Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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How Does One Gain Experience?

Experience is having something go wrong, figuring out how to prevent it from going wrong again, and in the future, remembering how it was fixed.

Start with not knowing what is going on, learn from the experience, become experienced with the situation.
When things go wrong, an experience is happening. Learn from the experience and become experienced.


By Douglas Krantz

Someone once said, "Experience is something you gain when things go wrong."

If every time one goes on site to fix the fire alarm system the problem is obvious, being a troubleshooter is boring. No experience is gained.

When, for the umpteen-hundredth time, the battery in someone's fire alarm communicator needs replacement, as a troubleshooter, you know what to bring into the building with you. It's an obvious problem, and it's an obvious fix. The equipment has called the monitoring company to say "replace the batteries" and the building manager may not even know about the problem. yet.

You explain to the building manager the reason for the visit and say "I know what the problem is." You ask for the telephone room. Then, without any real troubleshooting, you replace the battery. Then you walk out; no experience gained.

Experience is Gained When Things Don't Work Out

Originally, the service call may have been for replacing the battery, but then a new battery doesn't fix it. When this happens, you have to wonder "Why doesn't it work?"

You search until you find the real problem and then you make the repairs.

Once the problem is found and fixed, you can say "I have gained the experience of finding and fixing this problem."

Experience

When troubleshooting isn't obvious, when going on site one doesn't just walk up to the problem and fix it, when one can't say to the building manager "I know just where the problem is" without looking first, that's when new things are learned and that's when one gains experience.
Based on his electronics training, and his understanding of Life Safety, Douglas Krantz has compiled his knowledge of Conventional Fire Alarm Systems into the book Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms. The book covers the basics of the Conventional Fire Alarm System, and shows how Life Safety and internal supervision affects the fire alarm system.

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer

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