Hi, my name is Phil Zito, owner of Building Automation Monthly.
I love to teach and educate my readers, also known as the BAM Nation, on all aspects of smart buildings.
The tagline here at Building Automation Monthly is “You’ll Leave Educated”. That is the purpose of the site, to share my experiences and knowledge with you, BAM Nation!
I’m just like you.
I’ve found myself struggling to figure things out scrambling to find the information I need in order to solve the problems I was faced with.
I’ve learned the hard way, I’ve broken stuff, let the smoke out of several controllers, and learned the hard way when I estimated a job with not quite enough hours in it…
A soap manufacturer, glass factory, or building automation company?
Oh, the joy. It was January 23rd, 2007 and I was excited. After five years in the US Navy I was ready to move back to the civilian world to build a life with my wife and soon to be 1 year old daughter.
I also had a choice to make, I had been offered 3 jobs when I left the military. I could work as a technician at a soap manufacturer, a manager at a glass factory, or a programmer at a BAS company.
I still feel I may have missed my calling to invent the next version of PalmOlive, but oh well…
So, there I was, 2 weeks in and I was sent to a job site to program a central plant.
A central what?
I didn’t know if this was a potted plant or something else! Imagine the panic as the chiller dead headed because I didn’t know I needed to open up the isolation valves before turning it on!
When I say I’ve been in your shoes, I mean it!
In 2007 I got let go from this job and I freaked out! I had a family, I had mouths to feed!
I went and called every Alerton dealer in the United States and had a job in two-weeks, this is your first lesson by the way, don’t give up! Here, I worked on some amazing projects.
I still remember working on the film studio for the folks who made the Matrix and asking why that raggedy, old red chair was sitting in the lobby :-D…
It was at this point that my obsession with learning began. Never again would I be let go from a company. I would become so knowledgeable, so valuable that I would be indispensable. Or at least that was my plan.
Every night I would spend hours and hours reading, studying, consuming knowledge. I would proactively seek out the most complex jobs I could find. I even switched jobs and took a role as a lead controls technician in 2008.
And then the economy collapsed…
Creating Work Through Systems Integration
Surprise, surprise, during an economic downturn folks don’t want to spend money! I know shocking!
Well, whats a enterprising young family man to do? I figured out, folks were stuck with a lot of old systems and they couldn’t afford to buy new ones.
They could afford to do some minor upgrades.
How could I turn this into an opportunity?
Well, working with our sales force I would go and help them design systems that integrated our server into other BAS systems. At first this was a disaster, I didn’t know what I was doing and I was tempted to give up!
At your darkest moment you should look for the light.
And I found the light, something clicked in me. I Googled systems integration and found a bunch of “IT” stuff on it. I was so inexperienced in systems integration that I didn’t know the “right” or “wrong” way to do things..
Well, I went and took what was working for IT and I applied it to BAS and would you, it actually worked! I was off to the races. With my new found knowledge I was helping grow integration jobs like weeds and I was knocking them down faster than an industrial sized weed-wacker!
And then I got an itch, for some reason I got the itch to become a manager. I figured if I wanted to take my career to the next level then this is what I had to do.
So, I moved to Dallas and started to manage the operations for a $40M profit and loss (P&L). For the next two years, I learned through trial and error how to manage a team of 22 technicians, designers, and project managers.
I also learned the contracting side of building automation.
How were jobs done?
What was important?
How do you deliver a quality product?
The next several years were a blur, in 2012 I would get promoted to be a sales engineer for my company’s analytics solution and I would start my IT journey getting two masters degrees and a slew of IT certifications. (So for those of you who say you can’t learn this IT stuff, if I could do it. So can you!)
Finally, in 2014, I went to our North America headquarters and proceeded to hold a series of roles managing our technology partner eco-system, managing our sales alliance with Cisco and now, managing the technical integration program for North America.
But, what about Building Automation Monthly?
When did that come into the mix?
Which brings us to…
How Did This All Start?
Several years back, 2012 to be exact, I started Building Automation Monthly.
I started the site as a way to communicate my thoughts and experiences around the world of Smart Buildings.
Due to my, at the time, less than stellar database skills, I managed to wipe out my entire WordPress database. This slowed down the growth of the site, as I was forced to redo a lot of content.
Building Automation Monthly has grown with me and you can see those changes in the style and content of my current posts, this is a nice way of saying I’ve become a less sucky writer..
My focus is to teach you all the things I wish I knew when I was first starting.
I always welcome feedback, so if there’s a topic you would like to have discussed in further detail, please let me know.
I believe that the introduction of technology within the smart building space is finally starting to pick up and there is going to be a need for well-rounded individuals who understand the technology stack within a building.
Therefore, as I continue growing this site, I am going to cover a variety of topics to help prepare my readers to deal with technology in whatever form it may take.
Connect With Me
I’d love to hear from you.
What brought you to my site?
What would you like to learn?
How can I help you?
Ask anyone who has known me for a while and they’ll tell you I love to help others learn.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.