Is it time to have non-proprietary courses for control system programming and possibly a CTS-P?

I recently saw several posts on LinkedIn by industry veterans and newcomers looking to learn control system programming which brought up a long time concern. At the current time, the only way to learn is through a combination of manufacturers training, on-the-job training, and trial & error potentially at the customer’s expense.

In order to continue to meet the demand for programmers in the industry and support the growing number of control system related projects, it seems clear that there needs to be a standardized development program. This training program or collection of courses would be geared toward teaching not only the logical thinking that goes into control system programming, but also all of the related skills like troubleshooting, networking, signal flow, project management, etc.

Having an advanced certification, such as a CTS-P from InfoComm, geared toward programming would help to provide an non-biased or agnostic way of developing skills and identifying qualifications. This concept would certainly not replace the need for manufacturer’s training, it would only augment the knowledge base leading to more well-rounded programmers.

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