Each month, we talk to an NTS instructor and find out a bit about their background and how they got involved in the industry. This month, we talk to Wayne Jones of Jones Security Consulting.
What's your background in the security industry?
I worked for 20 years for a major oil company in the IT industry providing Management and support for large Ethernet networks with a large number of workstations and servers. After leaving, I formed my own company focused on integration of security, fire and IT systems. I also sold and installed these systems individually.
After many years, I closed my business and worked for a large Fire and systems integration company, for several years, in New Orleans. I have been an instructor for NTS for approximately fifteen years.
How did you get involved in NTS?
I have always believed that if one really wants to be knowledgeable and remain current about a subject/Industry, one should teach it.
As a result, at the first opportunity, I contacted the Louisiana Life Safety and Security organization and volunteered.
How do you apply your background to the courses you've taught?
I share my knowledge and experiences, both positive and negative, so that the students can learn not only technical knowledge, but identify with actual applications and real world solutions. I also use my experiences from the evolution of the IT world in large corporate environments to try to expand their understanding on better approaches to their business and an understanding of the potential that exists for careers in this industry.
What's the funniest experience you've had teaching a course?
Not sure I can share the funniest. However, in a large hotel, we had just discussed the subject of proper mounting of devices -- i.e. devices cannot be support by their wires -- only to walk out into the hotel lobby on break and find two smoke detectors hanging by their wires.
What do you find are the best ways for students to get the most out of NTS courses?
Simple! Pay attention in class, read the material and ask questions. The books are excellent quick reference material and should be kept close. I also encourage the students to take advantage of every opportunity to improve their knowledge.
Attending training, conferences and other functions even in their off time increases their value and will help them, over the long term, in their careers. They need to take the initiative in this area and not just wait for their employers.
How have you seen the security industry change over the years?
I have seen this industry grow from a very fragmented industry with function specific technology and technicians with little or no training in code and techniques to one that is far more professional. The technologies have improved, knowledge of code has improved and knowledge of the industry as a whole has improved.
Our technicians are showing far more responsibility and professionalism with their installs and with their customers.
What are your predictions for the future of the industry?
Systems Integration capabilities as well as system intelligence will continue to improve. The one thing that drew me to this industry was that the evolution that had taken place in the IT industry was visible on the horizon for this industry. With all devices converging onto the Internet as their highway, the door will open for better communications between devices.
While TCP/IP has opened the door, better applications will be developed to provide this communication. However, this will require the development of standards. Unfortunately, in our industry we do not have a major company, like the Department of Defense in the IT Industry, that can force this convergence, which means it will take manufacturers longer to make that step.
The demand from companies for Open Systems (plug and play between new systems and existing infrastructures) would help push this development. Individual systems will continue to increase in intelligence (Smart Systems and Devices, Learning Systems, Systems that learn from our actions). Devices will become more software concentric.
Handheld devices and wireless will play a greater role to support our mobile society and in devices installed in facilities. Whether we realize it or not, something as simple as a contact is a point of information. We should be able to capture that information (its state) at its source and pass it anywhere it is needed in any system. The wonder of this is that our industry may actually be destined to become part of the information world.
Our capabilities today and our future is only limited by our imagination.