Lessons from Masters

Originally, I planned to write a post about everything I learned at Crestron Masters this year. In prior years, I wrote everything down that I could and would bring it back to our team of programmers to share. I don’t know how much they cared (my notes work well for me but usually not anyone else), and since Crestron records all their sessions now, I feel less need to capture everything. Work was busy this week, and I haven’t had time to reflect until now anyway.

Sessions were a little strange this year. I had two days with all-day sessions, so I felt I didn’t get a lot of variety. I reminded myself to focus on the topics that interested me the most rather than bail out of the longer sessions. I can always go back and audit the others once they’re posted online.

The third day was comprised of smaller sessions: Silver programmers had a separate forum, then all programmers had a forum together, then everyone had the closing ceremony together.

One suggestion from Alex that stuck out to me was: to get more practice, go back to your old certification exams and try to do them in C# instead of SIMPL. I think that’s a good idea for when I have some downtime (maybe Christmas?) but I thought, “Why don’t I go back to the very first P101 class and try to do the final project in C#?” Then, I can work my way up to the certification exams. When I did the Silver Exam 3 years ago, I considered using SIMPL# many times because of the dynamic nature of the system they wanted you to program. But I wanted to make sure I had something to turn over at the end of the exam, so I stuck with SIMPL. If I can try and fail at it without any consequences, I’m more likely to stretch myself and learn something new.

My first thought was, I’ll check out the CTI portal and see if I can grab the files for P101 there. If they are available, I don’t see where to grab them unless I re-enroll in that course. Alex heavily defended the material available in online training, and I do appreciate how much effort it must take to put what they do have up there. But some of the material is awful. I don’t want to learn generic C# programming from Crestron, I want to learn how to use it to solve A/V problems. Crestron Masters courses in the past have been great for this (like the MSS sessions).

My next thought was to check my Dropbox where I’ve stashed every file I’ve ever received, but it looks like P101 (2010) might predate my Dropbox subscription! I have files for Intermediate Crestron Programming (2011), P301 (2016), my certification exam (2016), and my Silver exam (2019). I guess I can start as far back as possible then.

I think I’ll work on rewriting those programs when I find the time and posting them to GitHub. They’re so old at this point, I don’t think there would be any issue with current exams, and I’m not going to post any of the Crestron-provided material. Hopefully they serve as examples (maybe not great examples) of how to program full A/V systems using C#.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from Masters

    1. Way back in 2008, I looked into using Duet (Java) exclusively on AMX, but ran into problems: everything I needed to do could be handled easily in NetLinx, it required an older JDK even at the time, and my employer didn’t see a need for me to spend time rewriting everything in Java. More recently, AMX has released the Duet libraries to everyone on their forums, and I’ve thought about exploring it again, but I need to get an NX processor in my lab before I get too deep into it. And I’ve had a lot more pressure getting up to speed on Q-SYS and Lua instead.


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