and encourage, anytime, anywhere, autodidactic open education.


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