May 1, 2018
The internal pushes and pulls of our industry make it exciting and noteworthy

The word that stands alone as the title of this column, "dynamic," is one of my favorites. I could launch into the line, "Webster's defines dynamic as ..." but to be honest, I really don't care how Webster's defines it. I know how I use the word, I believe it is relevant to the trade in which we work, and if you'll indulge me for the rest of this page, I'd like to share with you a couple thoughts on it.

First, my working definitions of the word. Way back in a literature class I once took, the teacher forced us to answer whether certain characters in stories were static or dynamic. I wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs because the exercise was so boring, but, probably not coincidentally, it forever branded into my memory that "static" means unchanged and "dynamic" means changed. A dynamic character changed at some point in the story. Dynamic corresponds to change.

I also use the word in plural form, "dyamics," to refer to the interrelationships among a group. A sports team, a workplace, a legislative body, a community ... they all have dynamics that can shape how they function, positively or negatively. I commonly use the word when speaking about the cabling industry, including the techno-political forces at work within it.

Recently I had the opportunity to give a proverbial 30,000-foot view of the cabling industry to a group that is not familiar with it. Doing so forced me to examine it from that high level, as opposed to the ground level from which I frequently observe and form opinions. Making the metaphorical climb to that altitude reminded me that we do indeed work in a dynamic, not a static, marketplace. While it might be an exaggeration to say that our industry is changing at breakneck speed, the change is real nonetheless. Much of what you'll find in this issue reflects the technological advancements that are making our industry a dynamic one, from PoE lighting to IP-based AV systems, data-security concerns in data centers, modular-plug terminated links and more. When asked where the industry's going and what's driving it there, I had a jam-packed answer because there's so much going on.

When we add "dynamics" to the mix, we have a view of our industry that I describe in a way that I hope isn't too clever-clever: 3D. That 3D view of the cabling industry incorporates its 1) Direction (where it's going), 2) Drivers (what's pushing it there), and 3) Dynamics (the impact of players' interrelationships).

Regardless of the angle from which you look at it, the industry we call our own is indeed dynamic. And because the systems you design, build and use are enabling technologies, our industry's progression forward makes work and life better for those who rely on these systems. That's reason to be proud.

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